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ERIC Number: ED555326
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 198
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-3056-5
Domestic Transracial Adoption: In the Words of African American Adoptees
Smith, Ellen M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Maine
Domestic transracial adoption has sparked more controversy than any other type of adoption. For the purposes of this study domestic transracial adoption is defined as European American parents adopting African American children. Many of the studies completed are contradictory and fail to control for variables that affect the outcome such as age of placement. In addition, the goal of many studies has been to prove or disprove the success of transracial adoption practices. Much of the research has been completed with the adoptive parents or with adoptees in childhood and adolescence. There is a gap in the literature with adult adoptees who have lived the experience. This phenomenological study sought to understand the experiences of African American adult adoptees who were raised by European American parents in rural areas of New England. These adoptees were placed with their adoptive families by the age of one and were interviewed for this study in their early 20s. Through in-depth interviewing the eight participants in this study were asked to describe their experiences in the areas of family, school, and community while growing up. The participants revealed a strong sense of belonging and connectedness to their parents, communities, and schools. They appeared to have been protected from the realities of racism early in life in their rural communities, but this also created isolation from same-race individuals. The parents did not deny or minimize racism, and they made attempts to prepare their children for societal racism. The parents clearly supported their children when incidents occurred at school and for the most part school officials sent a clear message racism would not be tolerated. The participants could have benefited from being with other individuals of African American heritage. A stronger emphasis placed on developing relationships with multiracial families and/or families of color could have help with this isolation. Although there were concerns cited, the findings of this study suggest that overall the participants are doing well. From the participant interviews, recommendations for school and mental health counselors, adoption agencies, and parents were developed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A