Making sense of the findings

Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 5:45 pm ar 21 Tachwedd 2001.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

More searchers than non-searchers describe relationships with their adoptive family and their overall experience of being adopted with mixed or, or in a few cases negative feelings. This suggests that feeling ambivalent or negative about one's adoption might be one factor that motivates some people to search.

However, as 53 per cent. of searchers evaluated their adoption as a positive experience, negative feelings clearly cannot be the only factor.

Half of non-searchers said they had no curiosity about their origins or background, and consequently they did not feel a need to search for their birth relative. The other half of non-searchers did express some interest and curiosity but they worried that searching might seriously upset either their adoptive parents or themselves.

The decision to search turns out to be a complex interaction between a number of factors. A distinction can be made between those who search on the basis of dissatisfaction with their adoption experience, who appear to be looking for both a fuller sense of self and a relationship; and those who describe their adoption experience as very positive, whose interest in searching appears mainly to do with issues of self and identity and not the need to develop an alternative filial relationship with a birth parent.

Adopted people who search are looking for answers to questions about identity: (Who am I? Who do I look like? Who do I take after?); and self-worth: (Why was I given up? Was I rejected? Where do I belong?). They seek a sense of connectedness.

Contact and reunion experiences—whether achieved actively in the case of searchers, or passively in the case of non-searchers—proved extremely good at helping people answer questions of identity and self-worth. However, they did not necessarily imply the desire for a second or alternative set of family relationships.