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

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

6
How the Parents' and Children's Accounts Match Up

This chapter compares responses to questions that were asked of both the parents and the adolescents in their separate interviews. The topics concern the racial characteristics of friends and dates, grades in school, favorite activities, consensus or lack of it about the adolescent's future vis-a-vis schooling and work. It also compares the parents' and adolescents' perceptions of how close they will be to each other when the adolescent leaves the family home, as well as comparing their expectations about the racial characteristics of the community in which the adolescent is likely to live as an adult and the racial background of the adolescent's choice of a marriage partner. Responses on the adolescents' interests in finding their birth parents and the likelihood that they will try to do so are also compared.

We found in examining these issues that, on the whole, the parents' and adolescents' responses reflect considerable consensus and similarity of opinions. The parents' responses by and large indicate that they understand their children, and the adolescents' responses reflect views and lifestyles that are shared by their parents. Our overall impression of these families is supported by these responses -- the families are an integrated unit; the adoption has bound them together and has developed and strengthened ties or commitments to each other that racial differences have neither weakened nor broken, nor are they likely to do so. As different as the children may look from their parents and siblings, they are an integral part of the family, and the assumption of independence because of adulthood is not likely to cause a breakup of the family unity. The children of the TRAs will be in every sense the grandchildren of these parents and the nieces and nephews of their brothers and sisters. Their physical departure and separation from the family will not disrupt or cut off family ties and commitments between the adopted children and their parents.

-85-

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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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