Degree Date



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work and Social Research


Taking a constructivist approach, this study employs content and narrative analysis methods to study the politics of Romanian International Adoption policy. The study focuses on the crisis period of 2001-2004 which ended with a ban on Romanian International Adoption. Policy discourse is examined in the sending country (Romania)and the major receiving country (the U.S.), and in two institutional settings--governmental bodies and the press. I find that press reporting consistently reproduced interpretations endorsed by political elites, with the two interpretative frames of “child selling” and “child saving” assuming dominance in Romania and the U.S. respectively. Each framing metaphor reinforced politically biased ways of looking at International Adoption reflective of established interests in the respective countries; however, together they reinforced a shared discourse. Policy discourse served to mystify the underlying causes of the crisis of Romanian International Adoption and perpetuate denial about structural inequalities involving class, race, ethnicity, and nationality.


For those outside the Bryn Mawr community who want access to this dissertation, check Proquest Digital Dissertations, order through your library's ILL department, or see if the dissertation is available for purchase through Proquest.