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Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self
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Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  240 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Like Passages, this  groundbreaking book uses the poignant, powerful voices of  adoptees and adoptive parents to explore the  experience of adoption and its lifelong effects. A major  work, filled with astute analysis and moving  truths.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 1st 1993 by Anchor (first published 1992)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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Liz Latty
Apr 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: adoptees, adoptive parents
Recommended to Liz by: my mom
someday someone will write a book about adoption that reads true and unsentimental and scathing and loving and critical and grateful and real to those of us who have experienced it...someday...
deena kirk
Jul 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Having been adopted and having found my birth mother, I was intrigued by this book. It covers various seasons in an adoptees life and examines questions or actions of the adopted child. I found it to mirror many of the perspectives I have. I would highly recommend it to parents who have decided to adopt - it will help to understand the adoptee's perspective. By the way, I am extremely grateful for the parents who have raised me. I consider my birth mother to be a woman who made a terrifically di ...more
Oct 04, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a great book for someone just getting started in the adoption world. I felt that much of the material was a review for me since I have already studied much about adoption and worked in the field as a social worker. In addition, I wished that the book was more current as it focused on what I like to call "old school adoption" (they call it traditional adoption) where the adoptions were mostly closed and often secretive. Adoptions have come along way since the early 90s when this book was ...more
Rhonda Rae Baker
Jun 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Very important writing about what it is to be adopted, the stages one goes through, internal dynamics, and one that I will refer to often.

Brodzinsky explains with examples and logic the processes of growth an adoptee transcends. I had to take it in bites so the information could be assimilated within.

Now that I'm at the 50 year mark, I am looking for the resolutions he speaks of and how to incorporate all of myself...find myself and peace.

Everyone that is touched by adoption should read this...w
Stephanie Peterson
Aug 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
as someone who was adopted, this book has in my opinion one vital flaw--the authors themselves were not adopted. though this creates an unbiased and strictly research based book (and there is no lack in research), there is an emotion in every adoptee that fails to be captured within these pages. perhaps for those looking to adopt this is grand, but for those trying to see how other adoptees feel in relation to the reader's emotions, this book doesn't quite do the trick.
Apr 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
finally made it all the way through, start to finish. The 4 star rating was after I first got it based on reading the section appropriate to my age. I identified with a lot of what the authors propose adoptees feel. Maybe that's the way it's meant to be read; reading from beginning to end was a chore. Overall a good reference to understanding yourself and the various emotional cycles that accompany being an adopted person.
Nathan Ormond
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an adoptee I found this really useful. I'm no psychologist so I can't really comment on the modern relevance of much of the material covered, however it seems to be evidence based and focuses on bridging that gap between the evidence and informally explaining various life stages and how adoption might affect them.

I would recommend this book to those who are adopted but also those with adopted children or considering adoption too as it may open people in these categories up to some perspectiv
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it
A very basic volume on developmental psychology;
woven amongst a thin smattering of adoption considerations. As a middle-aged, adoptee working in the mental health field who has experienced nearly all of these stages; there was really very little here that I wasn't already familiar with.

This would make an excellent introduction to those interested in the subject, however.
Sarah M
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
This book gave a very specific view of adoption: from the adoptees perspective as seen through the developmental stages of life. Having been a psychology major myself at one point, this built some new structures on what is a very familiar framework. I liked it, but unlike some of the other books I've read recently, I probably won't see a need to revisit it in the future.
Oct 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfic
Interesting. I'd never thought about being adopted as starting out with a sense of loss and need to grieve. The imagery of big issues like being adopted as things people usually keep in a box in the back of their minds, only to be taken down occasionally and dealt with, then put back in the back corner again, repeat as necessary, is very helpful.

This book brings out a lot of deficit thinking, and even with all the disclaimers of "this only happens rarely," I can see myself walking away with the
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adoption
Very useful discussion of how adoptees go through the stages of development. However, it does assume that people are told as children and are able to integrate their adoptee status into their lives as they grow.

As someone who found out in her 30's she was adopted it didn't help me process my situation---only a realization of what I missed.

From a parental perspective I think it will be very useful to review if/when we adopt children ourselves. Adoption adds layers to the typical developmental s
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
The most mild research type book I've read. It held my interest and is based on Erik Erikson's model of stages of life and how adoptee's fit into these stages as they move through their lives. It's a take on adoption that I wouldn't have considered in my lifetime and a lot of it makes sense. That being said this book was written in the 90's and a lot has changed since then and I think that even though a lot of this research has now expanded since the writing of this book it is still informative ...more
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The authors apply established psychological thinking to the adoption world, examining the internal struggles faced by adoptees at different points in the life cycle. This book was published in the early 90s so the discussion of adoption is not very current -- eg, open adoption, which is now fairly mainstream, was very new at the time. Nonetheless, the authors make some interesting points. Worth reading for those with an interest in adoption.
Ryan Murdock
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
An interesting book based on clinical research and studies of adopted people of all ages, and the developmental challenges they face. I liked that the exploration of development over a lifetime was based on Erikson's seven stage model of the lifecycle. An interesting read that was absent of the usual fluff. I got a few new insights from this.
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
It's comforting to know that I'm not the only one who has struggles with rejection, abandonment, and a sense of never fitting in.

The only issue I have is that it was written in the early 90's and needs a major updating, especially on the topic of open adoptions.
Dec 30, 2009 rated it liked it
While mostly focused on Erikson's seven stage model of the lifecycle, there are interesting bits and bobs related to the adoptees development similarities and challenges within the model. Found the "genealogical bewilderment" concept powerful.
Mar 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I've read about adoption and I've read a few.
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
[non adoptee trying to get a little more insight. Please look for other reviews by people who were adopted]

Amazing and insightful into a world that I had no ideas about. Would totally recommend.
Gina Barnett
what is the task at different ages as the adoptee discovers the self
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There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
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