An Exploratory Study of Experiences of Adoptive Parents

Author: Afifa Tayyab

Supervisor: Dr. Naumana Amjad

Degree: M.phil

Year: 2010-2012

University: Institute of Applied Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


The purpose of this research was to explore the perceptions of general population in relation to adoption. The study aimed to investigate and understand the experiences and problems of adoptive parents about their adopted children and the challenges they face to bring up adopted children. Two studies were conducted using qualitative method. In study I, a focus group was conducted to discern the views of general population about adoption and issues they perceive related to adopted families. Eight participants from University of the Punjab, Lahore (M = 3, F = 5) were included in this focus group. In study II, semi structured interviews were conducted from twelve parents who had adopted children in their family. Snowball sampling was used to select the sample. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to interpret the results. Themes that emerged were categorized in main themes and sub-ordinate themes. Main themes of study I included emotional and behavioral effects, relational and adjustment problems, parenting style and social and economic effects on children. Effects on parents included grief due to infertility, feeling of insecurity, differential treatment by others and depression. These were the problems perceived by general population who participated in focus group. In this study themes found from narrations of interviews from study II were feeling of insecurity, depression, issues of paternal name, adjustment problems, over protection of children, shyness and introversion of children. It was concluded that  in Pakistani context adoption may have adverse effects the personality of adoptee due to discriminatory treatment by other members of society adoptive parents have to face different challenges in bringing up adopted children.

Keywords: Adoptive Parents, Relational Problems, Adjustment Problems, Parenting Style, Adoption.

Visit University to get the full thesis.

Corresponding Address: Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Email:, Phone: 92-42-9231245

Leave a Reply