The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore American parents’ proximal and distal motivations for choosing domestic and international adoption from the distinctive viewpoint of adoptive parents own words and perspectives using the lenses of culture and social exchange theory. The findings from this study revealed three primary factors that were found to influence adoptive parents’ motivations to choose domestic or international adoption: (1) unique cultural influences on domestic and international adoptive parents’ adoption motivations; (2) shared similarities and discrepant differences between adoptive parents’ motivations who adopted domestically or internationally; and, (3) perceived intrinsic and extrinsic costs and rewards that influenced parents’ adoption motivations. A conceptual decision-making model is introduced to illustrate the complicated calculus behind American parents’ motivations to choose either domestic or international adoption. Suggestions for adoption regulation, adoption process, and recruitment efforts for both domestic and international adoptions are discussed.

How to Cite
ZHANG, VICTOR W. HARRIS, DAVID DIEHL, SHANI M. KING, ALISON SCHMEER, KYRA SPEEGLE, Yu. Life-Changing Decisions: Exploring Proximal and Distal Motivations Behind Why American Parents Adopt Domestically or Internationally. Global Journal of Human-Social Science Research, [S.l.], nov. 2018. ISSN 2249-460X. Available at: <https://socialscienceresearch.org/index.php/GJHSS/article/view/2670>. Date accessed: 26 aug. 2019.