Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

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


Social Work

First Advisor

Renee Hepperlen


Social Work


Adoption often focuses on the adoptive parents and the child. Birth parents are frequently forgotten about even though the adoption process would not be possible without them. This study looks at the birth parents’ experiences and the emotions they often endure. A textual analysis research design was used to gain insight into the birth parents’ journey though the adoption process, using blogs written by birth mothers and birth fathers. Four blogs were studied with two written by birth mothers and two authored by birth fathers. Qualitative analysis was applied through grounded theory which utilizes coding to deciphering themes. This study brought to light the themes of a) identity, b) relationships with the subthemes of intimacy and support, c) “It’s a hard line to tow” that includes, guilt/shame and stigma, d) “Utter devastation” which incorporates grief and loss, and e) alienation that consists of rejection, loss of control, and being misunderstood. The findings support the previous literature and have implications for future social work practice.

Included in

Social Work Commons