Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

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


Social Work

First Advisor

K. Abel Knochel


Social Work


The purpose of this research was to explore how a history of infertility and reproductive loss impacts an individual’s experience of the adoption home study process. Many individuals use adoption to expand their family after losing the ability to have a child biologically. This study examined the prevalence of grief in individuals with infertility and reproductive loss as well as how that grief is currently addressed by social work professionals in the adoption home study assessment. Participants were gathered through social media groups online as well as various adoption support organizations. Participants were asked to fill out a confidential survey with both qualitative and quantitative aspects. Findings show that the experiences of these individuals are diverse, and while some felt that their adoption social worker professionally addressed their grief in the home study, others felt that their social worker was not empathetic and provided too little resources for their needs in preparation for parenting a child through adoption. Equally diverse were the respondents’ experiences with grief and loss related to their infertility. While some felt that the loss of a biological child was profound, ambiguous and sad, others stated they felt little grief due to their interest in and commitment to building their family through adoption. It is important for the profession of social work to understand the losses related to infertility in order to properly assess families and prepare them for the task of parenting a child through adoption

Included in

Social Work Commons