Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Jordan, C., & Dempsey, M
Counselling Psychology Review
Exploring experiences of adoption: Emerging implications for therapeutic practice
In Press
Optional Fields
Adoption; adult adoptees; identity formation; therapeutic support
Vol. 28
Background: The aim of this study was to qualitatively explore the experience of adoption from the perspective of adults who were adopted as infants. The focus of the study was to develop the ‘inside out’ view of adoption with the aim of informing therapeutic practice.
Method: 14 adults who had been domestically adopted as infants participated in this study. Data was gathered through individual face-to-face semi-structured recorded interviews. Data was analysed using grounded theory methodology (GTM).
Findings: This work describes adoption as a psychosocial transition within which four themes emerged. ‘Stages in cognitive understanding of adoption’ demonstrates that adoption is not a point in time occurrence; rather it is a stage-like process that can entail negotiation on an on-going basis. ‘Negotiating identity formation’ relates to participants’ struggle with identify formation due to a lack of access to personal
information and a lack of familial resemblance. ‘The impact of adoption on relational dynamics’ demonstrates the effect that adoption has on the adopted individual’s relational and family planning behaviour. The final theme ‘Adopted individuals support and coping processes’ relates to the support that participants accessed to help navigate their adoption journey, and the ways in which adoption support can
be improved.
Conclusion: The current study builds on previously reported effects of adoption by exploring when certain issues occur for the adopted individual, the perceived reason for why they occur, and the lived experience of the adopted individual who has experienced them.
ISSN 0269-6975
Grant Details