Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Advisor

McAllister, Carolyn

Second Advisor

McCaslin, Rosemary


This qualitative study explores the experiences of families who choose to internationally adopt a child with Down syndrome. This study was conducted in order to address the current scarcity of research on this population and their specific needs and strengths in order to equip social work practitioners to more effectively work with these families. Mothers were interviewed about their family's adoption process, the service they utilized, and the process of integrating the newly adopted child into the existing family unit. A sample of nine families who had completed an international adoption of a child with Down syndrome were gathered. These families were selected from a pool of families who participate in an online forum through Reece's Rainbow, an organization that seeks to raise awareness of children with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities waiting for adoption in foreign orphanages.