Adolescent Search for Birthparents: Who Moves Forward?

Gretchen Miller Wrobel, Harold D. Grotevant, Ruth G. McRoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The decision to search for birthparents is one that all adopted persons consider. The focus of this study is to describe, for a group of adopted adolescents, who chooses to search and who does not and to explore how search behavior is related to the functioning of the adolescents 'adoptive families and adolescents 'psychological adjustment. Participants in the study included 93 adolescents whose contact with birthparents ranged from no contact or information about birthparents to those who had some information but no direct contact with birthparents. Adolescents who indicated no desire to search for their birthparents and those who indicateda desire to search or had searched were included in the study. Older adolescents who experienced some openness in their adoption, were the least satisfied with that adoptive openness, and were preoccupied with their adoptive status were most likely to search. Search behavior was not related to family functioning or adolescent problem behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-151
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • Adolescent
  • Adoption
  • Family
  • Openness
  • Search


Dive into the research topics of 'Adolescent Search for Birthparents: Who Moves Forward?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this