Korean Adoptees as Parents: Intergenerationality of Ethnic, Racial, and Adoption Socialization

Xiang Zhou, Jae Ran Kim, Heewon Lee, Richard M. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Using a socialization framework, this study aimed to understand the intergenerational patterns of ethnic, racial, and adoption socialization practices. Background: Understanding the impact of ethnicity, race, and adoption is a lifelong process for transracially, transnationally adopted individuals. Few studies, however, have explored how adult adoptees socialize their children on ethnicity, race, and adoption and to what extent this socialization is informed by their own transracial, transnational adoption experiences. Method: On the basis of 51 interviews, we investigated adopted Korean Americans' reappraisal of their ethnic, racial, and adoption socialization experiences growing up transracially and transnationally, as well as their current ethnic, racial, and adoption socialization practices with their children. Results: Despite the generally limited ethnic, racial, and adoption socialization from White adoptive parents, we found via thematic analysis that Korean adoptee parents used strategies such as reculturation with their children, birth family involvement, and emphasis in multiculturalism in response to the need for ethnic, racial, and adoption socialization in the next generation. Conclusion: These themes reflect the unique intergenerational transmission of ethnic heritage, racial experiences, and adoption history based on having grown up in transracial and transnational adoptive families. Implications: Findings can inform evidence-based practice in working with adopted individuals and their families, particularly in addressing ethnic, racial, and adoption socialization practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-652
Number of pages16
JournalFamily relations
Volume70
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 National Council on Family Relations

Keywords

  • adoption socialization
  • ethnic socialization
  • intergenerationality
  • racial socialization
  • transnational adoption
  • transracial

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