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Title: How being adopted has affected relationship with the self and intimate others: An interpretative phenomenological analysis
Other Titles: Adoptee's experiences
Authors: Stavropoulou, Michaila
Keywords: Adoptees lived experience
Identity formation
Relationship development
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: Adoption has been vastly researched, shedding light on the parent - child relationship, its impact on child development, and family life. However, qualitative research on the lived experience of being adopted is scarce. The present study was designed to investigate how being adopted has affected the relationship with the self and intimate others. The aim of the study was to expedite a deeper understanding of the lived experience of adaption in the context of identify formation, relationship development and parenting. Four, semi-structured interviews with women who were adopted as babies or toddles, were analyzed employing Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The analysis revealed three super-ordinate themes; the first presents reality levels the participants lived in since their adoption was never openly communicated by their adoptive parents. The second - ordinate theme presents their effort to assemble the pieces of their personal identity and create a coherent life story. The third super - ordinate theme presents the personal choices they made given their adoption status. Participants' lives were characterized by role reverse, fear of abandonment and constant sense of obligation to the adoptive parents. Although they believe their separation from their mother was a crucial event in their lives, their narratives also revealed a sense of being fortunate, and given opportunities to create their own life path. Recommendations for therapists and supporting communities involved with adoptees are also provided.
Appears in Collections:Program in Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy

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