Intercountry adopted adults with adoption discontinuity histories
There are many euphemisms for adoption including “permanency” and “forever families.” However, we know that not all adoptive families are permanent or stable after an adoption finalization occurs. While research on adoptive parents who have chosen to temporarily or permanently place their adopted child out of the family home is growing, the experience of adoption discontinuity from the adoptee’s perspective is missing.
The perspectives of adult intercountry adoptees (n=15) who experienced adoption discontinuity (including, but not limited to, foster care, adoption dissolution, kicked out of the adoptive home, or cared informally by relatives or community members) were explored through qualitative interviews.
Findings point to a lack of adoptive parent preparation by intercountry adoption agencies, the need for stronger supports for intercountry adoptees who are struggling, and the impact displacement has had on these adoptees in adulthood. Themes related to family and systems dynamics that contributed to the adoption discontinuity and the role of community and social work profession in addressing this issue will be presented.