The Hidden Experience of Transracial Adoption: A Proposed Qualitative Study


Lauren Dent

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Jenny Cornish

Second Advisor

Lavita Nadkarni

Third Advisor

Diane Guerra


My adoptive mother, a single, White women living in the Midwestern U.S., told me a similar narrative again and again, and with each repetition, I learned more. With retelling, I came to understand that my birth story was a reflection of life in Calcutta, where young girls born into India's lowest caste, known as the Untouchables, were forced to prostitute their bodies to support their families. While this story was difficult for me to absorb, it was also important for me to hear. I needed to understand how I came into the world, to understand my own beginning. As an adoptee, I did not have the identifiable markers to hold onto that biological children often take for granted, such a hospital bracelet, a baby's first blanket, or even an exact time of birth. My adopting mother ensured that at least I had a story, and no one could take that away from me. This personal experience has helped me to understand how imperative it is that adoptive parents disclose their child's birth narrative. Unlike other forms of adoption, transracial adoption involves visible ethnic and racial differences. Therefore, questions regarding cultural origins are inevitable, both from the perspective of the transracial adoptee, as well as from those outside the family system.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


38 pages

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