For the past 60 years, American citizens have turned to international adoption as a way to build their families. Unfortunately, international adoptees often spend the first months or years of their young lives in conditions of poverty and/or institutionalized care. Additionally, current U.S. immigration laws dictate that the children receive only a cursory health screening before arrival. As a result, many of the children adopted by Americans arrive to the United States with significant physical, emotional, behavioral, and developmental health problems.
Twelve mothers who had adopted children internationally were interviewed for this study. Their stories of obtaining health care for their newly adopted children were shared in descriptive narratives. The themes that emerged from the data analysis were seeing healthy children despite the challenges, struggling to help the children, needing help, missing lost pieces, being different, and wanting more from providers. The overall essence derived from the mothers' experiences was that seeking health care for their newly adopted children was one of hope to achieve wellness for their children and normalcy for their families within the context of loss and a desire for more support. These findings have significant implications for the health care providers who care for them.
|School:||Florida Atlantic University|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-B 72/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Adopted children, Health care seeking, International adoptions|
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