Constructing Identity After Adoption

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A workshop for adopted people with author Dr Jo-Ann Sparrow

Adoptees search in the mirror for a glimpse of their mother’s eyes, their father’s nose, a grandparent’s lips, and some clue to who they are and what they might become. – BJ Lifton


Jo Sparrow is an adoptee who explored the construction of identity after adoption as part of her thesis for the degree of Doctor of Arts. She wrote a memoir about her adoption and mothering experience which is currently under consideration for publication.


Children who aren’t adopted, build identity through shared resemblance with their biological families. Such resemblances are missing from the childhoods of adopted people and they must find other ways to construct identity.

This workshop explores why this process is more complex for adopted people and how art (writing, visual arts, music, poetry etc) can assist them in discovering the authentic self. It explores adoption wounds, divided-self theory, the silence of trauma, disenfranchised grief, and the neuroscience of adoption.


  • When: Saturday 10th March 2018
  • Where: Perth Flying Squadron Yacht Club, Esplanade, Dalkeith
  • Time: 9:15am – 4:15pm, fully catered
  • Cost: $30 (subsidies are available)
  • Book: 9328 4000  /

Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, power to retell it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts.  – Salman Rushdie

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