UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

A circle of life : transition from infertility to adoptive parenthood Reimer, Judi


The purpose of this study was to examine the experience of a couple entering parenthood through adoption, following infertility. An account of this lived experience and its personal meaning has been lacking in the writings and studies to date. This study has attempted to begin to fill the gap in the literature by using a phenomenological method of research. Interviews were conducted with six adult co-researchers; three husband and wife couples. Each of the co-researchers had experienced infertility and the transition to parenthood through adoption, and were able to speak about it with the researcher. The transcribed data were analyzed using Colaizzi's (1978) and Cochran and Claspell's (1987) format. Twenty themes were extracted from the three protocols and fell into a natural division of three major sections; before, during, and after the adoption. Themes such as trauma, crisis, and grief were reported during the experience of infertility, recurring themes of loss of control and humiliation, as well as relief and gratitude were experienced during the adoption, and themes of excitement, adjustment and personal growth were reported after the adoption, in the transition to parenthood. The themes were woven into a common narrative and were returned to the co-researchers for validation. The infertility and adoption experiences of the couples in this study were found to be highly meaningful to the co-researchers and reportedly had a profound impact on their lives. Implications for counselling and for further research were included in the discussion.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.