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      Birth Sibling Relationships after Adoption: Experiences of Contact with Brothers and Sisters Living Elsewhere

      1 , 1 , 1

      The British Journal of Social Work

      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          We examined how adoptive families manage and respond to contact with children’s birth siblings living elsewhere within a nationally representative sample of 96 families who adopted a child between 01 July 2014 and 31 July 2015. We harnessed prospective, longitudinal data to determine the extent to which plans for contact between adopted children and birth siblings living elsewhere materialised over time. We present adoptive parents’ views and experiences of the contact over four years, together with an analysis of factors that were thought to have prevented, hindered and/or enabled contact between adopted children and their birth siblings. The information shared by the adoptive families illustrates the challenges they faced in promoting sibling contact; in weighing up the complexities associated with managing contact in the short term against the anticipated benefit for their child in the longer term; of balancing a commitment to sibling contact with the psychological needs of their child; and of organising contact within the context of interactions with other families involved and social work professionals. On the basis of these findings, we make recommendations pertaining to the management of both letterbox and face-to-face contact and life story work, and underscore the importance of investing in sibling relationships.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Maintaining Sibling Relationships--Neglected Dimension in Child Care Practice

           M Kosonen (1996)
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            Sibling connections: The importance of nurturing sibling bonds in the foster care system

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              Post-Adoption Contact and Openness in Adoptive Parents' Minds: Consequences for Children's Development

               E. Neil (2009)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                The British Journal of Social Work
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                0045-3102
                1468-263X
                July 13 2020
                July 13 2020
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Tower Building, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT, UK
                Article
                10.1093/bjsw/bcaa053
                © 2020

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