Transracial Adoptees and Their Families: A Study of Identity and Commitment

By Rita J. Simon; Howard Altstein | Go to book overview

adopted their first child. We noted also that while in 1972 all of the families were intact (there had been no separations, divorces, or deaths of any of the spouses), by 1979 two of the fathers had died; in 1 family both parents had died; in 19 families the parents were divorced; and in 1 they were separated. Twenty-three families had adopted one more child since 1972, and 12 families had had another child born to them.

Seventy-seven percent of the families still lived in all-white or predominantly white neighborhoods. The others lived in "mixed" neighborhoods. Seventy-one percent of the parents reported that their children attended "mixed schools"; 6 percent said that the schools were mostly black. Sixty-three percent reported that most of their children's friends were white.

Chapters 4 through 8 in this volume describe the families' experiences between 1979 and 1984, first through the eyes of the parents and then from the perspective of the adolescents. When we had completed phase two, most of the children were just entering adolescence; during phase three almost all of them were adolescents or young adults, and 55 percent were still living at home. Chapters 4 and 5 describe the parents', and then the children's, interviews. Chapter 6 compares the responses of the parents and children on selected issues. Chapter 7 focuses on the problems, conflicts, and disappointments experienced by. the families, and Chapter 8 draws a collective portrait of the typical family in the study.


NOTES
1.
Most of the time, the interview team was composed of a white and nonwhite graduate student from a university located in the community in which the families lived.
2.
Rita J. Simon and Howard Altstein, Transracial Adoption ( New York: Wiley Interscience, 1977), p. 187.
3.
Rita J. Simon and Howard Alstein, Transracial Adoption: A Follow-up ( Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, 1981), p. 113.
4.
They had been born or adopted after 1972.

-32-

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