Birth fathers' perspectives on reunions with their relinquished children

Paper


Passmore, Nola L. and Coles, Gary. 2009. "Birth fathers' perspectives on reunions with their relinquished children." Hazelwood, Zoe J. (ed.) 9th Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society's Psychology of Relationships Interest Group: Connecting Research and Practice in Relationships. Brisbane, Australia 07 - 08 Nov 2009 Melbourne, Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

Birth fathers' perspectives on reunions with their relinquished children

Presentation TypePaper
AuthorsPassmore, Nola L. (Author) and Coles, Gary (Author)
EditorsHazelwood, Zoe J.
Journal or Proceedings TitleProceedings of the 9th Annual Conference of the APS's Psychology of Relationships Interest Group: Connecting Research and Practice in Relationships
Number of Pages7
Year2009
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttp://www.groups.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/PORIG-2009-Conference-Program.pdf
Conference/Event9th Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society's Psychology of Relationships Interest Group: Connecting Research and Practice in Relationships
Event Details
9th Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society's Psychology of Relationships Interest Group: Connecting Research and Practice in Relationships
Parent
Conference of the Australian Psychological Society's Psychology of Relationships Interest Group
Event Date
07 to end of 08 Nov 2009
Event Location
Brisbane, Australia
Abstract

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.

Keywordsbirth parents; adoption; reunion
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520599. Social and personality psychology not elsewhere classified
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsDepartment of Psychology
VANISH, Australia
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