In my last post, I mentioned that adoptees in the U.S. adopted through international adoption are often subjected to racism, discrimination, and microaggressions. It’s a subject that interests me greatly because I know how damaging the effects of racism, discrimination, and microaggressions are. I chose to investigate this subject for my master’s thesis in social work.
Over the past two months, I’ve sent letters and announcements to numerous adoption agencies, primarily in Arizona, but also California and Oregon. I have contacted adult adoptee groups on social media platforms and reached out to friends who may know of families with adopted children. I continue to search for adoptees 18+ years of age who were adopted from another country to the U.S. by parents of a different race/ethnicity to participate in the study. Participation includes an in-person interview. In the interview, I talk with adoptees about their background, experiences with family, peers, and their community. We discuss incidents that the adoptee has experienced related to racism, racial discrimination, microaggressions, prejudice, and stereotyping. My hope is to interview at least ten adoptees for this qualitative study. So far, I’ve conducted five interviews. The interviews are about 1.5-2 hours in length and are conducted in a location that ensures privacy, i.e, a study room at a local library. I use participatory diagramming or visual timelines to examine critical points in each adoptee’s life related to racism, discrimination, microaggressions, prejudice, and/or stereotyping as part of the interview process. Participants are informed that the interviews are confidential and no identifying information will be revealed in the study.
How international and transracial adoptees personally cope with racism and discrimination is not an area that is well understood in the literature. It is hoped that this research will produce data that will inform the development of interventions for international adoptees and their families that will provide tools to manage the effects of racism and discrimination. I hope that the study will also prompt further investigation into this particular area. If you know of an adoptee or are an adoptee who resides in Arizona and might be interested in participating in this study, please pass along the above information. I can be contacted privately at email@example.com if you’d like to know more about the study or would like to schedule an interview. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated!
I believe that this is such an important issue for adoptive families and adoptees. It’s my belief that adoptive families and adoptees who are better equipped to face racism and discrimination will be happier and healthier. Thank you.