The purpose of this study was to explore the communication surrounding the decision to adopt. The findings sought to address the notion that all (or a large majority) of adoptive parents decide to adopt because of a personal loss.
Specifically, theMoreThe purpose of this study was to explore the communication surrounding the decision to adopt. The findings sought to address the notion that all (or a large majority) of adoptive parents decide to adopt because of a personal loss. Specifically, the study examines the discussion between adoptive parents and nonspousal family members as they reflect on the decision surrounding an adoption within the family. This study examined communication about the rationale for adoption through the lens of attribution theory.
Through guided interviews with both adoptive parents and nonspousal family members, the author identified infertility/medical issues, faith/spiritual reasons, societal good, and previous adoption plans as primary rationale identified by parents and family members with only two cases where stories did not completely match within the same family. These rationales were then classified as external (e.g., infertility/medical issues) or internal (e.g., faith/spiritual reasons, societal good, and previous adoption plans) by applying the principle of attribution theory to the participants descriptions of the rationale.
Similarly, these rationales were classified by participants as consistent, distinctive, or based on consensus. The interviews showed that approximately half of parental and nonspousal family participants classified their rationale as consistent with past behaviors, while less than half classified their rationale as distinctive. Nearly all participants (both parents and nonspousal family members) classified their rationale as coinciding with what others would say is typical of them (consensus).
Next, participants were asked to define family and explain how their adopted child fit into that definition. Nearly all participants mentioned that family was not necessarily a blood relationship, and was one based on love and care for another person- virtually all participants mentioned that the statuses of adopted children were no different than any other children in the family.
Finally, I examined consensus between the reports of the adoptive parents and their nonspousal family members and found a nearly perfect alignment in identified primary rationale. The reasons for such high agreement may include high levels of communication within the family.