My first known blood relative. A psychotherapeutic exploration of female adoptees who give birth to biological children

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O'Kelly, Lynsey
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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Research studies on adoption fail to consider the female adoptees experience of having their own biological children. Most research on adoption focuses on birth mothers and adoptive mothers in the adoption triad. This research study focused on the lived experience of female adoptees which included the early experiences of the adoptees, the relationships between the adoptees and their adoptive mothers, what occurred when the adoptees had their own children and the adoptees subsequent relationships with their biological children. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyse the data gathered from qualitative semi structured interviews. The participants in this study were enabled to discuss their lived experience in an open and non-judgmental environment. The main themes identified were the adoptees experience of being chosen as a baby, how the adoptees felt different growing up and the realisation of meeting their first blood relative when they gave birth. Other themes that emerged were the adoptees experience of empathy and anger for their birth mother and an overprotection towards their own biological children. It was concluded in this study that the experience of female adoptees when they give birth to their own children needs to be researched further and that issues for adoptees do not end when they have their own families.