The Lived Experience of Being an Adoptee

  • Michael Galea University of Malta, Malta
  • Cristina Sant Cassar University of Malta, Malta
Keywords: adoption, adoptee, lived experience, interpretative phenomenology analysis, qualitative research


Adoption can initiate many sentiments. Notable differences between adopted and nonadopted children are clearly indicated in research. Because limited research looks at the gradual development of the adoptee, this research looked at the lived experiences of Maltese adoptees and their coping mechanisms.

Following Smith and Osborn (2015) guide on interpretative phenomenological approach, six participants shared their experiences in semi-structured interviews conducted remotely.

Four superordinate themes and ten subordinate themes emerged from the data analysis.

Findings showed unique ways by adoptees to accept the often challenging reality of the adoption process. Resilience was clearly what led adoptees moving on with life. Society and related bodies are therefore called to avail professional services to assist adoptees in their coping of a painful past.


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The identified superordinate themes and emergent themes