|International Adoption Families:
A Unique Health Care Journey
Eileen M. Smit
The purpose of this study was to identify and describe the health care experiences
of families with an internationally adopted child. Content analysis of data
from 107 adoptive parents was used to identify themes that characterized health
care experiences of the families. Four themes were identified: a) Coming home:
Like a lobster thrown into a boiling pot; b) Vigilance: Is my child healthy today?
Will my child be healthy tomorrow?; c) Unique health care needs of international
adoption families: We are different; and d) Importance of support by health care
providers: Do they know or care? Health care providers need to be aware of the
unique experiences of the increasing number of international adoption families.
The themes identified provide insight into the health care experiences of international
adoption families and the crucial role of health care providers in helping
international adoption families feel supported on their journey.