Using in-depth qualitative interviews with 82 respondents, we examine the nature of beliefs and values about biological (birth) and adoptive parents. With a Canada-wide random sample of 706 respondents, we examine their prevalence in the larger population. We also consider how aspects of biological kinship, gender and actual parenting behaviour affect assessments respondents make of the emotional bonding that occurs between parents and children. Different “natures” are ascribed to women and men whether biological or adoptive parents-motherhood is instinctive and fatherhood is learned. We consider the implications of the social context and these gendered constructs of motherhood and fatherhood for family practitioners working in adoption.

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Adoption Quarterly
Pauline Jewett Institute of Women's and Gender Studies

Miall, C.E. (Charlene E.), & March, K.R. (2003). A Comparison of Biological and Adoptive Mothers and Fathers: The Relevance of Biological Kinship and Gendered Constructs of Parenthood. Adoption Quarterly, 6(4), 7–39. doi:10.1300/J145v06n04_02