Donica C. Dohrenwend, Fielding's School of Psychology
This researcher used classic grounded theory analysis (Glaser, 1978, 1998) to explore the experiences of women who adopted children internationally and interracially. Classic grounded theory is an inductive, rigorous, empirical, and systematic research method which generates theory from data to explain the main concern of people in a substantive area (Glaser, 1978, 1998, 2001, 2004a, 2004b, 2005, 2011, 2012; Glaser & Strauss, 1967). In this study, rigorous and systematic adherence to classic grounded theory (Glaser, 1978, 1998; Glaser & Strauss, 1965) led to the emergence of the basic social process (Glaser, 1978; Simmons, Hadden, & Glaser, 1994) of authentic mothering. Authentic mothering refers to the process that explains how women who have adopted internationally and interracially attend to their main concern of becoming authentic mothers to their adopted children. White women who internationally adopted a Black child served as the initial unit of study for this research. During data analysis, 3 stages emerged to conceptualize authentic mothering: (a) aspirational mothering, (b) intentional parenting, and (c) accomplished mothering. All participants in this study were either engaged in or had a history of being engaged in various elements of this 3-stage basic social psychological process of authentic mothering.
KEY WORDS: grounded theory, authentic mother, authentic mothering, motherhood, adoption, interracial adoption, international adoption, adoptive mothers