Communication between adoptive parents and their adopted children was examined in a sample of 60 families involved in mediated adoptive relationships. Subjects for this study participated in the Minnesota-Texas Adoption Project, a nationwide study of openness in adoption (Grotevant & McRoy, 1997). The children ranged in age from 4.5 to 12.5 years, with a mean age of 7.8 years. Data were drawn from individual interviews with family members in their homes. Results indicated that communication between adoptive parents and their children intensified when children began to act on their curiosity and question their parents about adoption-related issues. Different patterns of communication were found between adopted children and their mothers and fathers. While all adoptive mothers reported active communication with their children about adoption-related issues, adoptive fathers communicated more actively when their children had more information about their birth parents or reported being more curious about adoption-related issues.
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Acknowledgements: Earliers versions of this article were presented at the meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development in 1996. We would like to thank the adoptive parents and adopted children who allowed us to learn of their experiences. We also gratefully acknowledge funding for this project from the Office of Population Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; William T. Grant Foundation; Hogg Foundation for Mental Health; University Research Institute of the University of Texas at Austin; and Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station to Co-Principal Investigators Grotevant and McRoy.
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