Will We Ever Belong? Transnational Adoptees Lived Experiences



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Transnational adoption, also known as intercountry adoption or international adoption, is when a person/two people become legal guardians of a child who was born in a country that is different from their own. Transnational adoption currently makes up approximately 40% of all adoptions in the United States. Due to the model minority myth, Asians are deemed as more assimilable, more intelligent, and more hardworking than any other racial minority group, and therefore adopting Asian children is more favorable for White parents. Transnational adoptees go through many experiences throughout their life that lead them to become culturally isolated from both their birth culture and the culture they were raised in, they do not always feel like they belong socially with their community, friends, and sometimes even their family, and they are exposed to racism very early on because usually transnational adoptees are raised in communities that are primarily white. The purpose of this study was to see if exposure to racism, feelings of social belongingness, and being culturally isolated will significantly predict Asian transnational adoptees’ mental health through regression analysis. This study also qualitatively looked at adoptees’ lived experiences to see if there were common themes between adoptees’ experiences that can provide greater context for the quantitative relationships identified across exposure to racism, feelings of social belongingness, and being culturally isolated on mental health.



Transnational adoption, social belonging, cultural isolation, racism, mental health, depression, anxiety, adoption, united states