Contact with birth family in adoptive families headed by lesbian, gay male, and heterosexual parents
In this study, we examined the extent and type of contact with birth family in adoptive families headed by sexual minority and heterosexual parents prior to or at the time of placement, following placement, and currently. Data were drawn from the Modern Adoptive Families project, a nationwide, non-random survey of adoptive parents' beliefs and experiences that was conducted from 2012 to 2013. The current sample consisted of 671 families headed by heterosexual parents, 111 families headed by lesbian parents, and 98 families headed by gay male parents whose oldest adopted child was less than 18 years old and who was placed domestically either from the public child welfare system or from a private agency or independent adoption facilitator. For child welfare adoptions, sexual minority parents reported higher levels of contact and tended to have more positive relationships with birth family compared to heterosexual parents. Fewer differences by family type were found for private agency adoptions. Higher rates of contact and more positive relationships with birth family were found for private domestic placements compared to those from foster care. Secondary analyses suggest that family demographic and adoption placement differences between sexual minority- and heterosexual-parent families do not account for family type differences in contact with birth family. Policy and practice implications are discussed.
Children and Youth Services Review
Brodzinsky, David M. and Goldberg, Abbie E., "Contact with birth family in adoptive families headed by lesbian, gay male, and heterosexual parents" (2016). Psychology. 365.