COWAP Adoption Conference in the News

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October 17, 2007 10:43 AM Eastern Daylight Time
International Psychoanalytical Association to Address Issues of Children’s Identity Formations in Cross-Racial Adoptions  Three-Day Conference to Explore Race/Identity in the Familial Setting

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–How do people who have been adopted by parents of another race shape their identity? And how does a child’s own mixed heritage play out in his/her formation of identity?

As more and more children from around the world are adopted and raised by parents with racial and/or ethnic backgrounds differing from their own, parents, teachers and mental health professionals need to cultivate more understanding and sensitivity in regards to the role that race/ethnicity plays in identity formation for these children.

“Who is My Mother, Who is My Father, Who am I?”, a weekend conference to be held at the New York Psychoanalytic Society, 247 East 82nd Street, New York from Friday afternoon, October 26 through Sunday, October 28 will address these very issues. The conference, sponsored by The Committee on Women in Psychoanalysis (COWAP) of the International Psychoanalytical Association, features a roster of renowned child and family experts from around the world.

Psychoanalysts in the past did not deal with social conditions and social change such as those pertaining to cross-racial adoption. But this has changed as the problems potential analysands bring into the treatment room are so very different from what they were even ten years ago. It’s not just people like Angelina Jolie and Madonna who are adopting cross-racially but so are a host of bright, well educated women and men who are either infertile (having perhaps chosen careers first and late marriages), gays and lesbians who want children, and single mothers who have not found an appropriate mate.

The conference begins at 4:00 pm on Friday, October 26 with an opening session followed by a plenary address by African American psychoanalyst Sandra Walker, M.D. and a showing of the film Thunderheart. Dr. Walker is also past chair of the American Psychiatric Association Committee of Black Psychiatrists

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