Transracial Adoptions

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Thesis: Transracial adoptees family situation affects many aspects of the adopted child's life, do these children have identity formation difficulties during adolescence and are there any significant differences between adoptees and birth children?

Transracial Adoptees and Families

I. Attachment Issues
A. Trust versus Mistrust
B. Age of child at time of placement
C. Need of Attachment

II. Development Issues
A. Identity versus Role Confusion
B. Age of child at time of placement
C. Need of Attachment

III. Identity Issues
A. Forming an Identity
B. Biological Birth Information
C. Racial Identification
D. Adoptive Parent Information

Applin I

"Adoption and Identity"

Being introduced into a new family is only one of many obstacles that lies ahead for those who enter into transracial adoption. With all of the information that is out there would adoptive parents advise others to pursue a transracial adoption? (Simon, 3). Do children who are adopted lose their social and racial identity, their racial attitudes, and their sense of awareness about racial issues? Transracial adoption have supporters and non-supporters with feelings that parent-child relationships work best between biological "likes", and fears that adoptive parents are not able to love and nurture biological "unlikes" (Simon, 1). There has been a great deal of research conducted about adoptees and the problems they face with identity formation. Many researchers agree on some of the causes of identity formation problems in adolescent adoptees, but others have concluded that there is not a significant difference in identity formation in adoptees and birth children. The following paper will bring out some of the research findings, which have been conducted, and will then attempt to answer the following questions: Do adoptees have identity formation difficulties during adolescence, and if they do, what are the causes? Has it been shown that there is a significant difference between identity formation of adoptees and birth children? In order to find the answers to these questions, looking at the attachment, development and identity will need to be looked at altogether. Of adopted children tested, the National Adoption Center has reported that fifty-two percent of adoptable children have attachment disorder symptoms. There is uniqueness in being in an transracial-adopted person. Most obvious is that the children grow up in a family in which they do not look like their parents or other members of their family. Applin II Their history is a part of them throughout their life because it is so visibly apparent. The adoptive family may ignore or make little effort to incorporate into the family the cultural heritage of the adopted child (Adamec,136). This decision to leave the culture behind, outside the family, does not suggest that the child is neither accepted nor loved or cherished as their own. However, when the adoptive family also adopts and embraces the cultural identity of the child's birth culture, it enriches not only the adopted child but also the entire family and extended family as well. Another factor is attachment is the child's age when they were adopted. The older the child when adopted, the risk of social maladjustment was found to be higher (Simon, 188). Most children when adopted at younger ages have a better chance to adjustment normally, than children adopted over the age of ten. An infant learns to trust quicker, than a ten-year old child does, but all of this depends on each case. Developmental theorist Eric Erikson, discusses trust issues in his theory of development. Erikson's first stage of development is "Trust versus...
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