2021 Student Research Conference:
34th Annual Student Research Conference

International Adoptees: The Mysteries and Commonalities of Adoptive Identity

Jessica C. Hughes
Dr. Victoria Mayer, Faculty Mentor

International adoptees develop complex interpretations of their ethnic or racial identity, and this often leads them to experience an identity crisis. Motivated by my own experience as an international adoptee from Southeast Asia, I designed this study to focus on international adoptees’ experiences and how they have coped with being ethnically different from their family and peers. Seven international adoptees’ were interviewed and I qualitatively analyzed their experiences and discovered multiple commonalities among them: childhood environment, the structure of the adoptive family, the importance of diversity, desire to connect to other adoptees, how they coped with stereotypes and cultural pressures, and experienced an identity crisis. Even though international adoptees undergo many difficult experiences and pressures, they often appreciate being adopted because it has contributed to greater self-awareness.

Keywords: adoption, identity, race and ethnicity, diversity, stereotypes


Presentation Type: Asynchronous Virtual Oral Presentation

Session: 19-8
Location: https://flipgrid.com/4edd27c9
Time: 0:00

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