Date of Conferral





Human Services


Dr. Gregory Hickman


AbstractThis research addressed the psychological experiences that adoption disclosure has on adoptees and their systems. In this phenomenological study eight interviews were conducted that consisted of four females and four males guided by general systems theory. Interviews were conducted via video conference, telephone, and email/telephone. Data saturation was achieved after the fourth interview as no new information had surfaced and similar responses were being echoed repeatedly from the participants. However, the interviews continued because the stories being shared by the participants were invaluable and to ensure the sampling criteria of eight participants was met. The interviews were transcribed, and several iterations of thematic analysis were conducted to construct codes, categories, and themes that would tell the story of the interviewees while simultaneously answering the research question. The findings revealed that adoptees have experienced traumatic psychological impact because of adoption disclosure. Learning the details of the harrowing effects of adoption disclosure from those who have experienced it will contribute to the understanding of those currently researching this phenomenon. This may ultimately enable programs and resources to be developed and implemented prior to adoption, during adoption, and over the lifetime of the adoptee that will help this population and their systems successfully deal with and/or minimize the ills associated with adoption in order to live productive lives.