SHARE Online Lecture with Professor Maria Sequeira Mendes
Professor Maria Sequeira Mendes
School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon (FLUL)
Adoption, trauma and personal identity
Old ways of thinking about adoption are changing rapidly across the world. New findings on brain development have recently allowed researchers to show the impact of neglect and abuse on the child, allowing studies to focus on the consequences of trauma to the child’s well-being. At the same time, adoptees’ voices are starting to be heard, helping others to understand the many complexities of the adoption process. In this paper, I would like to use Derek Parfit’s work on personal identity and argue that it allows us to better understand the many challenges each child faces as it tries to narrate his (or her) life story. I will use Parfit’s words alongside adoptees’ testimonies on adoption, while also briefly mentioning novels such as Jane Eyre and Shakespeare’s take on the subject in Pericles and Winter’s Tale. I will end the paper, proposing a series of changes in Portugal’s policies, which would allow children, teenagers and their families to better cope with adoption’s complexity.
Session Chaired by Marijke Boucherie
The lecture will take place online via Zoom, on October the 28th, 2021, at 6 p.m. (Continental Portugal Timezone). The event will be open to the public, and can be accessed using the following details:
Session ID: 950 6181 2149
We hope to see you there!