A for Adoption
An Exploration of the Adoption Experience for Families and Professionals
The experience of adoption—both adopting and being adopted—can stir up deep emotional pain, often related to loss and early trauma. A for Adoption provides insight and support to those families and individuals facing these complex processes and challenges.
Drawing on both a psychoanalytic, theoretical framework and first-hand accounts of adopters, adoptees, and professionals within the adoption process, Alison Roy responds to the need for further and consistent support for adoptive parents and children, to help inform and understand the reality of their everyday lives. This book explores both the current and historical context of adoption, as well as its depiction within literature, before addressing issues such as conflict in relationships, the impact of significant trauma and loss, attachment and the importance of early relationships, and contact with birth families.
Uniquely, this book addresses the experiences of, and provides support for, both adoptive professionals and families. It focuses on understanding rather than apportioning blame, and responds to a plea from a parent who requested "a book to help me understand my child better".
Table of Contents
1. Adoption Stories: Begin and the beginning 2. Creating a family life from a family life that has been broken (John Simmonds) 3. The force of the blow: Clinical perspectives 4. What’s Love got to do with it? Parents in pain 5. A Different Kind of Normal: the voices of young people 6. The Professional Couple; The Consultant; and the Outside World (Robin Solomon) 7. Establishing a psychoanalytically informed adoption service: The AdCAMHS Model 8. Baby Number 9: Let’s talk about the birth parents 9. Side by Side: The importance of continuity of Care 10. Closing comments
Alison Roy is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and the professional lead for child and adolescent psychotherapy in East Sussex Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). She is also the clinical lead and co-founder of a specialist adoption service called AdCAMHS.
"This highly accessible and very readable book is written for a broad readership – it might be said that it is written for every one of us. It explores the complex and multi-faceted experiences of adoption in a deeply thoughtful and emotionally compelling way.
This is an important book on many levels – it will speak to child psychotherapists, professional colleagues, young people and families and it can add powerfully to the conversation with services, commissioners and policy makers."
Marie Bradley, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist. Extract from ‘The Association of Child Psychotherapists’ book review
"Alison Roy is my go-to child and adolescent psychotherapist whenever I have a letter to reply to in my Guardian column which concerns adoption. Her ability, in particular, to put across the possible viewpoint of the child, is especially important and helpful to me; but her empathy and insight into the whole picture is fantastically useful and thought-provoking."
Annalisa Barbieri, The Guardian
"Adoption is a complex journey for all concerned. Drawing on extensive professional experience, this book is a must read for professionals and families alike."
Liz Rugg, Assistant Director of Social Care for East Sussex
"Adoption can provide children with the loving family home and future every child deserves. There will be challenges to children and their adoptive families along the way and that’s why it’s so important there is long-term therapeutic support in place to help children and adoptive families flourish."
Anne Longfield, Children's Commissioner for England
"Adoption is a lifelong intervention in a child’s life with profound lifelong implications. The chapters in Roy’s book sets out the issues that must be thought about, acted on and drive professional practice. It is a ‘must read’."
John Simmonds, OBE, Director of Policy, Research and Development at CoramBAAF