Session C Room CE Credit : 1.00
Mar 26, 2022 09:00 AM - 10:30 AM(America/New_York)
20220326T0900 20220326T1030 America/New_York Saturday Morning, Session C

CE Eligible: Coming Out of the Fog and Grieving the Ghosts

CE Eligible: Microaggressions Targeting First/Birth Mother's Experiences in Adoption

Welcome to the 10th Biennial Adoption Initiative Conference

The Evolution of Adoption Practice: Activist and Community Perspectives

Password for the Vimeo Videos: AIC2022PAID

AM Saturday Session C, Pt.1 Liz DeBetta https://vimeo.com/717802924

AM Saturday Session C Pt. 2 Emerson Dickman https://vimeo.com/719426629

AM Saturday Session C Pt. 3 Amanda Baden, Rebecca Randall, Elliotte Harrington, LaShawn Adams, Amy Kobus https://vimeo.com/717783291

Coming Out of the Fog and Grieving the Ghosts

Based on Betty Jean Lifton's concept of "Ghosts in the Adopted Family" this workshop will utilize therapeutic writing/sharing to help attendees learn tools to begin to process the grief and loss inherent in adoption. By acknowledging the different types of loss that need to be grieved for adoptees, adoptive parents, and first families this workshop aims to forge connections through writing to the self and others involved in individual adoption stories to create space for healing in community. Poetry and expressive writing can heal and transform by allowing the writer to emotionally express pain and trauma in a way that not only releases accumulated stress but also creates a connection to others. In this workshop, adoptees will learn the theory behind creative expression and the healing of trauma and put it into practice by generating their own poetry and prose to express grief, loss, and emotional pain. Learning the benefits of using writing as a tool to manage emotions and process ...

Session C Room Adoption Initiative Conference 2020/2022 adoptioninitiative@gmail.com
53 attendees saved this session

CE Eligible: Coming Out of the Fog and Grieving the Ghosts

CE Eligible: Microaggressions Targeting First/Birth Mother's Experiences in Adoption


Welcome to the 10th Biennial Adoption Initiative Conference

The Evolution of Adoption Practice: Activist and Community Perspectives


Password for the Vimeo Videos: AIC2022PAID

AM Saturday Session C, Pt.1 Liz DeBetta https://vimeo.com/717802924

AM Saturday Session C Pt. 2 Emerson Dickman https://vimeo.com/719426629

AM Saturday Session C Pt. 3 Amanda Baden, Rebecca Randall, Elliotte Harrington, LaShawn Adams, Amy Kobus https://vimeo.com/717783291


Coming Out of the Fog and Grieving the Ghosts

Based on Betty Jean Lifton's concept of "Ghosts in the Adopted Family" this workshop will utilize therapeutic writing/sharing to help attendees learn tools to begin to process the grief and loss inherent in adoption. By acknowledging the different types of loss that need to be grieved for adoptees, adoptive parents, and first families this workshop aims to forge connections through writing to the self and others involved in individual adoption stories to create space for healing in community. Poetry and expressive writing can heal and transform by allowing the writer to emotionally express pain and trauma in a way that not only releases accumulated stress but also creates a connection to others. In this workshop, adoptees will learn the theory behind creative expression and the healing of trauma and put it into practice by generating their own poetry and prose to express grief, loss, and emotional pain. Learning the benefits of using writing as a tool to manage emotions and process them is beneficial for adoptees, adoptive parents, therapists, and first families. 


Join me to explore the therapeutic links between expressive writing and healing of trauma and learn how to build a narrative through poetry that helps integrate the loss of the original family and self to create knowledge and understanding that facilitates psychological growth and can help organize the emotional effects of the primal wound and help begin to grieve the ghosts.

The Role of Genetic Expectancy in the Psychopathology of Children Who Are Adopted

The identity formation difficulties of many children who are adopted are based on the inability to bring childhood identifications and attributions into sufficient focus to establish a consistent set of expectations. The lack of a genealogical identification, in this culture, interferes with the ability of the child and others to attribute behavior and outcomes to internal or external factors. This inability to identify with genetic antecedents results in the over-representation of exaggerated behaviors, among children who are adopted, which behaviors are for the purpose of distinguishing the boundaries of external influences and to differentiate a discrete self. The importance of Genetic Expectancy (a theory of expectations based on a knowledge of one's heredity) in the process of identity formation. Genetic Expectancy is a self-created theoretical network of identifications based on knowledge of biological ancestors. The defused responsibility and decreased cognitive mediation resulting from the inability to individuate from genetic antecedents may respond to a treatment intended to differentiate a discrete self. The child needs this knowledge to form a healthy identity and the parent needs this knowledge to establish realistic expectations and attributions. The more that is known about biological roots and heredity the easier it is for the adolescent to break the shell of early identifications and expectancies and form a separate mature identity.

Whether or not information concerning genetic origins is available, the child's development of an internal locus of control and the ability to employ self-serving bias to develop a positive self-image should be the primary goal of the therapeutic experience of both the parent and the child. A parenting style rich in active listening (See Ginott, 1956; Ginott 1969; Gordon, 1975), that promotes successful decision-making and problem solving (Clabby and Elias, 1986), and that rewards autonomy and self-reliance, encourages the development of the psychological strength necessary for the child who is adopted to successfully individuate. A popular discussion that is highly destructive and has gained some traction in the field of adoption appears to be the theory that the aberrant behavioral manifestations, experienced during adolescence, by children who are adopted reflect an emergence of a genetic predisposition. This sounds logical, advances the influence of nature over nurture, and relieves parents of the burden of blame and guilt for possible failures in nurturance. The problem with this entire discussion is that the "aberrant behavioral manifestations" that are displayed by many children who happen to be adopted is a behavioral signature that is absolutely unique to this population. There is no meaningful corollary to any populations other than children who happen to have been adopted. By definition, a behavioral signature that is unique to the population of children who are adopted cannot be the result of genetic predisposition.

Emerson Dickman is Past President of the International Dyslexia Association, a member of the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities, the Professional Advisory Boards of the Center for Development and Learning and the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Secretary of the Arc of N.J., a member of the Learning Disabilities Roundtable sponsored by the Division of Research to Practice of the U. S. Department of Education, Chairman of the Protection and Advocacy Agency for the State of New Jersey, and a founding board member and past Secretary of the Alliance for Accreditation and Certification of Structured Language Education.


Microaggressions Targeting First/Birth Mother's Experiences in Adoption

For generations, adoption was often seen as a "solution" to unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. Throughout history, women have been pressured, coerced, and forced to relinquish their rights to parent their children. First/birth mothers remain the most understudied, stigmatized, and misunderstood stakeholder in the adoption and foster care world. This presentation explores the stigma targeting first/birth mothers, based on findings from a qualitative interview study of microaggressions that target them. Using a grounded theory approach, interviews of 12 birth parents from the U.S. were analyzed, revealing experiences of oppression, discrimination, and stigma. The most common microaggression themes: (a) shameful/inadequate birth parents; (b) infantilizing adoptees and birth parents; (c) phantom birth parents; and (d) sacrificial birth parents.

Examples of adoption microaggressions both targeting birth parents and committed by them will be presented, and the intersections between adoption and racial microaggressions will be explored. Within the attitudes targeting first/birth parents exist the assumptions that first/birth mothers are invisible yet are also viewed as self-sacrificing, immoral, irresponsible, negligent, and unprepared for parenting. The mixed messages sent by microaggressions that both express gratitude for birth mothers' sacrifices and judge them as shameful or immoral can lead to mental health challenges that become lifelong. The presentation concludes with a discussion of implications for future research and clinical practice.

Amanda Baden

Rebecca Randall

Elliotte Harrington

LaShawn Adams

Amy Kobus

Coming Out of the Fog and Grieving the Ghosts
Workshops 09:00 AM - 09:30 AM (America/New_York) 2022/03/26 13:00:00 UTC - 2022/03/26 13:30:00 UTC
Based on Betty Jean Lifton's concept of "Ghosts in the Adopted Family" this workshop will utilize therapeutic writing/sharing to help attendees learn tools to begin to process the grief and loss inherent in adoption. By acknowledging the different types of loss that need to be grieved for adoptees, adoptive parents, and first families this workshop aims to forge connections through writing to the self and others involved in individual adoption stories to create space for healing in community. Poetry and expressive writing have the ability to heal and transform by allowing the writer to emotionally express pain and trauma in a way that not only releases accumulated stress but also creates a connection to others. In this workshop, adoptees will learn the theory behind creative expression and the healing of trauma and put it into practice by generating their own poetry and prose to express grief, loss, and emotional pain. Learning the benefits of using writing as a tool to manage emotions and process them is beneficial for adoptees, adoptive parents, therapists, and first families. Join me to explore the therapeutic links between expressive writing and healing of trauma and learn how to build a narrative through poetry that helps integrate the loss of the original family and self to create knowledge and understanding that facilitates psychological growth and can help organize the emotional effects of the primal wound and help begin to grieve the ghosts. This is an introductory workshop for all members of the constellation geared toward introducing them to the benefits of expressive writing as a way of acknowledging and processing complex feelings. The workshop will culminate in sharing stories to be positively witnessed (if participants choose), which creates an opportunity to grieve in a healthy community.
Presenters Liz DeBetta
Presenter, Utah Valley University
The Role of Genetic Expectancy in the Psychopathology of Children Who Are Adopted
Papers/Presentation 09:30 AM - 10:00 AM (America/New_York) 2022/03/26 13:30:00 UTC - 2022/03/26 14:00:00 UTC
The identity formation difficulties of many children who are adopted are based on the inability to bring childhood identifications and attributions into sufficient focus to establish a consistent set of expectations. The lack of a genealogical identification, in this culture, interferes with the ability of the child and others to attribute behavior and outcomes to internal or external factors. This inability to identify with genetic antecedents results in the over-representation of exaggerated behaviors, among children who are adopted, which behaviors are for the purpose of distinguishing the boundaries of external influences and to differentiate a discrete self. The importance of Genetic Expectancy (a theory of expectations based on a knowledge of one’s heredity) in the process of identity formation. Genetic Expectancy is a self-created theoretical network of identifications based on knowledge of biological ancestors. The defused responsibility and decreased cognitive mediation resulting from the inability to individuate from genetic antecedents may respond to a treatment intended to differentiate a discrete self. The child needs this knowledge to form a healthy identity and the parent needs this knowledge to establish realistic expectations and attributions. The more that is known about biological roots and heredity the easier it is for the adolescent to break the shell of early identifications and expectancies and form a separate mature identity. Whether or not information concerning genetic origins is available, the child’s development of an internal locus of control and the ability to employ self-serving bias to develop a positive self-image should be the primary goal of the therapeutic experience of both the parent and the child. A parenting style rich in active listening (See Ginott, 1956; Ginott 1969; Gordon, 1975), that promotes successful decision-making and problem solving (Clabby and Elias, 1986), and that rewards autonomy and self-reliance, encourages the development of the psychological strength necessary for the child who is adopted to successfully individuate. A popular discussion that is highly destructive and has gained some traction in the field of adoption appears to be the theory that the aberrant behavioral manifestations, experienced during adolescence, by children who are adopted reflect and emergence of a genetic predisposition. Sounds logical, advances the influence of nature over nurture, and relieves parents of the burden of blame and guilt for possible failures in nurturance. The problem with this entire discussion is that the “aberrant behavioral manifestations” that are displayed by many children who happen to be adopted is a behavioral signature that is absolutely unique to this population. There is no meaningful corollary to any populations other than children who happen to have been adopted. Of course, genetic predispositions exist (e.g., talent, learning strengths and weaknesses, alcoholism). However, there cannot be a genetic predisposition for that which is not exhibited by a genetic antecedent. By definition, a behavioral signature that is unique to the population of children who are adopted cannot be the result of genetic predisposition
Presenters Emerson Dickman
Presenter And Participant, Law Office Of Emerson Diskman
Microaggressions Targeting First/Birth Mother’s Experiences in Adoption
Papers/Presentation 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM (America/New_York) 2022/03/26 14:00:00 UTC - 2022/03/26 14:30:00 UTC
For generations, adoption was often seen as a "solution" to unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. Throughout history, women have been pressured, coerced, and forced to relinquish their rights to parent their children. The context in which these relinquishments occur has fluctuated as historical, political, and cultural shifts have taken place both in the US and abroad. However, despite small changes in the context of relinquishments, first/birth mothers remain the most understudied, stigmatized, and misunderstood stakeholder in the adoption and foster care world. This presentation explores the stigma targeting first/birth mothers, based on findings from a qualitative interview study of microaggressions that target them. Using a grounded theory approach, interviews of 12 birth parents from the U.S. were analyzed, revealing experiences of oppression, discrimination, and stigma. The most common microaggression themes targeted birth parents: (a) shameful/inadequate birth parents; (b) infantilizing adoptees and birth parents; (c) phantom birth parents; and (d) sacrificial birth parents. Examples of adoption microaggressions both targeting birth parents and committed by them will be presented, and the intersections between adoption and racial microaggressions will be explored. Within the attitudes targeting first/birth parents exist the assumptions that first/birth mothers are invisible yet are also viewed as self-sacrificing, immoral, irresponsible, negligent, and unprepared for parenting. The mixed messages sent by microaggressions that both express gratitude for birth mothers' sacrifices and judge them as shameful or immoral can lead to mental health challenges that become lifelong. The presentation concludes with a discussion of implications for future research and clinical practice. 




Presenters Rebecca Randall
Presenter, Montclair State University
Elliotte Harrington
Presenter, Fairleigh Dickinson University
LaShawn Adams
Presenter, Montclair State University
AK
Amy Kobus
Presenter, Oregon Health & Science University
Amanda Baden
Presenter, Conference Co-Chair, Professor, Montclair State University
Presenter
,
Utah Valley University
Presenter and participant
,
Law Office of Emerson Diskman
Presenter
,
Montclair State University
Presenter
,
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Presenter
,
Montclair State University
+ 2 more speakers. View All
 Amy Strickler
Attendee
,
Rutgers University School of Social Work
Dr. Rafael Javier
Co-Organizer
,
St. John's University
Professor of Psychology
,
Mount Saint Mary College
adoptee
,
The Brooklyn New School
+27 more attendees. View All
Coming Out of the Fog and Grieving the Ghosts
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