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de Peyer, J. (2013). Sequestered Selves: Discussion of Adoption Roundtable. Psychoanal. Perspect., 10(1):149-168.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 10(1):149-168

Sequestered Selves: Discussion of Adoption Roundtable

Janine de Peyer, LCSW

It is an honor to be entrusted with commenting on these moving stories. I found the experiences portrayed here both heart-wrenching and inspiring. As an adoptive mother, I appreciate the vulnerability and personal risk that each member took in revealing their adoption journey. I respect the individuality of each person's experience, and will attempt to cradle each one as I would the baby each story envelops—each with its own beauty and painful fragility. If there is one central idea to convey, it is that every adoption story is unique, and while we can learn from one another's similarities, it is our differences that create the individuality of each experience. The stories in this roundtable represent the arc of adoption, spanning good experiences to bad—some beginning angrily and finding hope, others moving from hope to grief. Clearly, each adoption story is as complicated as the multiply nuanced situation that produced it.

Since the voices here speak for themselves, rather than commenting individually on each story, my intention is to draw them thematically together through the lens of contemporary psychoanalytic theory. As a psychoanalyst, I am aware that as with any other countertransference reaction, I cannot separate the subjectivity of my own personal adoption experience from my passion for psychoanalytic theorizing. By attempting to link my ideas with other people's experiences, I risk the very pitfall I wish to avoid—that of making sweeping assumptions or generalizations that might inadvertently hurt or discount others. This is furthest from my intention.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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