Victoria S Szczechowski



Download Project (195 KB)


My thesis project seeks to answer the question: Does the level of nationalist sentiment expressed by citizens of a country affect the restrictiveness of the country’s international adoption policy and the number of children adopted out? Current literature has examined the influence of the level of nationalism expressed in a country on adoptive parents in choosing from which country to adopt; however, no study has examined the link between nationalism and country-specific intercountry adoption policy. The variable of nationalist sentiment warrants study, for the Hague Convention posits that intercountry adoption is a valid option only if “a suitable family cannot be found in his or her [the adoptable child’s] State of origin” in order to preserve the child’s nationality of birth (Varnis, 2001: 42). This statement implies that domestic adoption is considered to be in the better interest of the child versus intercountry adoption. In addition to the fact that “nationalists might subscribe to the view that children ‘belong’ to their countries of birth and are better off growing up there (Leblang et al, 2015),” countries may be reluctant to act as sending countries in intercountry adoption because adopting out their children indicates an inability of the country to care for its children and thus “injures its national pride (Varnis, 2001).” Although current literature somewhat addresses nationalist sentiment in terms of its affect on intercountry adoption, no study has empirically examined the potential link between nationalist sentiment and actual adoption policy restrictiveness; therefore, my project analyzes this potential link.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis - Undergraduate

Primary Advisor

Nancy A. Miller

Primary Advisor's Department

Political Science


Stander Symposium project

An Analysis of International Adoption in Relation to Nationalist Sentiment