The present study was designed to examine the experiences and constructed meanings of adoptive single mothers. In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 women who were in their 40s when they decided to adopt a child. The analysis of their narratives reveals a fundamental duality with respect to two phenomenological arenas: the personal and private versus the interpersonal and social. When perceived from a personal perspective, the experience is dominated by empowerment, free choice and autonomy, whereas when viewed reflectively from an interpersonal viewpoint, the experience is perceived as inherently deficient and even deviant. The importance of these findings is examined by means of a narrative analysis, in which we stressed the complex dialectics between these women and their social environment concerning the status of single parenthood and the construction of autonomy concepts in their lives.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: May 29, 2007
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