Birth fathers' perspectives on reunions with their relinquished children

Passmore, Nola L. and Coles, Gary (2009) Birth fathers' perspectives on reunions with their relinquished children. In: 9th Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society's Psychology of Relationships Interest Group: Connecting Research and Practice in Relationships, 7-8 Nov 2009, Brisbane, Australia.

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As part of a larger study, 20 birth fathers from Australia and overseas were surveyed regarding their contact or reunion experiences with their children. In all cases, the children had been relinquished for adoption as infants and were now adults. Qualitative data were analysed to identify themes that were associated with satisfying or dissatisfying aspects of the contact or reunion experiences. The first contact was typically associated with strong emotional responses. A degree of mutuality, in which the adoptee also wanted contact, was helpful in establishing a positive first contact experience for the birth father. Satisfying ongoing reunion relationships were associated with regular contact, shared experiences, and close, supportive relationships. Less satisfying reunions sometimes involved less contact, a mismatch of the birth fathers’ and adoptees’ needs, and difficulties with the developing relationships. As birth fathers with positive reunion experiences were overrepresented in this study, more research is needed to further elucidate factors that contribute to dissatisfying reunions. Further research would also benefit from more in-depth interview data. Implications of the findings for adoption practitioners are discussed.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version deposited according to Publisher's requirements: 'This is an electronic version of an article published in Hazelwood, Z. J. (Ed.) (2006). Proceedings of the APS Psychology of Relationships Interest Group 9th Annual Conference (pp. 35-41). Melbourne, Australia: Australian Psychological Society.
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: 28 Jun 2010 09:11
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2014 23:08
Uncontrolled Keywords: birth parents; adoption; reunion
Fields of Research (2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520599 Social and personality psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940112 Families and Family Services

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