Minding the (Information) Gap: What Do Emerging Adult Adoptees Want to Know About Their Birth Parents?

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Adoption Quarterly


The formation of an adoption information gap was examined for a group of 169 emerging adults (M = 25.0 years) who were adopted as infants. Participants completed interviews and questionnaires at adolescence and emerging adulthood (late teens to 20s). The Adoption Curiosity Pathway model guided research questions about formation of an adoption information gap, which exists when there is a difference between what an adopted person knows and what he or she desires to know regarding his or her adoption. In addition, specific issues were identified about which emerging adults were curious. Differences in these specific issues were examined across gender and openness arrangement with birth parents at emerging adulthood. The most frequently sought information was medical and health history. Logistic regression analyses revealed that the formation of an adoption information gap, which contains the specific items of curiosity, was more likely for those who were less satisfied with the amount of openness with birth parents during both adolescence and emerging adulthood. Implications for practice are presented.

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