Journal Article

Face-to-Face Contact Post Adoption: Views from the Triangles

Janette Logan and Carole Smith

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 35, issue 1, pages 3-35
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Face-to-Face Contact Post Adoption: Views from the Triangles

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The importance of ongoing contact for children with members of their birth families is currently a matter of great concern to both practitioners and academics and there is ongoing debate about the merits or otherwise of the different forms of post adoption contact. Research evidence remains largely inconclusive and the Prime Minister in his review of adoption highlighted the urgent need for more research evidence to assist professionals in making decisions about adoption and contact. To date, much of the research does not adequately differentiate between types and frequency of contact, the conditions under which contact is arranged and members of birth families who are involved. Whilst the needs of the child should be at the forefront of any decision about contact, it is also important to consider the repercussions for others involved in contact arrangements. This paper reports the findings from a sample of eleven adoptive kinship networks. Adoptive parents, children and birth relatives from the same kinship networks who were sharing direct, face-to-face contact were interviewed. We were able to explore the development of relationships between adults and the ways in which their interaction affected the experience of contact as reported to us by the children. By focusing on issues associated with the convergence or divergence of attitudes, feelings and perceptions we identify factors that facilitate or impede beneficial contact and contribute to its maintenance. Understanding similarities and differences between participants in the adoption triangle provides important information for adults and children involved in face-to-face contact and for those professionals attempting to facilitate the openness process.

Keywords: Adoption; contact; research

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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