dr abbie goldberg adoption research

Abbie Goldberg, PhD: What New Research Reveals about Adoptive Families

I was surprised at how much positive shift there was in families’ approaches and beliefs about open adoption. That gave me hope that adoptive parents can change and adapt. They come to see the birth family as human beings, and they’ve developed empathy for people who they may have been fearful of.

They might have initially approached theoretical birth parents with suspicion or fear.
But they open up and grow.

Abbie Goldberg, PhD,
Professor of Psychology and
Director of Women’s and Gender Studies
at Clark University, —

Abbie Goldberg, PhD, on How Adoptive Families Evolve Over Time

In this new podcast episode of Adoption: The Long View, Abbie Goldberg, PhD, tells us

  • how families tend to change over time regarding openness;
  • how their level of openness/closedness impacts their children;
  • the role of adoption agencies in setting expectations on both sides;
  • and other wisdom gleaned from 15 years of following adoptive families.
Quote from Dr Abbie Goldberg on how adoptive & birth families need to receive the same messages from their adoption professionals.

Dr Abbie E. Goldberg is a Professor of Psychology and Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She received her BA in psychology from Wesleyan University, an MA in psychology and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. For 15 years and counting, Dr. Goldberg has been conducting a longitudinal study of adoptive families headed by females, males, and heterosexual couples.

Episode 9: Dr Abbie Goldberg’s Research into Common Issues Faced by Adoptive Families

In this episode, Dr Abbie Goldberg and I cover:

Abbie Goldberg, PhD, on boys being curious about birth fathers.
  • What’s involved when people transition from adopting to adoptive parenting?
  • The two ways her study defines “open adoption.”
  • The fear that talking too much about adoption makes the child feel different.
  • On handling a child’s melt down after a difficult visit with birth parents.
  • The huge side benefit of being able to talk about adoption with ease.
  • The real reason your child may not be bringing up adoption.
  • Rare research about birth fathers!
  • Peril: when adoptive parents and expectant parents work with agencies that have vastly different approaches, counseling, and training.
  • Lastly, Dr Abbie’s best piece of advice (asked of all guests).

Prefer to read? Here’s a transcript.

Shareable images above and below courtesy Clemencia Deleon.

Abbie Goldberg, PhD, on the two types of openness in adoption.
Abbie Goldberg, PhD, on implicit and explicit messages adoptees receive from their parents.
Dr Abbie Goldberg on how adoptive parents make the transition into adoptive parenting.

Show Notes from Dr Abbie Goldberg’s Episode on Open Adoption Research

How to Tune In for More of Adoption: The Long View

Expect two episodes a month when you subscribe. My partners at Adopting.com release a new episode on the 1st and the 15th of each month, each less than an hour long.

Not too much, not too little. Just right.

guide to living in open adoption

Lori Holden, mom of a teen son and a teen daughter, writes from Denver. Her book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, is available through your favorite online bookseller and makes a thoughtful anytime gift for the adoptive families in your life. Catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

Lori was honored as an Angel in Adoption® in 2018 by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

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