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Keywords:

  • adoption;
  • child-parent relationships;
  • cultural and ethnic minority family issues;
  • narrative;
  • qualitative studies in the areas of families

The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the ways in which family formation processes were presented in international children's adoption books. Guided by Pinderhughes' (1996) adoptive family development model, we conducted a content analysis for the representation of two developmental phases (anticipation and accommodation). A total of 24 publicly accessible books (e.g., via libraries, websites, or bookstores) were coded independently by two researchers. The results indicated that adoptive developmental tasks were represented in the books. The books were transparent in the description of positively and negatively valenced events (e.g., adoptive children are withdrawn from new parents). Implications for practice and service provision and research are offered.