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Adult Adoptee Communication Experiences with Birth and Adoptive Families: A Mixed Methods Investigation

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In 2017, 59,430 children were adopted in the United States through Title IV-E agencies (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau, 2018). It is statistically unknown how many of these were open adoptions, where there is some form of ongoing contact between the adoptee and the birth parent(s). However, research has found that as of 2012, 95 percent of adoptions have some level of openness (Siegel & Livingston Smith, 2012). The trend of increasing openness in adoption has grown out of the diminishing stigma that adopted children would feel a sense of illegitimacy in an open adoption (Siegel & Livingston Smith, 2012). Limited research has looked at the complex relationships adoptees navigate after adoption, communicating with a biological (birth) family and an adoptive family. This thesis utilizes the mixed methods approach of a sequential exploratory analysis (Creswell, 2014), which contains two phases: In Phase 1, qualitative data was collected and analyzed in which themes served to inform the selection of measures for a quantitative data collection and analysis (Creswell). Results from the qualitative portion allowed themes to emerge, which then informed the instruments and measures as well as quantitative design considerations for Phase 2, a quantitative survey. Together, Phase 1 and 2 allowed the researcher to examine the communication experiences of adult adoptees in open adoptions including how adoptees approach their family identity, adoptees’ levels of relational distancing and relationship uncertainty, as well as adoptees’ attachment styles.
Adoption Triad
Birth Family
Mixed Methods
Haberkorn, Kristen (author)
Krcmar, Marina (committee chair)
Carter, Cheyenne (committee member)
2020-05-29T08:36:04Z (accessioned)
2020-05-29T08:36:04Z (available)
2020 (issued)
Communication (discipline)
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/96831 (uri)
en (iso)
Wake Forest University
Adult Adoptee Communication Experiences with Birth and Adoptive Families: A Mixed Methods Investigation

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