What's Race Got to do with it? Exploring the In-Race Adoption of Asian Children
Journal of Comparative Family Studies
UNIV Toronto Press Inc
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This study sought to explore adoption in Asian American families. There has been much discussion and sometimes heated debate about outcomes for children of color placed transracially and the ability of parents to address adoptees’ racial or ethnic socialization needs. Asian children come to U.S. adoptive families largely through intercountry adoption and their foreignness has been situated as a matter of culture rather than race both in practice and in the literature. A small sample of 68 families, where at least one parent is of Asian American descent, provided some preliminary insight into parental motivations and perspectives about adopting Asian children. The majority of the adoptive parents were Chinese American, and the children from China. The primary motivation for adopting was infertility, and similarity or “fit” led the parents to adopt Asian children. The parents overwhelmingly believed that having at least one Asian American parent would be easier for the children, referencing themes of acceptance, fit, and identity congruency. Implicit was their belief that racial and/or ethnic socialization strategies were less intentional and more “natural” than for white adoptive families. While the findings cannot be interpreted as conclusive or representative, overall respondents reported race and ethnicity to be salient to their adoptive decisions and strategies for developing their children’s identities.
Ethnic-racial socialization; Transracial adoption; Identity; Intercountry; Motivations; Competence; Adoptees
Asian American Studies
Bergquist, K. J.,
What's Race Got to do with it? Exploring the In-Race Adoption of Asian Children.
Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 49(3),
UNIV Toronto Press Inc.