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date: 31 October 2020

Adoption: Transracial and Intercountrylocked

  • Rowena Fong, Rowena FongUniversity of Texas at Austin
  • Ruth G. McRoy, Ruth G. McRoyBoston College
  • Amy GriffinAmy GriffinBoston College
  •  and Catherine LaBrenzCatherine LaBrenzThe University of Texas at Austin

Summary

A history of transracial and intercountry adoptions in the United States is briefly provided as well as highlights trends, demographics, practices, and policies that have evolved as families have become more diverse. The current prevalence of intercountry and transracial adoptions in the United States is examined as well as the impact of policy changes in the United States and abroad on rates of intercountry adoption. Additionally, the challenges that have emerged for children adopted transracially and from abroad, as well as for their adoptive families, are reviewed. These include navigating ethnic and racial identity formation, cultural sensitivity, and challenging behaviors. Finally, future directions for social work practice, research, and policy are explored, and implications are provided for social workers intervening with families who have adopted children transracially or internationally. Specifically, adoption-competent professionals should also integrate cultural humility and competence into their therapeutic work with adoptive children and families. Implications for research in the conclusion focus on expanding prior studies on intercountry and transracial adoptions to incorporate racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in the literature. Policy implications include increasing access and funding for post-adoption services for all adoptive families.

Subjects

  • Couple and Family Social Work
  • Race and Ethnicity

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