Adoptee's Attempt In Develop Identity
By Betty Jean Lifton
When the task of developing an integrated sense of
self is complicated by either a missing frame of reference
or by the existence of two competing backgrounds,
a person’s identity may become fragmented.
Resulting in the formation of an adopted self (Lifton,1990).
Adoptees are often implicitly encouraged,
either by the biases conveyed through the closed
adoption system or by the unspoken pressures create
by their adoptive parents’ insecurities, to deny the
part of themselves that comes from their birth family.
This results in a kind of splitting of the self into two
other selves: the false self and the forbidden self. The
false self is the part that pretends to have been born
into the adoptive family and rejects the importance of
a birth heritage. The forbidden self is that part that
still longs for the truth in its quest for an authentic
consolidation of identity (Lifton, 1990).
The Created Meaning of Adoption: Good
Adoptee versus Bad Adoptee
Much of the adoption literature and research that is
available focuses on the way that this population differs
from the general public in terms of mental health,
social adjustment, and life cycle transitions.