Study Shows Children Benefit from Openness in Adoptions

A new study from the University of Missouri has shown that in adoption, children and parents can both benefits from open communication.

These findings, like many others, support the belief that adopted children have the best outcomes when adoptive parents and birth parents work together to communicate about adoption. By studying the narratives of adoptive parents, the researchers also noted that the relationship between birth parents and adoptive parents has a direct effect on the relationship between birth parents and children.

“These themes are all about storytelling,” says MU Assistant Professor of Communication Haley Horstman, “but with the process, we saw that the adoptive parents are the gatekeepers to the relationship with the birth parent.”

For adoptive families, this means that a healthy relationship with a birth mother can nurture a positive outlook on adoption for the child.

The study was accepted for publication in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, and additional research will be presented at the National Communication Association Conference in November.

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