Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Letting Her Go: Western Adoptive Families Search and Reunion with Chinese Birth Parents


Sociology Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Social and Behavioral Sciences


An extensive sociological literature on families and adoption has focused on the growing numbers of adopted individuals who have searched for and reunited with their birth parents. Although myriad studies have examined this process of search and reunion for domestically adopted adults in western countries, this study is the first to investigate this new trend amongst adoptees (who are mostly under the age of 18) from mainland China. The present study draws on in-depth interviews with seven sets of western adoptive parents and their Chinese adopted children who located and reunited with Chinese birth parents. This research addresses the following themes: the decision to search; the actual experience of reunion; and the complexities of developing relationships between adoptive families and birth families after reuniting.

Conference Name

Eastern Sociological Association Annual Meeting

Conference Location

Boston, MA

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