Adopting again: A qualitative study of the second transition to parenthood in adoptive families
The transition to second-time parenthood—i.e., becoming a parent to a second child—is a time of adjustment and change for the whole family. While research has demonstrated that family transitions can be uniquely challenging in the adoptive context, no known research has studied the transition to second parenthood in adoptive families. The current qualitative study explores the transition to second parenthood for heterosexual, lesbian, and gay adoptive parents. Participants were 60 individuals in 30 couples (i.e., 9 heterosexual couples, 10 lesbian couples, and 11 gay male couples) who had adopted their first child two to five years earlier and were in various stages of adopting a second child. Findings centered on parents’ process of considering, preparing for, and then adopting a second child—with parents emphasizing the ways that the second adoption process was different from the first. Specifically, parents described more restrictions on the characteristics of child they would adopt, greater comfort with “holding out” for a child who fit their family, and feeling less stressed by the adoption process. Parents also explained how the unpredictable nature of adoption presented challenges to introducing a second child to the family. Implications for adoptive families and adoption professionals are discussed.
Frost, Reihonna L. and Goldberg, Abbie E., "Adopting again: A qualitative study of the second transition to parenthood in adoptive families" (2020). Psychology. 308.