Direct Contact and Relationships
Routledge – 2003 – 216 pages
Few children nowadays are placed for adoption with no form of contact planned with birth relatives and it has become common professional practice to advocate direct rather than indirect contact. Practice has outstripped evidence in this respect and not enough is known about how contact arrangements actually work out, particularly for older children adopted from state care. Such children have often experienced neglect, and sometimes abuse, and have frequently been adopted without parental agreement.
Based on research with a large number of adoptive parents, children and birth relatives, After Adoption considers the impact of direct post-adoption contact on all concerned in such cases. It also:
· discusses the development of adoption policy and law, particularly with regard to the legal and social consequences
· reviews the research evidence on adopted children's contact with their birth families
· explores through interviews: participants' feelings about adoption and direct contact; their relationships with each other; what hinders and what helps.
After Adoption challenges readers to re-think the relationship between adoption and the possibility of direct post-adoption contact and at the same time provides a comprehensive understanding of adoption issues. It is a timely and valuable addition to the literature on adoption, making a substantial contribution to policy and practice.
'This book is a useful contribution to current debates and offers helpful theoretical perspectives on the processes of social relationships.' - Professional Social Work
1. Adoption in Context: Social Change and Openness 2. Openness in Adoption: Essential for Children's Wellbeing? 3. Policy, Law and Openness in Adoption 4. The Study: Issues, Methods and Sample Characteristics 5. Preparation and Planning for Direct Contact 6. Adoptive Parents: Perspectives on Adoption and Direct Contact 7. Birth Relatives and Direct Contact 8. Children's Thoughts and Feelings: Adoption and Post Adoption Contact 9. Views from the Triangle 10. Direct Post-Adoption Contact: Benefits, Risks and Uncertainties