Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

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


Social Work

First Advisor

Catherine Marrs Fuchsel


Social Work


The research project is a qualitative study that explored parents’ experience of international adoption of children who had emotional, behavioral, and/or attachment challenges, as well as parents’ corresponding emotions with such experiences. The data was analyzed using content analysis, or grounded theory, approach as described by Berg (2009). The conceptual framework used to construct and interpret meaning of participants interviews included both ecosystems and psychodynamic theories. Two semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants from different mid-west cities who had adopted children internationally and identified their children as having emotional, behavioral, and/or attachment challenges. The following themes were found: a) primary care arrangement before adoption, b) children’s challenges identified by parents, c) parents’ emotional experiences, d) differences in siblings’ experiences, and e) support/resources, f) issues with the adoption process, g) becoming a family, h) adoption expectations and i) similarities and differences compared to biological families. The findings from this research have implication for professionals in the adoption field, as well as clinicians.

Included in

Social Work Commons