Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Eric Harlin



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work


Social Work

Committee Chair

Minhae Cho

Committee Member

Laura C Taylor

Committee Member

Susan E Elswick


Abstract The adoption of Black children by White parents remains a common practice in both public and private adoption throughout the U.S. Laws such as the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 were enacted based on research of the foster care system that indicated it takes twice as long to secure a permanent placement for Black children compared to other children. For over 50 years, the National Association of Black Social Workers has expressed staunch opposition to transracial adoption and held that Black children should be placed only with Black families. Between the opposing views on transracial adoption, there has been a lack of research about the experience of Black families seeking to adopt privately. This phenomenological qualitative study explored the barriers and facilitators that Black families experience when seeking to privately adopt Black infants. Semi-structured, individual interviews with 24 adoptive parents were conducted to obtain qualitative data. The participants’ discussions revealed a number of barriers in the adoption process, including the cost associated with adoption, lack of access to private adoption information, cultural incompetence of adoption facilitators, unethical adoption practices, negative experiences with adoption facilitators, transracial adoption impacting Black adoptive families, and stigma about adoption in the Black community. The participants described facilitators that helped them to successfully navigate the adoption process, including the adoption community's access to adoption information, ethical adoption practices, fulfilling a need in the Black community, and the advantages of adopting Black children. Using an antioppressive practice framework, this study provides a theoretical framework for adoption facilitators to evaluate their adoption practices to improve equality and equity in private adoption.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access