Adoptive family experiences of post-adoption contact in an Internet era

Sarah Greenhow, Simon Hackett, Christine Jones, Elizabeth Meins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


n the UK, post-adoption contact between adoptive and birth families traditionally includes letterbox and/or face-to-face methods of com- munication. Because of the emphasis in the UK of adoption from the public care system, post-adoption contact is often supported and mediated by social work professionals. The growth in the use of e-communication, through for example social media, has created concerns regarding the use of such technologies for the purposes of ‘virtual contact’ following adoption. This paper reports the findings of a study of this emerging practice. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 adoptive parents and six adopted young people. Findings suggest that virtual contact presents both challenges and opportunities for adoptive families. We conclude that virtual contact is complex, but with appropriate boundaries and consideration of different interests, can work well in some cases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Issue number51
Early online date27 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

Cite this