Adoption and How It Affects Identity

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What is adoption? Adoption is defined as a process in which a person assumes the parent role of a child, and permanently has all rights and responsibilities of that child, just as if they are the birth parents. Adoption, for the most part, is a beautiful thing, giving children a chance to live the life they deserve if for some reason their birth parent/parents could not give them that. In the paper, "Adoptive Identity: How Contexts Within and Beyond the Family Shape Developmental Pathways" by Harold D. Grotevant, Nora Dunbar, Julie K. Kohler, and Amy M. Lash Esau, the paper focuses on adoptive identity, how identity is influenced by social changes, and what the different contexts of development are. (Grotevant et al. 379) I will support the author's claim which is that "there is a variety of arrangements of types of adoption that influence the process of adolescents' adoptive identity development." (Grotevant et al. 380) I will argue the author's claim which is "how adoptive identity is negotiated and enacted in relational contexts within families." (Grotevant et al. 383) I will prove and argue the author's claim through facts, research, personal experiences, and opinions.

During my research, I have came to the realization that there are many different types of adoptions. According to "Adoptive Identity: How Contexts Within and Beyond Shape Developmental Pathways," there are several types of adoptions that can affect the child's identity development such as stepparent adoptions, heterosexual married couples who are choosing to adopt usually because of infertility, international adoptions, transracial adoptions, and adoptions by a single parent. (Grotevant et al. 380) I believe that all these different categories of adoptions will influence a child's identity, especially the adolescent's involved in homosexual and transracial adoptions because of the difference of appearance, culture, and way of living between the adopted child and parents may be vastly different. (Caughman, 2012) Especially as a young child, in transracial adoptions, the adopted adolescent might not understand why he or she looks different from their parents. By looking so differently, from their parents, the adopted child may start feeling as if they don't belong and the feeling of being an outcast would definitely shape a child's identity. (Grotevant et al. 383) The affects on a child being adopted by a homosexual couple, even though we live in a much more tolerant world today than we did a decade or so ago, and although I am not suggesting that homosexual couples should not adopt children, I feel like in reality they can still be raced with some dilemmas and identity issues that children adopted by heterosexual couples may avoid. One, they might feel a sense of confusion with their own sexual identity as the enter puberty, having come from a home with a homo sexual couple, while most children are raised in heterosexual couples. They might even feel a sense of embarrassment and disgrace and suffer ridicule at the hands of their peers, affecting their identity and making them see themselves as an outsider. Single parent adoptions, although not as much of a dilemma as homosexual couples, may also pose possible issues for adopted children's identities as well. Single parent adoptions have been increasing at a steady rate over the last decade, but still is much less than married couples. Why? One reason is because many domestic adoptions the birth mother would prefer the child to be adopted my married couples and although there is no guarantee that a married couple will stay married, they have a better start at providing the child the life they deserve and are more capable at providing an intact, with less social ills than a single parent, which could possibly affect the child the child's identity as it develops and grows because he or she was raised in a home where just being raised by a single parent is not a society norm compared to married...
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