Grandparent Support for Families with Non-Biological Adopted Children
Sayre, Jennifer Ann
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Adoption is an important family structure in The United States. In 2013, more than 1.7 million children were adopted including domestic, International, and foster care adoptions in the U.S. I examine the perceived and received support from grandparents to adoptive families and the impact it has on the families' lives. Qualitative methods in the form of semi-structured open-ended interviews were used to conduct 28 interviews with adoptive parents. My findings reveal that maternal grandmothers were more likely to be supportive and involved in adoptive families compared to other grandparents. Secondly, perceived support was directly mentioned or implied by every adoptive family. Third, single mothers expressed more desire for and instances of grandparent support. Fourth, the majority of grandparents who were initially hesitant or reluctant about adoption were later supportive and accepting of the adopted child(ren). Fifth, most adoptive families received and perceived support. However, some families who did not receive or perceive much support were able to find alternative support systems. Finally, verbal and emotional supports were the most reported forms of support from grandparents to adoptive families. Almost all adoptive families reported some level of emotional and/or verbal support from one or more grandparent. Future research can more thoroughly examine family outcomes from grandparent support. Looking at the other support systems adoptive families use is an additional area of future research.
- Doctoral Dissertations