New Trends and Directions in Ethnic Identity Among Internationally Transracially Adopted Persons: Summary of Special Issue

Rosa Rosnati, Ellen E. Pinderhughes, Amanda Baden, Harold D. Grotevant, Richard M. Lee, Jayashree Mohanty

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Abstract

The collective findings of the six articles in this special issue highlight the importance of ethnic-racial socialization and ethnic identity among international transracial adoptees (ITRAs). A multidimensional developmental phenomenon, ethnic identity intersects with other identities, notably adoptive identity. Family, peers, community, and host culture are important socialization contexts that engage transracial adoptees in transactional processes that promote ethnic identity development. New directions in research were identified, including developmental processes in navigating ethnic and other identities, similarities and differences in ethnic identity between ITRAs and immigrants, the effectiveness of interventions targeting ethnic identity in ITRAs, and the impact of discrimination on ethnic identity construction and the role of social and national contexts. Implications for policies and practices were discussed, such as pre- and postadoption supports for adoptees and parents that provide developmentally appropriate support for positive ethnic identity; training for professionals working with ITRAs and their families; and intercountry practices that promote connection with cultures of origin. Lessons about ITRAs and their ethnic identity in transaction with multiple social contexts enhance understanding of how all individuals navigate multiple identities.

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