Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Coming Home: Family Routines and Sense of Belonging in Older Child Adoption
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Available after 5 July, 2019

This ethnographic research project describes experiences of three families who have adopted children with disabilities, age 4 through 13, through United States foster care. In particular, this project explored the relationships between everyday family occupations and family identity and community participation. Study methods included collaborative ethnography and photo-elicitation, using narrative analysis to capture the meaning of occupation through family stories and photographs. Findings illuminate parent and child perspectives on adoption, family practices, and the supports and barriers that are important to successful engagement in family occupations in the context of older child, special needs adoption. Findings also underscore the importance of adequate, comprehensive pre-adoption preparation, and consistent post-adoption caseworker and community support.