Adolescents' satisfaction with contact in adoption

Tai J. Mendenhall, Jerica M. Berge, Gretchen M. Wrobel, Harold D. Grotevant, Ruth G. McRoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The current investigation drew from the second wave of data collected from the Minnesota-Texas Adoption Research Project (MTARP). Adolescents involved in adoptive arrangements in which there is contact with birth parents were compared to adolescents who do not have contact with their birth parents in terms of satisfaction with adoption openness. ANOVA results indicated that adolescents who have contact with their birthmothers maintain higher satisfaction with contact status than those who do not have contact. No effects for gender or age were noted. In terms of contact with birthfathers, adolescents with contact maintained higher satisfaction with contact status than those who do not have contact. Significant effects for age were also noted, insofar as satisfaction with contact increases with age. Implications of these findings for adoption professionals are put forth, as well as directions for further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-190
Number of pages16
JournalChild and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A prior version of this paper was presented at the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) biennial meeting, Minneapolis, MN, April 19–22, 2001. We wish to acknowledge grant support from a number of agencies, without which we would not have been able to carry out this program of work: the William T. Grant Foundation; the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; the Of- fice of Population Affairs; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health; the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station; the Center for Interpersonal Relationships Research, University of Minnesota; and the University Research Institute of the University of Texas at Austin. We thank Bethany Bartels-Sperry, Elisabeth Baulam, Allison Renner Rahn, Megan Smith, and Lynn Von Korff for their assistance with interview coding and data preparation. We extend special thanks to the adoptive parents, adopted children, birth parents, and adoption agency staff members who generously gave their time to share their experiences with us.


  • Adolescence
  • Adoption
  • Birth Parents
  • Contact


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