The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child

by Nancy Verrier

Nikki’s Rating: 10 out of 10

Summary: A book meant for anyone involved in adoption, “The Primal Wound” explores the trauma that all adoptees experience through the process of adoption. With emphasize on the adoptee’s experience, Verrier provides information on how best adoptive parents, biological parents, and the adult adoptee can help themselves and heal from this trauma.


10 Paramount Things about Nancy Verrier’s “The Primal Wound”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Adoption

Even though 6 out of 10 Americans have had a personal experience with adoption (themselves or close family/friend has adopted a child or put up a child for adoption), adoption is not an openly discussed topic. Verrier shares new insight and knowledge on this stigmatized subject.

2. Nancy Verrier

The author of “The Primal Wound”, Nancy Verrier is an adoptive mother and it was her personal experience with her adopted daughter that brought her to doing research on adoption and the trauma that occurs. Personal experience brings so much more substance and Verrier is able to provide a wealth of knowledge because of this.

3. Adoption Triad

“The Primal Wound” addresses the whole adoption triad: the adopted child, the biological mother, and the adoptive mother. It is written in a way that any individual in the role of the adoption triad should be able to understand and empathize with another role in the triad.

4. No Blame

Verrier makes a point to stress multiple times in “The Primal Wound” that the biological mother is not to blame for the trauma experienced by adoptees. Instead, she points to society as a whole for lacking resources that could have been available so that she could have kept her child. Improper treatment of drug addiction and/or mental health, poverty, unaffordable childcare, lack of sexual education, etc. are issues that many women face that may contribute to placing their child up for adoption.

5. References

Verrier meticulously cites multiple references and sources throughout “The Primal Wound” providing credence to her work and theories.

6. Validating

As an adoptee, “The Primal Wound” was so validating. A must-read for any adoptee, adoptive parent, or biological parent of an adopted child!

7. Suggested Reading

A super helpful list of other books is listed at the end of “The Primal Wound” to help readers further explore their interest in adoption and/or issues that may arise from being part of the adoption triad.

8. Issues

“The Primal Wound” does an amazing job of presenting all the issues and challenges people can experience if they are part of an adoption triad, especially for the adoptee. Self-esteem, attachment styles, intimacy problems, guilt, mourning, etc are all addressed.

9. Solutions

Not only does Verrier present the multiple issues that may arise from the experience of adoption, she also makes suggestions on how to solve some of these issues, especially by going to therapy.

10. The Writing

While “The Primal Wound” is a wealth of information, it never seems overwhelming or confusing. Verrier presents her supported theories clearly and includes her own personal experiences or those of people she interviewed to provide examples.

What are your favorite things about Nancy Verrier’s “The Primal Wound”?


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