Processes Linked to Contact Changes in Adoptive Kinship Networks.

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    • Abstract:
      The purpose of this study was to reveal underlying processes in adoptive kinship networks that experienced increases or decreases in levels of openness during the child's adolescent years. Intensive case study analyses were conducted for 8 adoptive kinship networks (each including an adoptive mother, adoptive father, adopted adolescent, and birth mother), half of whom had experienced an increase in openness from indirect (mediated) to direct (fully disclosed) contact and half of whom had ceased indirect contact between Waves 1 and 2 of a longitudinal study. Adoptive mothers tended to be more involved in contact with the birth mother than were adoptive fathers or adopted adolescents. Members of adoptive kinship networks in which a decrease in level of contact took place had incongruent perspectives about who initiated the stop in contact and why the stop took place. Birth mothers were less satisfied with their degree of contact than were adoptive parents. Adults' satisfaction with contact was related to feelings of control over type and amount of interactions and permeability of family boundaries. In all adoptive kinship networks, responsibility for contact had shifted toward the adopted adolescent regardless of whether the adolescent was aware of this change in responsibility. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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