Birth Mothers' Perspectives on Their Relationship With the Birth Father 12 to 20 Years After Adoption

Cynthia A. French, Susan M. Henney, Susan Ayers-Lopez, Ruth G. McRoy, Harold D. Grotevant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates birth mothers' perspectives on their relationships with birth fathers after adoption placement. A total of 125 birth mothers were interviewed 12 to 20 years postplacement about the nature of their relationship with the birth father and their satisfaction with their contact with the birth father both at the time of placement and currently. These interviews were part of a larger longitudinal study of birthparents, adoptive parents, adopted persons, and adoption agency personnel. Recalling the time of the adoption placement, birth mothers reported many negative feelings about the birth father. However, by 12 to 20 years after the adoption, birth mothers were moving toward a more neutral emotional stance regarding the birth father. Most of the birth mothers do not have current contact with the birth father, and of those who do, most characterize their relationship as friendship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-600
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume35
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

Keywords

  • adoption
  • birth father
  • birth mother
  • birth parent
  • openness

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