Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Communication Quarterly 59:2 (April–June 2011), pp. 179–199.

doi: 10.1080/01463373.2011.563440


Copyright © 2011 Eastern Communication Association; published by Routledge/Taylor and Francis. Used by permission.


Adoptees are partially or entirely disconnected from those involved in their birth stories, so adoptive families create adoption entrance narratives to fill that void. Scholars assert that these narratives impact adopted child well-being later in life, but that assumption has yet to be empirically tested. The goal of this study was to examine themes emerging from adoption entrance narratives (n = 105), and to then determine the impact of story content on adoptees’ self-concept. Seven themes emerged: openness, deception, chosen child, fate, difference, rescue, and reconnection. Results indicate the salience of the chosen child, negative reconnection, and difference themes significantly predicted differences in adoptees’ self-concept.