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Glassman, N.S. (2013). Trying to “Think Straight” About Openness in Adoption: One Gay Man's Response to the Discussants of the Adoption Roundtable. Psychoanal. Perspect., 10(2):216-219.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 10(2):216-219

Trying to “Think Straight” About Openness in Adoption: One Gay Man's Response to the Discussants of the Adoption Roundtable

Noah S. Glassman, PhD

Contemporary relational psychoanalytic approaches recognize that we are all “interested parties” in the analytic dyad—in the sense that despite the asymmetries inherent in such dyads (Aron, 1996), analysts, like analysands, are “personally involved” as participants in the intersubjective field (e.g., Hoffman, 2009). This is especially true of the Special Adoption Issue of Psychoanalytic Perspectives, in which the contributors and discussants have vested interests: What could be more personal and emotionally charged than our own experiences as children and parents in families formed by adoption? When sexual orientation is added to the mix, with the unfortunate baggage that psychoanalysis (not to mention the culture) brings in its historical approach to homosexuality, it may become difficult for any of us to “see or think straight,” so to speak. Given the impossibility, perhaps, of being able to know fully our unconscious reactions and contributions to the roundtable discussion—or the entire journal issue, for that matter—I offer my own subjective responses to the discussions by David Schwartz and Janine de Peyer, in an effort to further expand our consideration of the relational matrix involved in adoption and nontraditional families.

David Schwartz assumes that “beneath [my] actual participation [in the roundtable] lies an unconscious collision of [my] unambivalent positive perspective [on adoption] with [my] experience of an entire group representing a very conflicted perspective, both of which are modulated by [my] unconscious awareness of the widespread prejudices against gay male parenting, particularly in the psychoanalytic community” (p. 143).

[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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