Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

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


Social Work

First Advisor

Colin Hollidge


Social Work


The United States ranks number one as the principal country that receives the most international adoptees (Bergquist, 2009). The agencies that organize the adoptions are the primary source of information for the prospective parents. Many internationally adopted children who are institutionalized experience abuse, neglect, malnutrition and poor medical care prior to adoption, which can lead to problematic transitions to new families (Mathias, Petrill, Viana & Welsh, 2007). These research questions examined the emotional challenges of parents regarding attachment to their internationally adopted child. Using a qualitative design, eight participants who are parents of internationally adopted children were interviewed by audiotape. The method used was grounded theory and content analysis. The research and the data suggest that the quality of care that an internationally adopted child received before being adopted has a major effect on the development that will take place later in his life. Social work interventions need to address the principles of social justice for the poor and vulnerable women and children who are affected by international adoptions and the institutions they are adopted from.

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