Openness in adoption and the impact on birth mother plans for search and reunion

Susan J. Ayers-Lopez, Ruth G. McRoy, Susan M. Henney, Michele D. Hanna, Harold D Grotevant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This article addresses the attitudes of 125 birth mothers about their roles in their birth children's lives, 12 to 20 years postplacement. As part of a longitudinal study on adoption openness, decision-making is explored for birth mothers who maintained direct contact with the adoptive family, for those with ongoing mediated contact, mediated contact that had stopped, and those without contact. Analyses also were conducted to determine if birth mother planned searches were related to their age, marital status, and parenting status. Significant differences were found for type of openness. To contextualize the findings, birth mother reasons for making decisions about searching were analyzed. Recommendations are provided for adopted adults, birth parents considering a reunion, and adoption agency staff.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-561
Number of pages11
JournalFamilies in Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008


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