It has been reported that adult adoptees with histories of maltreatment face particular challenges when they become parents. Here we explore this issue using a qualitative analysis of the views of fourteen adoptee mothers, who suffered severe institutional deprivation in the Romanian orphanages of the late 1980s before being adopted into the UK, and their adoptive parents. Following a thematic analysis, we report several perceived benefits of becoming a parent, as well as co-occurring difficulties and challenges. Benefits included a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment, feeling more motivated personally and professionally and the positive experience of having a relationship with a biological relative. Challenges related, in particular, to some adoptee parents’ abilities to appraise risk relating to their children and to difficulties in organising day-to-day activities. Practical and emotional support from adoptive grandparents was very often crucial for adoptee parents’ success and wellbeing. Implications for research and practice are discussed, emphasising that deprivation related difficulties expand into adulthood and for some can impact their ability to parent.
|Journal||Adoption and Fostering|
|Publication status||Published - 2023|