Abstract: (see Poster Gallery) The Exploration of Barriers and Facilitators for Black Families Seeking to Privately Adopt Black Infants (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

295P (see Poster Gallery) The Exploration of Barriers and Facilitators for Black Families Seeking to Privately Adopt Black Infants

Friday, January 13, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Eric Harlin, Doctoral candidate, Doctoral candidate, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
While adoption has been present in the U.S. for centuries, research on this topic has focused primarily on the adoption of foster youth. Private adoption has minimal governmental oversight, and there is a lack of empirical research on the practices of adoption professionals. Within both private and public adoption, there is a constant debate about what is in the best interest of Black children. It is well known that White families engage in private adoption more than any other racial or ethnic group, including the adoption of Black children. While the transracial adoption of Black children by White families continues to be promoted, there is a gap in the literature that investigates if and how the private adoption industry engages the Black community and how it responds to the need for Black adoptive homes.

The primary aim of this phenomenological qualitative study was to explore the barriers and facilitators for Black families seeking to privately adopt Black infants. Twenty-three in-depth interviews were conducted with Black families seeking to or have adopted a Black infant. A thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. The preliminary results found barriers to include (1) lack of information; (2) cost associated with adoption; (3) unethical adoption practices; (4) the home study process, (5) cultural incompetence; (5) transracial adoption decreasing the potential for placement; and (7) negative stigma within the Black community. In contrast, the facilitators include (1) reduced wait time for placement of a child; (2) reduced fees for Black children compared to other races and ethnicity; (3) culturally competent professionals; and (4) feeling that one is fulfilling a need within the Black community.

The findings from this study offer valuable insight into the elusive practices of the private adoption industry and the experiences of Black adoptive families. The findings can inform best practices for adoption professionals when recruiting Black families for Black children.