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The purpose of this study was to explore individuals’ transition to adoptive parenthood through an occupational therapy lens. More specifically, this study aimed to investigate how individuals’ performance patterns and daily occupations change through this transition. Ultimately, the purpose of this study was to gain insight into this population’s lived experience to inform occupational therapy services in order to meet the specific needs of the adoptive parent population.

A mix-method study was created using both surveys and semi-structured interviews. The survey contained both open and closed ended questions, as well as Likert Scale questions. There were forty survey participants and six interview participants recruited. Data was analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s thematic analysis method (2006), yielding three overarching themes.

The three themes include: (1) Centered on Child, (2) Increased Realistic Information and Education, and (3) Advocate for Child. Other data collected included information about participants’ background and adoption process, participants’ preparation for parenthood, and the challenges associated with the arrival of a child in the home.

This capstone project attempted to investigate adoptive parents’ lived experiences so that the profession of occupational therapy can meet the needs of this population. This project contributes to the limited available research on this population and further progresses this emerging practice area.

Publication Date

Summer 8-12-2021


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


Occupational Therapy, Parents, Adoption, Surveys and Questionnaires, Transition

Medical Subject Headings

Occupational Therapy, Parents, Adoption, Surveys and Questionnaires, Needs Assessment


Clinical and Medical Social Work | Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling | Occupational Therapy | Other Mental and Social Health


Poster presented at the Summer 2021 Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences held online on August 12, 2021.

An Exploratory Study of Individuals’ Transition to Adoptive Parenthood