We studied 10 boys, and 15 girls, all below the age of 16, who had been referred to the National Hospital in Norway for evaluation for transplantation of either the heart, or the heart and lungs. These represent the complete cohort of patients being considered for transplantation between 1990 and 1997. Of the 25 children and their families, 24 sets underwent a comprehensive psychosocial assessment, including interviews with both parents and their children. The parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist and the General Health Questionnaire. We had accepted 15 children for transplantation and placed them on the waiting list. The others were rejected for medical reasons, and 3 died whilst waiting for an organ. One was reconsidered for conventional surgery and removed from the list. Transplantation was performed in 11 children, whilst one of the patients we had rejected underwent transplantation abroad, and was included in the study. This left 12 patients in the final sample, with a mean age of 8 years, and with a range from 11 months to 13.9 years. We reassessed their psychosocial and physical functioning two years after transplantation. Of those undergoing transplantation of the heart and lungs, two were severely affected by progressive obliterative bronchiolitis. The others were in good general physical condition. At the assessment prior to transplantation, three already fulfilled the criterions for diagnosis of an overanxious disorder. Two others had symptoms of anxiety and depression, but without fulfilling the accepted criterions. At follow- up, two patients retained this psychiatric diagnosis. Increased levels of stress were uncovered in the parents prior to surgery, but these had normalised at follow-up. The study shows that, in general, physical and psychological conditions improve in children undergoing transplantation, but they and their parents live in a stressful environment, and are in need of psychosocial support both before and after transplantation.