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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Older-child adoption disruption : adoptive couples’ experience Lytle, Shelagh Anne


The purpose of this study was to conduct an initial exploration of the phenomenon of older child adoption disruption. An account of this lived experience from the perspective of the adoptive couple has been lacking in the literature to date. In an attempt to begin to fill the gap in the literature, a phenomenological research method was utilized. Four couples were recruited from British Columbia for this study. During in-depth audio-taped interviews with each couple, the adoptive parents described their experience of older child adoption disruption. Five common themes were extrapolated from the transcribed data using the four step model of data analysis proposed by Giorgi (1985). The couples in this study reported that their experience of adoption and disruption had a profound long term impact on their lives. The process of adoption disruption appeared to involve the experiences of profound invasiveness, lack of support, erosion of confidence, resignation and loss, and integration and healing. Implications for counselling and for further research were included in the discussion.

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