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

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

7
Special Families: Problems, Disappointments, Conflicts

This chapter focuses on families who characterized their current relationships with each other as problematic and troublesome. It also provides updates on families who reported problems in 1979; and it reviews information from the two earlier phases of the study about the ten families who participated in the 1979 survey and refused to participate in the 1983-84 study. We also profile the six families in which the parents refused to allow their children to participate, but agreed to participate themselves.

In 1979, we allowed the parents to define what the major family problems were and to label themselves as families whose problems stemmed from the adoption. In this phase, because we interviewed the children, and because they are old enough to make evaluations, we have used the parents' and/or the children's definition of the situation as the basis for labeling a family as one that has problems.


FAMILIES WHO REFUSED TO BE INTERVIEWED

Seven of the families who refused to be interviewed were in the Minneapolis- St. Paul region. Two of these families were having problems when we interviewed them in 1979. In one family, the mother traced the problems to an accident that had occurred in 1971 when their transracially adopted six-year- old son was hit by an automobile. The accident left him physically impaired and brain damaged. In 1979 the mother reported: "There have been lots of problems since the accident. He's very irritable to his sisters. He is not doing well in school. He has problems making friends although he tries. "During the interview, the mother complained that there were "too many studies being done about transracial adoption." She agreed reluctantly to participate

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Part I 1
  • 1 - Where We Are Today: Numbers, Practices, and Policies 3
  • Notes 10
  • 2 - Recent Court Rulings 12
  • Notes 22
  • Part II 25
  • 3 - Looking Back at the Familles 27
  • Notes 32
  • 4 - The Parents' Story 33
  • Notes 56
  • 5 - The Children's Account 57
  • Notes 83
  • 6 - How the Parents' and Children's Accounts Match Up 85
  • Notes 91
  • 7 - Special Families: Problems, Disappointments, Conflicts 92
  • Notes 107
  • 8 - Ordinary Families: A Collective Portrait 108
  • Notes 118
  • Part III 119
  • 9 - Effects of Abortion, Birth Rate, and Lifestyle on Inracial and Transracial Adoptions 121
  • Notes 126
  • 10 - Single Parent Adoption: A Continuing Alternative 127
  • Notes 131
  • 11 - Intercountry Adoption 132
  • Notes 138
  • Concluding Remarks and Recommendations 140
  • Note 143
  • Selected Bibliography 145
  • Index 147
  • About the Authors 151
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