11 October 2010

The "Primal Wound" debate

Every time I see this debate rear its head I feel sick. My first thought is "Really? Again? (sigh)"

Literally months before I gave birth to my daughter and then lost her during the long fight to keep her (shock, horror, how dare a mother want to raise her own child, who would dream of doing such a thing!), I completed my diploma in Early Childhood Education. Over the course of my studying, I learned and researched studies and theories which support what I was to read years later in Nancy Verrier's book.

On top of the books, papers and studies I read, I was able to observe the mother/child bond first hand through my many placements and previous work. One of these placements included a mother who was clearly postnatally depressed and I saw how this led to a devastating fracture in her relationship with her barely 5 month old daughter and the effect it had on her.

I am not going to discuss the book or its theory here. It has been rehashed a million times and the argument is circular but what I will say is that outside of adoption, in the realm of normality where the truth of the bond between a mother and her born-to-her child is accepted, the "Primal Wound" theory makes sense. Not just about children adopted but to all children who for a myriad of reasons have to be separated from their mothers. There have been numerous research studies recently which have proven the detrimental effect of removing children from the care of their mother even for a few hours; the stress and anxiety it causes in a child has been lodged through the testing of DNA. So it is easy to believe a child removed from their mother's care entirely would undergo an even bigger trauma. But, enter adoption and again - shock, horror, this is all thrown out. All of a sudden children are seen to be more resilient and can therefore cope with more trauma so it is okay to inflict this ridiculous insitution on them because they will not be affected.

Suddenly all the science, research and truth in the entire world is meaningless when adoption is introduced on the scene. Infants are suddenly blank slates with no feelings, no personalities - in a word they are seen as abnormal*. Yes, that is what I said. I am not going to beat around the bush. Children being adopted are somehow seen as DIFFERENT to children kept. They are discriminated against, their feelings are totally dismissed, their personalities denied. I have watched this in my own child and it angers me greatly. People do NOT have a right to treat children this way. Children are NOT TOYS. They are NOT little puppies and kittens that can be transferred from one mother to a stranger without damage. Anyone who denies the truth of the damage done in separating a mother and her child does so to suit their own needs, they do it for the love of themselves. There is no love for the child in this action and is truly sickening.

As I have said before in another post, adoption is purely hypocritical. It takes everything that is known and recognised as normal and true and throws it out the window. People like to see adoption as some altruistic institution but it is completely the opposite. There is no room for altruism in adoption. If people were truly altruistic, they would be helping to build communities (see previous posts) and helping families stay together. But oh no, it is too easy to give into one's desires and take what one wants than to put those desires aside and do what it takes to be ethical.

So, people will and can continue to dismiss the evidence behind the Primal Wound theory until they are puce in the face. It won't change that it speaks a universal truth which is a mother and her children should be kept together and where there needs to be intervention (i.e. in actual, real, dire situations like abuse), that intervention needs to be as gentle as possible and not the great hulking devastation that adoption brings. It will not change the absolute fact that adoption hurts and emotionally maims lives. I have heard people use the excuse that children and people are resilient, they will adapt. That is a reason to cause pain? Would you walk up to someone and shoot them in the arm and say, "oh well, you will adapt, you will heal so this won't matter"? (too bad if it leaves you crippled for the rest of your life) This really is the same thing. It is known adoption causes pain and yet people continue to push for it. Shooting someone falls under a criminal act. Adoption should to, particularly infant adoption, as it is also a weapon of destruction and hurts in a different way. It hurts families; not just those immediately involved but siblings, children, grandchildren, uncles, aunties etc.

The "Primal Wound" might have been a book written in recent times by an adoptive mother. But it speaks an ancient knowledge and truth which does not need science, arguments and the like. Its truth has stood the test of time and will always be that way despite the depravity of mankind to seek what they want, what they lust after.

*I just want to say I DO NOT see adoptees as abnormal. I see people who have been adopted as discriminated against and beaten down and it angers me. I used this word to describe how I feel others perceive adoptees based on the numerous blogs, Yahoo! Answers answers (lol), forums, posts etc I have seen where adoptees are dismissed. I also want to say I know quite a few adoptive parents who do NOT fall in the category of the type of adopters I have posted about. I know there are adoptive parents who understand all to well the truth of the pain adoption brings and kudos to them for recognising this. You know who you are (I hope :) )


  1. Because it's coated under the label of new family.

  2. You are so right, once you throw adoption into the mix, everything we know and believe in when it comes to the mother/child bond is no longer true and can be explained away with a quick shrug and a "no proof of anything" declaration.

    You can't keep that warm and fuzzy feeling in adoption if you actually admit to the trauma of separating a mother and child. It's much better to pretend there is no connection so one can feel better about themselves.


  3. Like a good vodka martini, the adoption magic fairy dust soothes all wounds, even those of a primal nature.


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