Thursday, April 12, 2007

NYU Panel Discusses Transracial Adoption

Panel: adoption crosses racial boundaries
With trendsetting celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Madonna breaking down misconceptions about foreign adoption, NYU held a discussion yesterday about the experiences of children and parents with transracial adoptions.

Molly J. Deugaw, panelist and human resources generalist at the NYU Student Health Center, spoke about her experience being adopted from China at the age of 7.

"We knew that we were different," Deugaw said. "But we didn't want to acknowledge that difference because we wanted to be just like everyone else."


Panelist Amanda L. Baden, an assistant professor at Montclair State University, was also adopted. She said that many children who are adopted by families of different races do not necessarily recognize themselves as being different, or wouldn't know how to handle themselves in a discriminatory situation.

"Identity is a lifelong process," Baden said. "[It] is an experience throughout our lives."

Today, most transracial adoptions are made by white parents who adopt non-white children. These children often have difficulty distinguishing between their birth cultures and their adopted cultures, as they cannot trace their physical appearances to their parents, panelists said.


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