Communicative openness within adoptive families: adoptive parents' narrative accounts of the challenges of adoption talk and the approaches used to manage these challenges

Christine Jones, Simon Hackett

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    28 Citations (Scopus)


    Policy and practice relating to openness in adoption have changed substantially in the last 30 years. There is a growing body of empirical research that supports both structural and communicative openness, and there is widespread consensus that communicative openness is desirable within adoptive families. Despite this, there is evidence that some adoptive parents and their adopted children struggle to achieve the level of communicative openness to which they aspire. This paper presents data from a small-scale exploratory study of adoptive family life. It draws on the narrative accounts of adoptive mothers and fathers to explore some of the sensitivities of adoption talk, the communication challenges experienced by adoptive parents, and the ways that adopters manage these challenges. Finally, some suggestions are made for practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)157-178
    Number of pages22
    JournalAdoption Quarterly
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2008


    • adoptive parents
    • open adoption
    • openness
    • adoption communication

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