Date of Publication
Athena Kolbe, PhD, Assistant Professor, Social Work
Approximately 19,000 international adoptions by American families take place each year. This means that there are about 19,000 new children and their families in need of services to help them adjust to a new life every year. This study was interested in understanding the attachment issues experienced by families after an international adoption and to explore how social work and other interventions or services could improve attachment. Participants were asked to complete an online survey which contained questions about their adoptive child’s behavior and the type of services the family had or wished they had received while they were in the process of adopting or after the adoption was completed. The question that the participants were asked about their children’s behavior. Through the questioning of the family functioning, and child functioning it was found that most families that participated in the survey were high functioning families, while most of the children (49) were in need of mental health services. It was found that the services the families most wished they had received was therapy for themselves as a family, and for their adopted child. There is still a lot to look at, like how to get families services that are effective, and how to ensure that internationally adopted children are able to form secure bonds.
Whalen, Shelby, "Parent-Child Attachment after International Adoption" (2017). Senior Honors Theses. 184.