Helping adults who were adopted as children

Passmore, Nola L. (2007) Helping adults who were adopted as children. In: 3rd International Conference on Post Adoption Services (ACTION), 19-21 Feb 2007, Cambridge, Massachucetts, USA.

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[Introduction]: Like most other western countries, there was something of a boom period in adoptions in Australia between the 50s and the mid-70s, with those adopted children of course now being adults. Although changes to legislation in the early 90s have made it easier to access adoption records, those adopted in the closed era still continue to teach us about the lifelong nature of adoption. For the last 10 years, my colleagues and I have been conducting research on issues facing these adult adoptees. In this paper, I will focus mainly on two of those studies. The first involved a comparison of 100 adult adoptees and 100 non-adoptees in terms of self-esteem, identity processing styles, and perceptions of the parenting they received from their adoptive parents. The second study involved comparisons of a further group of adoptees and non-adoptees, and included two questionnaire phases and an interview phase. We looked at variables such as attachment, adult relationships, secrecy, depression, emotional arousability, and search and reunion issues. Both studies focused on Anglo-Australian participants because (a) they were the most common adoptions in Australia during that era, and (b) indigenous and international adoptions raise a host of other issues unique to those situations. However, many of the points I cover would also be relevant to other groups of adoptees. In this paper, I’ll be focusing on some of the main findings and the implications of those findings for practitioners. More details about the methodologies can be found in the publications listed at the end of this paper.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Unpublished.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2008 05:43
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:05
Uncontrolled Keywords: adoptees; reunions; self-esteem; identity; loss; search; adoption; relationships; counselling; counseling
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1603 Demography > 160301 Family and Household Studies
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160801 Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment

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