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Wade, J. (2010). The Long Gestation: Adoption as a Developmental Milestone. Mod. Psychoanal., 35(1):24-52.

(2010). Modern Psychoanalysis, 35(1):24-52

The Long Gestation: Adoption as a Developmental Milestone

Jennifer Wade, L.C.S.W., C.G.P.

The often difficult process of becoming a mother through adoption involves its own labor and delivery. Whether an adoption follows the trauma of infertility or is the choice of a single woman or lesbian couple, the drama leading up to the arrival of the child challenges self-esteem, bodily integrity, and personal relationships. The stress stimulates a regression and working through of preoedipal and oedipal unconscious conflicts in a way that corresponds to the regression and working through observed in pregnant women. Just as birth heralds a resolution of these conflicts, the author suggests a woman's successful adoption of a first child also represents a significant developmental milestone.

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