Samantha L Wilson, PhD

Associate professor, the Medical College of Wisconsin
Infant Mental Health Mentor – Clinical (Level IV)

Office locations

8915 W. Connell Ct.
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(262) 432-6600
(877) 607-5280 (appointment)
13800 W North Ave Ste 120
Brookfield, WI 53005


Dr. Wilson is associate professor of Pediatrics in the division of Child Development at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is the staff psychologist within the International Adoption Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. In this role, she provides support to families at all stages of their adoption journeys, including pre-adoption education, initial consultation following a child’s immigration, school-age assessment, and child/family therapy. She is an adjunct staff to the Wisconsin-based TIES program, a heritage travel experience for children and families. 

Though her clinical specialty is in the unique psychosocial development of children adopted internationally, she also has clinical expertise in the mental health needs within domestic adoption and foster care. Dr. Wilson has completed specialty training through the University of Wisconsin – Madison to support the unique social-emotional development of infants/toddlers. She serves as a clinical consultant to the University of Wisconsin Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health Certificate Program and provides 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

Education and awards

  • 2008, Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center, Post Doctoral Fellow
  • 2003, St Louis University (MO), MS
  • 2006, St Louis University (MO), PhD
  • 2008, Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center - Early Childhood

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

  • Attending to Relationships: Attachment Formation within Families of Internationally Adopted Children
  • Social-emotional and relationship development
  • Exploring Birth Countries: The Mental Health Implications of Heritage Travel for Children/Adolescents Adopted Internationally
  • Neurobiology of toxic stress
  • Pre- and post-adoption counseling needs in international adoption: Understanding the social ecology of triad members