David Brodzinsky Lecture: 3 Decades of Adoption Research

Yesterday I attended a 3 hour workshop offered by the “grandfather” of adoption psychology, Dr. David Brodzinsky. His book, Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self, from 1991, is still one that I recommend to members of the adoption constellation. His workshop reviewed his decades of research and clinical interventions. Although the workshop had enough meat to really be a week long intensive I was excited to review old but important concepts. Mainly his identification with grief and loss in the adoption system, especially “disenfranchised grief”, and its impact on all members of the constellation. He acknowledged that there are many many other concerns and issues that are present in adoption but grief and loss are not to be forgotten. Another interesting perspective for me was experiencing the workshop within a majority Caucasian crowd – many of whom self identified as adoptive parents. After the St. John’s Adoption Initiative Conference and its diversity of perspectives I realized, again, how crucial it is to continue to offer the St. John’s and other conference like it where adopted person and original family perspectives are offered directly and with great respect. I am not implying that other conferences are not respectful, rather, historically speaking, many adoption conferences are products of adoptive parent viewpoints and stances. St.John’s Adoption Initiative and the growing adopted person as professional movement offers much needed balance.