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Loss and grief in adoption: the impact of contact

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Abstract:

In adoption, children experience the loss of significant attachment relationships, based on the internal working models of their parents which were formed from birth and, rooted in memories, strongly affect them throughout childhood. Ann Courtney maintains that before children can move on to the next stage of mourning their losses, those original models have to be made explicit. She considers how this can be achieved by 'incorporating' the birth parent in some way into the daily life and relationships of the child. The likely effect of contact is discussed, as is the role of the adoptive parent and possible therapeutic intervention.

Keywords: ADOPTION; CONTACT; GRIEF; INTERNAL WORKING MODELS; LOSS IN ADOPTION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-06-01

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