Date of Paper

5-2014

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Catherine L. Marrs Fuchsel

Abstract

This research project is a qualitative study that identified what birthmothers experience emotionally, physically, and psychologically once a domestic adoption has been finalized. Also, the study looked at the reasons why support services for birthmothers are low and how adoption agencies can best support this population. The data was analyzed using content analysis and interpreted through an inductive approach. The conceptual framework used to understand how the participants for the interviews responded was a Biopsychosocial Approach and the Strengths-Based Perspective. Ten interviews were conducted for this study with two different groups: five with birthparent counselors and five with birthmothers. All the participants either worked for or with a private adoption agency in the St.Paul/Minneapolis Metropolitan area. The following themes were found: 1) differences in the birthmother’s adoption journey, 2) importance of a relationship between the birthmother and birthparent counselor, 3) communication patterns between the birthmother and birthparent counselor, 4) emotions and reactions birthmothers deal with post-placement, 5) common support services offered and needed, and 6) the need to change societal views on birthmothers. The findings from this research have implications for those in the adoption triad, with adoption agencies, and social workers in general.

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