Uncovering the challenges and needs of Chinese adoptive parents in Hong Kong

Kit Wa Anita CHAN, Shuhan Tevin FANG, Kan Diana KWOK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Adoptive parenting is a lifelong process. Adoptive parents face unique challenges at different stages of parenting, which require proper recognition, specialised support and sustained services. However, social stigma against infertility and adoption in Asian societies, including Hong Kong, has rendered the lived experiences of adoptive parents almost invisible. To address this knowledge gap, the current qualitative study drew on in-depth interviews with 23 Chinese parents from 14 families (including nine couples, three wives, one single mother and one divorced mother) with school-age adoptees aged 6–17. Adopting a biographical approach, we collected their experiences from their adoption decision to their current stage of parenting. Their narratives revealed that Chinese adoptive parents in Hong Kong, despite their resourcefulness and commitment, encounter challenges throughout the adoption process, including family misunderstandings, lack of adoption leave, struggles related to discipline, difficulties with adoptees with special learning needs and the prevalence of cultural devaluation. Our findings contribute to and have implications for research and adoption services and policies. Copyright © 2024 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
JournalChild & Family Social Work
Early online dateJun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jun 2024


Chan, A. K.-W., Fang, T. S., & Kwok, D. K. (2024). Uncovering the challenges and needs of Chinese adoptive parents in Hong Kong. Child & Family Social Work. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/cfs.13212


  • Biographical approach
  • Blood ties
  • Chinese adoptive parents
  • Cultural devaluation
  • Parenting challenges
  • Special needs


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