Birth mothers' perceptions of their parented children's knowledge of and involvement in adoption

Susan M. Henney, Susan Ayers-Lopez, Jami Lyn M. Mack, Ruth McRoy, Harold Grotevant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

An examination of birth mothers' perceptions of the relationship between the children she is parenting and the children she placed for adoption offers unique insight into the life course of openness. In the present study, 94 birth mothers from the United States participated in a semi-structured interview, discussing their oldest parented children's knowledge of and experience with their siblings placed for adoption. Results show that 59 birth mothers have an oldest parented child who is aware of their adopted sibling, although 4 of these do not know their true relationship with the adopted sibling. Of these, 27 had direct contact with the adopted sibling, 4 had indirect contact through the birth mother, and 1 had previous contact that has since ceased. A majority of birth mothers indicated that their oldest parented child would like more contact, direct contact, or more information about the adopted youth. Implications for research and practice with birth mothers and their children separated by adoption are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-129
Number of pages27
JournalAdoption Quarterly
Volume10
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007

Keywords

  • Adoption
  • Birth mother
  • Openness
  • Sibling contact
  • Siblings

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    Henney, S. M., Ayers-Lopez, S., Mack, J. L. M., McRoy, R., & Grotevant, H. (2007). Birth mothers' perceptions of their parented children's knowledge of and involvement in adoption. Adoption Quarterly, 10(3-4), 103-129. https://doi.org/10.1080/10926750802163212