This study examines international adoptees and factors associated with searching for birth parents. A total of 1,417 international adoptees in The Netherlands, aged 24 to 30 years, were divided into 4 groups: uninterested nonsearchers, interested nonsearchers, searchers, and reunited searchers. In total, 32% of adoptees had searched. Although the majority of searchers were well-adjusted, they had more problems-mainly internalizing problems-than uninterested nonsearchers. These problems, however, were not caused by the search itself. It is concluded that searching is the product of natural curiosity influenced by external factors such as the divorce of adoptive parents and the options for searching.

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Journal of Family Psychology
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Tieman, W, van der Ende, J, & Verhulst, F.C. (2008). Young Adult International Adoptees' Search for Birth Parents. Journal of Family Psychology, 22(5), 678–687. doi:10.1037/a0013172