chapter  22
7 Pages

‘Now I know who I really am.’ Identity change and redefinitions of the self in adoption

WithErica Haimes

Introduction This chapter examines the concepts of self and identity in relation to adoption. It is based on a study of the law which gives adopted adults in Britain access to their original birth records (Section 26, Children Act, 1975). This legislation is used by adoptees to obtain a copy of their original birth certificates: from the information contained therein, they may trace their natural parents, if they wish. The information they gain leads them to question their ‘true’ identity and hence to reformulate their self-knowledge.