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A Qualitative Study Marian K. Psych, PhD; Curtin University of Technology Abstract of Contents This article describes the expectations, responses to unmet expectations, and factors that influence adoption reunion outcomes.
Themes derived for interviews with 10 adult adoptees and 10 birth mothers who had each experienced an adoption reunion beyond an initial face-to-face meeting are reported. Abstract Three aspects of ongoing adoption reunions were investigated: Participants were 10 adult adoptees1 and 10 birth mothers who had each experienced an adoption reunion beyond an initial face-to-face meeting.
A qualitative phenomenological and interactionist approach was taken. A semi-structured interview was conducted and data analysed thematically. Numerous themes were identified including expectations regarding the model of relationship, the definition of mother, and whether or not desires are understood as rights.
Responses to unmet expectations fell into three categories: Conceptualisation of the reunion as either the acquisition of something external or as an internal process of personal growth is discussed. Implications of the findings are presented, including their appropriateness to clinical work with populations other than adoption reunion participants.
To reduce clumsiness of language, the feminine pronoun is used for adoptees, rather than he or she, his or her. Reference to all adoptees as feminine also protects the confidentiality of participants.
Even direct quotes in the Results and Discussion section have been altered, where appropriate, to the feminine form to prevent any identification of participants.
A Qualitative Study Although adoption of children has existed in some form for thousands of years it was not until the s and s that concern was expressed about its long-term consequences.
After lobbying by professionals and those involved in adoption, changes in the law were made that made it legally possible for adult adoptees and birth parents to obtain both general and identifying information about the other, and to make contact.
These changes have had huge ramifications, probably the greatest of which is the possibility of reunion.
Consequently the thought of reunion evokes a myriad of mixed emotions, and is driven by a wide diversity of motives. In fact, the most common reasons for searching given by adoptees are related to four themes: The second and third categories are both considered as search as therapy, as they have an underlying therapeutic intent of achieving personal change.
Andersen identifies two models of therapeutic search: Andersen outlines the components of the medical deficiency model that are implicit in this understanding of the search.
Implicit in the psychological model is that all searches are therapeutic. The three models of search are not mutually exclusive, but usually one is dominant.- There has been an enormous amount of research conducted about adoptees and their problems with identity formation.
Many of the researchers agree on some of the causes of identity formation problems in adolescent adoptees, while other researchers conclude that there is no significant difference in identity formation in adoptees and birth children.
- There has been an enormous amount of research conducted about adoptees and their problems with identity formation. Many of the researchers agree on some of the causes of identity formation problems in adolescent adoptees, while other researchers conclude that there is no significant difference in identity formation in adoptees and birth.
Life Stories of International Romanian Adoptees: A Narrative Study. Life Stories of International Romanian Adoptees: A Narrative Study identifying with their host country.
This supports findings from the ERA study where by age 15, the majority of adoptees identified as ‘English’. In a meta-analysis by Bimmel et al.
() including ten studies, adolescents who were internationally adopted were found to have more externalizing problems than non-adopted adolescents, whereas there were no differences in rates of internalizing problems between adoptees and their peers. Narratives about family formation are particularly important to adoptees (e.g., Kranstuber & Kellas, ), and some remember the adoption books that were read to them in early childhood.
Indeed, some adoptees have described the ways in which the books continue to influence (in adulthood) their images of themselves and their families (Jue. Full-Text Paper (PDF): Mental health problems and resilience in international adoptees: Results from a population-based study of Norwegian adolescents aged 16–19 years.