Date of Conferral





Human Services


Lillian Chenoweth


Research on involuntary childlessness and adoption among heterosexuals is primarily focused on women's needs and perceptions. Consequently, little is known about how men view childlessness and adoption, and less is known about Black men's perceptions. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore Black heterosexual men's experiences of considering adoption when involved in an involuntarily childless relationship. Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory served as a foundation for this study. Data were derived from semi structured interviews with 7 participants and 3 adoption professionals. Transcribed and coded data were analyzed using MAXQDA 2018, a qualitative data analysis software. Initial codes were drawn deductively, by use of recurrent codes in published literature, and inductively, from an initial reading of the data. Themes were identified among codes, then placed within one of three broad categories: adoption perceptions, childlessness and adoption consideration experiences, and adoption consideration influences. The study results showed that couple difficulty in resolving adoption differences; gender nuances in the adoption decision-making journey; overwhelming social pressure to father children; limited social support; and silence, inaction, or procrastination surrounding adoption were common features of most male experiences. This study has implications for positive social change, as the findings can inform adoption recruiters' outreach program content and methodology. Family counselors will derive insight into multiple issues surrounding involuntarily childless Black couples to provide them with effective conflict resolution intervention.