Throughout preceding chapters we have considered direct post-adoption contact from the perspectives of adoptive parents in sixty-one sample families, fifty-nine of their ninety-six children who were able and willing to express their views and forty-two birth relatives who were prepared to talk to us. We have tried to convey the complexity of contact arrangements at the point of agreement between the parties to adoption and as they have changed over time. Additionally, we have attempted to capture and express the nuanced feelings of adopters, children and birth relatives in relation to their experience of adoption and contact. Our study was not designed to evaluate the effects of different contact arrangements according to independent outcome measures for adoptive parents, birth relatives and, most importantly, children. It does not, therefore, meet the requirements of Quinton et al. (1997) for longitudinal research that might identify the relationship between specific conditions, varying contact arrangements and particular outcomes for children and adults. However, our respondents’ accounts show how relatively simple descriptions of outcome, like comfort and satisfaction with contact, incorporate qualitative and interactive features that influence how far and in what ways participants experience contact as beneficial. For example, we might conclude that personal and parental discomfort with contact indicate negative outcomes for adoptive parents. But, as we explained in Chapter 6, these experiential measures are not related in a straightforward way and are moderated by adopters’ attitudes about their children’s needs, present and future happiness and the value of longterm benefits over short-term difficulties. We might similarly reach a negative evaluation of contact in the relatively infrequent cases where children and birth relatives expressed discomfort and/or dissatisfaction. However, this conclusion would neglect the way in which other emotional needs supersede feelings of discomfort and motivate children and adults to want contact even if it is experienced as painful and difficult. In our study we have used respondents’ accounts, rather than independent outcome measures, to identify how far they experienced contact as beneficial and to explore those features of contact arrangements that influenced their perceptions.