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In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories

by Rita J. Simon

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Nearly forty years after researchers first sought to determine the effects, if any, on children adopted by families whose racial or ethnic background differed from their own, the debate over transracial adoption continues. In this collection of interviews conducted with black and biracial young adults who were adopted by white parents, the authors present the personal stories of two dozen individuals who hail from a wide range of religious, economic, political, and professional backgrounds. How does the experience affect their racial and social identities, their choice of friends and marital partners, and their lifestyles? In addition to interviews, the book includes overviews of both the history and current legal status of transracial adoption.… (more)
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Nearly forty years after researchers first sought to determine the effects, if any, on children adopted by families whose racial or ethnic background differed from their own, the debate over transracial adoption continues. In this collection of interviews conducted with black and biracial young adults who were adopted by white parents, the authors present the personal stories of two dozen individuals who hail from a wide range of religious, economic, political, and professional backgrounds. How does the experience affect their racial and social identities, their choice of friends and marital partners, and their lifestyles? In addition to interviews, the book includes overviews of both the history and current legal status of transracial adoption. Selected Reading Questionnaire.
  ACRF | Jul 29, 2022 |
The book is a collection of twenty-four interviews (twelve men, twelve women) of biracial and black adults who were adopted by white parents. Unquestionably worth the read for anyone interested in the topic. While there are recurring themes in the responses of the interviewees, nothing is redundant: each individual adds another layer to the reader's understanding. I especially enjoyed reading those highly self-aware adoptees who were able to explain how their own personalities molded their experiences.

At times the interviewer's questions seem to lead to specific answers, more in an anticipatory fashion than a manipulative one. Still, it felt odd until one of the adoptees mentioned conversation that occurred "before taping." The interviewer really is anticipating responses based on prior knowledge. It's a subtle distinction but one I'm glad is clarified. Also noteworthy is a description on the back cover that this work is a "supplement" to empirical research contributed to the field of study by these authors. This is not intended to be a scholarly work in the same way; this is the humanizing element (and as such is perfect for my purpose as a reader). One thing I'm left wondering is how today's twenty- and thirty-year-old adoptees would respond to some of the social/racial issues, compared to the responses of these adoptees (who were born in the late 1960s-early 1970s and were interviewed in the 1990s).

My perspective was broadened by this book. I was given answers to questions I never would have thought to ask. I'm not only better informed but also feel personally enriched by the glimpse into these life stories. ( )
  AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
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Nearly forty years after researchers first sought to determine the effects, if any, on children adopted by families whose racial or ethnic background differed from their own, the debate over transracial adoption continues. In this collection of interviews conducted with black and biracial young adults who were adopted by white parents, the authors present the personal stories of two dozen individuals who hail from a wide range of religious, economic, political, and professional backgrounds. How does the experience affect their racial and social identities, their choice of friends and marital partners, and their lifestyles? In addition to interviews, the book includes overviews of both the history and current legal status of transracial adoption.

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