Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Ginny Zhan

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Adopted children are faced with challenges of identity and a sense of belonging within their adopted family and environments. Research regarding adopted children suggests that their cultural identity is developed by the experiences they have within their biological culture such as, participating in holidays, meeting individuals who are from the same background or visiting their biological country. The goal of this pilot study was to explore the perspectives of adopting parents on their adopted children's cultural identity development, laying a foundation for the next study that will examine adopted children’s (college students) perspective. Ten adopting parents from The United States were interviewed regarding their adopted child's experiences from birth until their current age. Interview questions were formulated based on previous research findings. Their answers were content analyzed, revealing three major themes: 1) the need for a child's biological parents’ information to help the child adapt to the adoption, 2) the need for an adopted child to advocate for themselves, 3) special issues related to adopting a child with past traumas, such as PTSD. Based on these themes discovered from this study, we plan to examine perspectives from adopted children themselves in the next study.

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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A pilot study investigating adopted children’s cultural identity from adopting parents’ perspective

Adopted children are faced with challenges of identity and a sense of belonging within their adopted family and environments. Research regarding adopted children suggests that their cultural identity is developed by the experiences they have within their biological culture such as, participating in holidays, meeting individuals who are from the same background or visiting their biological country. The goal of this pilot study was to explore the perspectives of adopting parents on their adopted children's cultural identity development, laying a foundation for the next study that will examine adopted children’s (college students) perspective. Ten adopting parents from The United States were interviewed regarding their adopted child's experiences from birth until their current age. Interview questions were formulated based on previous research findings. Their answers were content analyzed, revealing three major themes: 1) the need for a child's biological parents’ information to help the child adapt to the adoption, 2) the need for an adopted child to advocate for themselves, 3) special issues related to adopting a child with past traumas, such as PTSD. Based on these themes discovered from this study, we plan to examine perspectives from adopted children themselves in the next study.