“YOU Were Adopted?!”: Microaggressions Toward Adolescent Adopted Individuals in Same-Race Families

Karin J. Garber, Harold D. Grotevant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study delineated a microaggressions typology and corresponding intensity levels that occur to adopted adolescents. The microaggressions framework by Sue et al. was adapted to identify this adoptive microaggression typology. Interviews with 153 (males = 79, females = 74) non-Latino/a White adolescent adopted individuals in same-race families were analyzed. Thematic analysis was used to discover 16 themes: (a) Silence, (b) Overly Intrusive Questions, (c) Assumption of Bionormativity, (d) Recurring Confusion/Ignorance, (e) In-House Divisions, (f) Public “Outing,” (g) Using Adoption, (h) Questioning Authenticity, (i) Unacknowledged Identity Status, (j) Spokesperson for Adoption, (k) Adoptees as Nonnormative, (l) Sensitivity, (m) Negative Stereotypes about Birth parents, (n) Adoptees as Orphans, (o) Negative Societal Portrayal of Adoption, and (p) Other. Implications for theory and practice are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-462
Number of pages28
JournalThe Counseling Psychologist
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The William T. Grant Foundation (7146) funded data collection for Wave 2 of the Minnesota Texas Adoption Research Project. Author Grotevant was the principal investigator of this project. The Rudd Family Foundation chair in psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst provided research assistant funding for author Garber as a graduate student during the conduct of the work. Author Grotevant received program support for his lab during this project. This manuscript is based on the second wave of a longitudinal project. The first wave also received funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development [R01-HD-028296]. An earlier version of this article was presented at the Fourth International Conference on Adoption Research (ICAR4), Bilbao, Spain, July 2013.

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the William T. Grant Foundation (Grant No. 7146) and the Rudd Family Foundation chair in psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Keywords

  • adolescent
  • adoption
  • microaggressions
  • stigma

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