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

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Publication details

JournalChild and Family Social Work
DateAccepted/In press - 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 27 Aug 2015
DatePublished (current) - Feb 2017
Issue number51
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)44-52
Early online date27/08/15
Original languageEnglish


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.

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