Communication About Adoption In Families

Authored by: Lindsey J. Thomas , Kristina M. Scharp

The Routledge Handbook Of Adoption

Print publication date:  March  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138362505
eBook ISBN: 9780429432040
Adobe ISBN:


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Communication is often a taken-for-granted part of life, yet it is imperative to everyday lived experiences as well as the construction and dissolution of family relationships. In adoptive families in particular, communication has been studied both as a predictive variable in models/theories and as the ongoing process through which families continually (re)create identities and boundaries both internally, among family members, and externally, in interactions with others. This chapter first provides an overview of several family communication and sensemaking theories that are salient to the study of adoptive families and communication (i.e., the family adoption communication model; family communication patterns theory; narrative theories; discourse dependent families). Next, the chapter turns to an overview of the importance of communication in and around adoptive families and details empirical contributions of scholars who study communication and related phenomena in adoptive families (e.g., the role of communication in pre-adoption decisions and considerations; primary pathways to adoption and their unique connections and challenges; expectations and experiences of adoption reunions). Finally, the chapter concludes with implications for practice and policy.

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