Understanding other people's perspectives: tasks for adopters in open adoptions

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This article reports on qualitative data collected in interviews with the adoptive parents of young, recently placed children in 30 families. The mean ages of the children at placement and at the time of study were 21 months and 53 months respectively. All adopters were involved in face-to-face contact arrangements with adult birth relatives. Ratings of 'empathy for birth relatives' and 'empathy for the adopted child' were developed from interview transcripts. These ratings took into account the capacity of adopters to understand the perspective of their child and the birth relatives. Empathic, understanding adopters were more likely to maintain or increase face-to-face contact arrangements, and to view such contact positively, even in situations where meetings presented significant challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-30
Number of pages28
JournalAdoption Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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