How adopters’ and foster carers’ perceptions of ‘family’ affect communicative openness in post-adoption contact interactions

Macleod, Fiona and Storey, Lesley and Rushe, Teresa and Kavanagh, Michele and Agnew, Francis and McLaughlin, Katrina (2021) How adopters’ and foster carers’ perceptions of ‘family’ affect communicative openness in post-adoption contact interactions. Adoption & Fostering, 45 (4). pp. 430-441. ISSN 1740-469X

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Abstract

This article explores the constructions of communicative openness following adoption. Data from three waves of interviews with six adoptive mothers and four foster carers were collected, transcribed verbatim and analysed in keeping with a social constructivist grounded theory methodology. The results show that the way ‘family’ is constructed can both facilitate and impede communicative openness. Those who hold a fluid, child-centred concept of family, are willing to construct it as different and can accept the ebb and flow of family membership intuitively and view such openness as a natural part of caring for children. Those with a more traditional, nuclear construction of family may associate adoption with fear, a sense of biological related competition and the need to control the controllable, all of which act as barriers to communicative openness. The study demonstrates that communicative openness is person and context sensitive and emphasises the need to think creatively and flexibly about the very nature of family.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** Embargo end date: 22-12-2021 ** From SAGE Publishing via Jisc Publications Router ** History: epub 22-12-2021. ** Licence for this article starting on 22-12-2021: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/03085759211060715
Dates:
DateEvent
1 December 2021Accepted
22 December 2021Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: Article, Communicative openness, construction of family, adoption, adoptive parents, foster carers, parenting
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-01 - psychology (non-specific)
CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-04 - health and social care > CAH15-04-02 - childhood and youth studies
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Psychology
SWORD Depositor: JISC PubRouter
Depositing User: JISC PubRouter
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2022 11:22
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2022 11:22
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12595

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