Writers of PhDs have a unique, personal and in-depth relationship with their subject-matter, which develops over a number of years. What happens when life intrudes so much into the research and writing that it takes over the subject matter, so that the original struggle for objective scholarship threatens to become subsumed in emotion and self-discovery? How does the supervisor, forced to keep a certain distance from an intimate and tumultuous relationship, still teach? The supervisor can do worse than guide their student towards the genre of Life-Writing, within which a flourishing of sub-genres may be accommodating to such a journey. For a closed-records adoptee caught up in the reunion processes sparked by the 1990 changes to the Adoption Act, critical readings of Peter Carey and Janette Turner Hospital developed into the invention of the Adopted Body, the Subject Adoptee and a new way of seeing: ado/aptive reading and writing. Perhaps in the field of ado/aptive theory, the stolen generations, intercountry adoptees and the white closed-record adoptees of Australia can re-invent themselves, develop their identities and create a genre of academic theory unique to Australia.