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J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2007 Mar-Apr;36(2):175-82.

Transition and adaptation to adoptive motherhood.

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  • 1Maternal Child Health Department, Boston College, William F. Connell School of Nursing, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA.


This article reviews research on the adaptation and transition to motherhood for women who adopt children, with the goal of identifying implications for clinical practice. Relevant articles focusing on the early transitions to adoptive motherhood were identified by searching electronic databases. Evidence on the preadoptive and early postadoptive periods was evaluated. The concepts identified by researchers and the women's feelings they described are discussed. Overall, the process of adaptation to motherhood was very similar, but adoptive parents reported unique emotions and concerns in the transition to parenthood. By understanding these findings, nurses can help support adoptive mothers' continued success in navigating stressful and uncertain paths to motherhood.

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