Despite the presumed rejection by their birth parents, many adopted children start to search for their biological parents, typically during adolescence. Motivating goals include the wish to meet the parent(s) and additional family members; to learn about their lives; to replace the birth parents' presumed rejection with an acceptable scenario; and to gain genetic information and clarify identity issues. Outcomes can be positive, but adoptees can also uncover parents who are in negative life circumstances or unwilling to enter a personal relationship for fear of destabilizing their present social balance.
Understanding parents assist their adopted children in finding their birth parents. Search interests vary: out of a group of transracially adopted children, all of the Black children, but only some of the Asian and Caucasian ones, initiated a search.
Searches can be hampered by laws governing the disclosure of information on birth parents, some of which are intended to protect not only adoptees but also the privacy of the biological parents.
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