Adoption tree


What is it

The adoption tree is used to allow the child to integrate their biological/birth family/families, their “dialectic” family (adoptive in this case), and their own self to an identity they can consider to be their own.

It is similar to a Family tree, and it can consist the start of the child’s Lifebook.

When is it used

It is created in Session 2 – Exploring adoption family trees and the importance of attachment, to explore different ways of depicting an adoptive family tree, so thatparticipants can focus on the dual kinship lines which are created through adoption.

It will be part of your adoption package, the things you bring with you in the country of adoption.

Tips and tricks

You need to represent both families: the lost family and the gained family.

Some representations suggest a tree where the trunk is “me”, the adopted child; the roots are the biological/birth family; and the branches are the adoptive family. The roots mirror the branches, so the past and the future can be more easily integrated.

Other representations suggest that a tree had 3 roots: the birth/biological family, the adoptive family, and the child’s raw desire (some would call it self/personality/inconscient, etc.)  Cut off any 1 or 2 roots and you get a bonzäi! The branches are then seen as the future of the child: friends, lover and own family, work, reflexive and reflective desire.


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