Adjustment and Perceptions of Birth Relatives in Contact with Adoptive Families Diverse in Parental Sexual Orientation

Grants and Contracts Details


The objective of this mixed methods study is to explore the adjustment and experiences of contact among a sample of birth family members in communication with adoptive families participating in an ongoing longitudinal study (the Contemporary Adoptive Families Study, or CAFS; Farr, in press). These participants include lesbian, gay (LG), and heterosexual adoptive parents with school-age children. Very few studies have specifically addressed birth family members’ perspectives (Grotevant, 2012); this proposed study is the first to date to do so among birth parents who may have intentionally placed their child with same-sex adoptive parents. The nature of this research project would allow for unique comparisons between longitudinal data already collected from adoptive families and new data from the birth family members with whom they have contact. A key aspect of the conceptual framework and central hypothesis is that the sexual orientation and gender of those involved will be influential to perceptions of contact – specifically in its type and frequency, and reported satisfaction with it. This research is timely and innovative in identifying and exploring dynamics of adoption openness among diverse families (including birth, adoptive, and sexual minority parent perspectives), and could contribute valuable information to professionals who work with these families in policy, practice, and legal realms. Thus, the proposed research is relevant to the Family Process Institute’s goals by specifically addressing the advancement of diversity issues and social justice.
Effective start/end date1/1/173/31/19


  • Family Process Institute Incorporated: $5,000.00


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