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The Strategies Used During The Process of Adoption. Shana Grossman Introduction:. 1) Adopting parents 2) Family and friends 3) The agencies and Social Workers 4) The correlation of all three strands. Methods:.

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The Strategies Used During The Process of Adoption

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The Strategies Used During The Process of Adoption

Shana Grossman


1) Adopting parents

2) Family and friends

3) The agencies and Social Workers

4) The correlation of all three strands


  • A preliminary analysis of Wave I data of the Home Work: Parental and Social Worker Perspectives on Adoption Home Studies data set.

Literature Reviews:

  • The Legal Aspects of Parental Rights in Assisted Reproductive Technology

  • Training for Transracial Adoptive Parents by Public and Private Adoption Agencies.

  • Stress in theAdoptionProcess: A Personal Account.

Adopting ParentsHow They Came to Adoption:Negotiation Between Spouses

  • “Adoption has always been part of my family plan, and I remember being shocked when at first my husband said, ‘well I kind of wanted to have biological children’.”

  • “It was important to him to have a family where there was biological children as well as adopted children, and that’s what we came to as a couple.” (Stacy)

Adopting ParentsHow They Came to Adoption:Infertility

  • “How long do you try to have biological children? Does it mean drugs, does it mean insemination? How far do you push the process before you try another one?” (Stacy)

Adopting ParentsHow They Came to Adoption:

  • “We tried having children for roughly about two years. That wasn’t really working, and plus I didn’t like being on the drugs… We just decided that it was God’s plan for us to adopt.” (Stacy, married unable to have biological children)

Adopting ParentsNegotiation Between Spouses:

  • “My husband expressed ‘I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to love an adopted child the same way I would love a biological child’.” (Stacy, married unable to have biological children)

Adopting ParentsInternational vs. Domestic Adoption:

  • “Domestic adoptions are typically, I’m going to put my information together, and put it into this book, then it’s basically selling yourself. I didn’t want to be chosen, I guess I just felt uncomfortable.” (Dan, single gay male)

Adopting ParentsInternational vs. Domestic Adoption:

  • “I have friends that have adopted internationally and I understand why they did, and I think I might have even toyed with the idea for a nanosecond. But, there’s just so much need here in the United States.” (Katy, single gay female)

Adopting ParentsNegotiating Country to Adopt from:

  • “Him thinking we were going to adopt from Russia was crazy, like how can you just assume that. But his issue was, a Russian child often, not always but often have fair skin and would look like us.” (Stacy, married unable to have biological children)

Adopting ParentsNegotiating How to Adopt:

  • “We started out with Ukraine, and then we found out Ukraine was not adopting to the United States”.

  • “So we decided we really didn’t care what the culture was that we would be adopting from. We looked at China, but most of the adoptions are girls which is fine, but we wanted a boy.”

  • “We looked at South America and then we started looking at Colombia. It was a couple weeks or a month into this when we learned Colombia doesn’t adopt into families with more that two children.”

    (Anna, married with 3 biological children)

Adopting ParentsLimited Countries for a single male to Adopt from:

  • “The whole reason I still don’t have my child here, where another person would, is partially because I’m a single man. So they’re going to scrutinize my case more.”(Dan, single gay male)

Adopting ParentsAge Ranges of Child they want to Adopt:

  • “An infant that’s two or three months, really hasn’t had any attachment issues that an older child would have.” (Stacy, married unable to have biological children)

Adopting ParentsAdopting Parents Age:

  • “We went to the adoption agency and we were around thirty nine and a quarter, the cut off was forty at the time. So they said ‘you’re too old’. That was devastating.” (Lisa, married adopted 2 babies from Korea)

Adopting ParentsNegotiations to having an Multicultural Families:

  • “Pretty much every where you went if you’d stopped and noticed people would be looking at you and your children. But I think after a while you don’t notice it any more or you just got used to it.” (Lisa, married adopted 2 babies from Korea)

Adopting ParentsNegotiations to having an Multicultural Families:

  • “You’re child will always know he’s different, you can pretend like ‘oh, if I acclimate him and treat him just like everyone else than he won’t realize that he is actually different’ no, his skin color is different , he’s always going to know that and when he’s at Christmas Eve, he’s going to realize, you know I stand out.”(Dan, single gay male)

Family and FriendsSocial Reproduction:

  • “I didn’t think I wanted to have children and a lot of it had to do with my mother is mentally ill and she’s had several break downs and I just had the impression growing up that her job as being a mother was horrible.”(Lisa, married adopted 2 babies from Korea)

  • “My husband always grew up feeling sorry for people if you could tell they were a multicultural family.”(Stacy, married unable to have biological children)

Family and FriendsAdopting Parents influenced by their own siblings:

  • “Just recently my brother and sister have had kids and they’re all under nine. I initially thought about adopting a kid that would be about the same age as my brother and sisters kids.” (Katy, single gay female)

  • “I have two sisters, one’s daughter is 13 days older than my adopted son. Both of my sisters had children last July, so all of them are going to be very close in age.” (Dan, single gay male)

Family and FriendsSupport:

  • “Tons and tons of support, absolutely from the family side, friends as well, work friends threw me a shower, church friends threw me a shower and family friends threw me a shower. A hundred percent support from absolutely everyone.” (Dan, single gay male)

Lack of Support:

  • “The only person who had problems with us adopting was my mother. In hindsight I feel I probably didn’t prepare her enough either, she’s the kind of person I should have gently mentioned things to and kind of taking her down the path.”(Lisa, married adopted 2 babies from Korea)

  • “One person at work who had kind of an issue with a single person adopting, well having a child as a single parent. I don’t remember exactly what he said but it was just ‘oh your happy about that’ or something to that affect.”(Dan, single gay male)

Family and FriendsPreparing Biological Children for an Adopted Sibling:

  • “Basically, I tell them how it is. From the beginning we wanted them to be apart of it, we’re even planning on taking them with us to the Country we adopt from.”

  • “Every night we say our prayers and we always ask God to keep our new brothers safe and healthy till we can pick them up.”

    (Anna, married with 3 biological children)

The Agency and Social WorkerChoosing an Agency:

  • “We just chose this adoption agency simply because it matched our religion. We didn’t really know what differences there were between agencies or what to look for.” (Anna, married with 3 biological children)

  • “They’re one of the oldest adoption center’s in the country, they’re really reputable and when working with developing countries I think that’s important at least for us personally to feel like these are people that are working with firmly establish credited agencies.” (Stacy, married unable to have biological children)

The Social Worker

  • “The point we were given our social worker, was the point the adoption process became difficult.” (Anna, married with 3 biological children

  • “A social worker is assigned, and it’s just a horribly bad matching situation. She made some pretty insensitive comments, it was clear she was incredibly homophobic.”(Katy, single gay female adopting)

The Social Worker

  • “There’s this nice person that I would feel comfortable calling if I have a question.” (Stacy, married unable to have biological children)

Required Classes Through the Agency:

  • “We have trouble finding time to go to these classes, because they only offer the class once every month, so our social worker gave us an alternative of taking an internet class, which I wish she had done right away because we could’ve been further along, and she won’t finish our home study until the class is completed.” (Anna, married with 3 biological children)

Questionnaire/ Application

  • “At the end of the classes you get all this paper work no one ever warned you about.” (Katy, single gay female)

  • “ The application includes some financial information, little bit of health, do I have insurance and will the adopted child be covered by it, employment, education, marriage, the background stuff, and then my statement, my decision to adopt, my attitudes towards adoption and a few other things.” (Dan, single gay male)

Questionnaire/ Application

  • What was really frustrating to us, is that in this application which was very detailed, everything you could possible think to ask people. These were the same questions almost verbatim to the ones our social worker asked when we did the actual home study.”(Anna, married with 3 biological children)

Prior to Home Study

  • “It’s not without a lot of anxiety because you don’t really understand exactly what the home study is. Not knowing what to expect I looked on the internet and read what are the things that social workers look for in a home study. So of course it was sort of like we’ll prepare for the worst.” (Stacy, married unable to have biological children)

The Home Study:

  • “What’s really important to me is that the Social worker does a thorough job, because this little stack of papers is going to represent me.”(Katy, single gay female)

The Home Study:

  • “ Within a month of the actual Home study our Social worker was supposed to type up and finalize the study, then send it back to us to review. When she sent it back to us, it was completely full of errors.” (Anna, married with 3 biological children)

The Process:

  • “Being that I’m in the process, I absolutely hate the process, I think that it’s just ridiculous the hoops you go through, and more importantly the lack of a time line.”(Dan, single gay male)

Connections Impacting The Adoption Process:


  • Suggestions for future research:

    • Matching tool for Social worker and adopting parents

    • Developing a standard Home Study

    • A time line better indicating the length of the process

      Shana Grossman

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