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

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

The recent statement by the NABSW indicating that "the United States is not a [racial] melting pot" is supported by most interpreters of the 1980 census. Herbert Gans, for example, in commenting on the rates of intermarriage reported in the census, stated, "If you're talking about the melting pot, on the whole we are a melted society. . . . ethnicity isn't very important anymore, and race is terribly important."40 Similarly, a psychologist investigating children of intermarriage said, "The melting pot has melted only so far. . . . rates of intermarriage may have changed, but prejudices haven't."41

Without denying the importance of race to many Americans, the individuals and families in our study, particularly the transracially adopted children, represent a different and special cohort, one socialized in two worlds and therefore perhaps better prepared to operate in both. The hope is that having had this unique racial experience, they will have gained a greater sense of security about who they are and will be better able to negotiate in the worlds of both their biological inheritance and their socialization.


NOTES
1.
Robert A. Erlandson, "Maryland Interracial Policy Impedes Adoption Attempt", Baltimore Sun, July 11, 1984, p. 1.
2.
Ibid.
3.
Ibid.
4.
Ibid.
5.
William Feigelman and Arnold Silverman, Chosen Children: New Patterns of Adoptive Relationships ( New York: Praeger, 1983).
6.
Glenn Collins, "Children of Intermarriage", New York Times, June 20, 1984, p. Cl.
7.
Glenn Collins, "A New Look at Intermarriage in the United States", New York Times, February 11, 1985, p.C13.
8.
"Families Adopting Children Everywhere", FACE Facts 9, no. 5, ( April 1985): 7.
9.
Penelope L. Maza, "Adoption Trends: 1944-1975", Child Welfare Research Notes #9. ( Washington, D.C.: Administration for Children, Youth, and Family, August 1984).
10.
Christine Bachrach "Adoption Plans, Adopted Children, and Adoptive Mothers: United States, 1982 [Working Paper #22.]" U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of Health Research, Appendix II.
11.
Maza, op. cit.
12.
Michael Gold, "The Baby Makers", Science '85 ( April 1985).
13.
Ibid.
14.
Penelope Maza, "What We Do and Don't Know about Adoption Statistics", Child Welfare League of America 3, no. 2 (Spring 1985): 5.
15.
Rita J. Simon and Howard Altstein, Transracial Adoption: A Follow-up ( Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, 1981), p. 96.
16.
North American Council on Adoptable Children, Adaptalk (March/ April 1983): 1.
17.
Reflecting the 100,000-120,000 figure, U.S. News and World Report in June 1984 estimated about 100,000 children available for adoption (Harold Kennedy, "As Adoptions Get More Difficult," June 25, 1984, p. 62).
18.
"A Place for Foster Children", New York Times, June 27, 1984, p. C15.

-10-

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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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