A study has just been released that should be of interest to all of us connected to transracial adoption: “Beyond Culture Camp: Promoting Healthy Identity Formation in Adoption” from the highly respected Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.
It was one of the largest studies yet of transracial adoptions and focuses on the first generation of children adopted from South Korea. Some points from the executive summary:
- Adoption is an increasingly significant aspect of identity for adopted people as they age, and remains so even when they are adults.
- Race/ethnicity is an increasingly significant aspect of identity for those adopted across color and culture.
- Coping with discrimination is an important aspect of coming to terms with racial/ethnic identity for adoptees of color.
- Adopted people of all colors report that they experience discrimination, based on how they entered their families, in all settings of their lives.
- Most transracial adoptees considered themselves White or wanted to be White as children.
- Positive racial/ethnic identity development is most effectively facilitated by “lived” experiences such as travel to native country, racially diverse schools, and role models from their same race/ethnicity.
The study also makes recommendations for adoption practice and policy to promote positive adoptive and transracial/cultural identity. Check out the summary.
Related: New York Times article about the study: “Adopted from Korea and in Search of Identity“