Current Content
Volume 36 - Number 5
September/October 2010

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.