Samantha L Wilson, PhD

Children’s Wisconsin since 2008
  • Infant Mental Health Mentor – Clinical (Level IV), Children's Wisconsin
  • Associate professor, Medical College of Wisconsin




I am the staff psychologist within the International Adoption Clinic at Children’s Wisconsin. In this role, I provide support to families at all stages of their adoption journeys, including pre-adoption education, initial consultation following a child’s immigration, developmental and psychosocial assessment, and child/family therapy. I have authored/co-authored numerous peer-reviewed articles in the areas of early child development and/or adoption and am a contributing author to two books on the post-adoption development of children adopted internationally. I serve as adjunct staff for the Wisconsin-based TIES Adoptive Family Travel program, a heritage travel experience for children and families. Though my clinical specialty pertains to psychosocial development of children adopted internationally, I also has clinical expertise in the mental health needs within domestic adoption and foster care. I am credentialed within Wisconsin as an Infant Mental Health Mentor (Level IV – Clinical), documenting my expertise attending to the social-emotional development of infants/toddlers. Along with direct service to children and families, I provide reflective supervision to Early Head Start home visitors within Waukesha and West Bend, WI.

Areas of Interest

  • Adoption
  • Child development
  • Dyadic therapy
  • Foster care
  • International adoption
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Education and Awards


  • 2006, St Louis University (MO), PhD
  • 2003, St Louis University (MO), MS
  • 1998, Truman State University, BA


  • 2008, Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center - Post Doctoral Internship in Early Childhood


  • MCW Outstanding Medical Student Teacher, Global Health, 2013
  • MCW Outstanding Medical Student Teacher, Global Health, 2015
  • Clinical Excellence, MCW Department of Pediatrics, 2018

Dr. Wilson was awarded funding through Rotary International (May/June 2011) to travel through Northeastern Italy during which time she explored aspects of international adoption and early childhood education within that country.

Research and publications


  • Social-emotional and relationship development
  • Trainee experiences during Global Health Medical Electives
  • Adoption-Specific curriculum for medical trainees
  • Heritage travel and Adoptee well-being