Birth Mothers' Perspectives on Their Relationship With the Birth Father 12 to 20 Years After Adoption

Cynthia A. French, Susan M. Henney, Susan Ayers-Lopez, Ruth G. McRoy, Harold D. Grotevant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study investigates birth mothers' perspectives on their relationships with birth fathers after adoption placement. A total of 125 birth mothers were interviewed 12 to 20 years postplacement about the nature of their relationship with the birth father and their satisfaction with their contact with the birth father both at the time of placement and currently. These interviews were part of a larger longitudinal study of birthparents, adoptive parents, adopted persons, and adoption agency personnel. Recalling the time of the adoption placement, birth mothers reported many negative feelings about the birth father. However, by 12 to 20 years after the adoption, birth mothers were moving toward a more neutral emotional stance regarding the birth father. Most of the birth mothers do not have current contact with the birth father, and of those who do, most characterize their relationship as friendship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-600
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for the Minnesota/Texas Adoption Research Project was provided to its principal investigators, Harold Grotevant and Ruth McRoy, by the Office of Population Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Hogg Foundation for Mental Health; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; University Research Institute of the University of Texas at Austin; William T. Grant Foundation; and Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.

Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • adoption
  • birth father
  • birth mother
  • birth parent
  • openness


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