Adopted Daughters and Biological Fathers: Trauma, Loss and the Fantasy of Return

  • Elizabeth Hughes
Part of the Studies in the Psychosocial book series (STIP)


This chapter sees Elizabeth Hughes writing powerfully about the discourses that constitute adopted women’s identities within a framework of trauma and maternal loss. She asks how stories of daughters and their biological fathers can be used to disrupt dominant narratives of kinship origins, adoption and the ‘primal wound.’ Using the case study of a 40-year-old adopted woman who grew up in a religious family in England and met her American biological father at the age of 28, the text challenges fixed ideas about adoptee subjectivity and trauma. Creating a space for thinking about the biological father’s role, often constructed as unknowable and unknown, this chapter raises questions about the dimensions of absence and presence and how the missing paternal figure might shape adoptive female fantasies and identities.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Hughes
    • 1
  1. 1.LondonUK

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