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Interracial Adoption and Possible the Long-Term Effects on Children


Since the early 1940s, several children have been adopted by American families. Research has indicated that American soldiers have adopted more than 3,000 Japanese’s children and about 845 Chinese’s children as a result of the war. As stated by Patricelli (2015), the majority of these children are orphans of war which had occurred in Asia and part of Europe. Most of these children were adopted by white Americans soldiers who took part in Asia war. It is, therefore, evident that the interracial adoption did not start the other year; it has been in existed for over sixty years. It is reported that the Korean War also created an opportunity for adoption and several children were adopted from Korean by white American families. According to the census report, the adoption has occurred in the United States from the 1940s, and several children from different nations have been adopted by American families and living together as a family without any problem (Patricelli, 2015). It is approximated that American families have adopted more than 38,000 children from different parts of the world.

However, the rate of adoption has reduced since the 1970s, but it still exists in several households in the United States. According to Patricelli (2015), interracial adoption has a greater effect on the life and the upbringing of children. Some people argue that interracial adoption benefits the parents who adopted the child, but it affects adopted child dearly. A survey conducted among the 372 of adoptee indicates that majority of adoptee especially from Asia and Afro Americans usually have it difficult when it comes to adapting to a new life. And therefore, some of them end up suffering from a psychological disorder or mental problem (Alison, Xiang, & Richard, 2017). Studies have established that out of people who are being treatment for mental disorder 2% are children under the age of 18 years who are being raised by non-biological parents (Brodzinsky, 2012). It is, therefore, it is evident that interracial adoption cause mental health problem to the adoptee and this can be as a result of the difficulty in adapting to a new environment.

Interracial adoption is where an individual is adopting a child from a different race or ethnicity from a mixed race. For instance, an African American child is being adopted by a white family or parents, a Hispanic child being adopted by Asia or white American parents. Most adoptions which occurred during the early days occurred between Asia and white Americans and Chinese and white Americans as well, and therefore, interracial adoption is where an adoptee and adopted parents are of different races. It is also important to state that race is the grouping of human beings based on physical appearance or shared social beliefs, genetic and ancestry. There are several races across the world, and the United States is one of the diversify countries with almost all races reside in the United States. So, the interracial adoption is the adoption of children from other races rather than the adopted parents (Ferrari, Sonia, Daniela, & Rosa, 2015). This research paper, therefore, underlines the process of interracial adoption, barriers and long-term effect of adoption on children. It also illustrates the problem of adoption and provides solutions which can be applied to address the problem of interracial adoption and also a barrier to interracial adoption. It further analyzes various pieces of literature on interracial adoption to found out the long-term effect of interracial adoption and how it affects the growth of interracial adopted children.

Statement of the Problem

The interracial adoption of children can increase chances of children developing chronic diseases and therefore, it is proper to look into the whole issue of adoption. Studies have indicated that children normally accept the adoption willingly without knowing what it contains and only came to be shocked after an adoption has occurred. Research has also established that as the number of interracial adoption increases, the black community started to ask whether there is an effort which is being made to reunite the adopted black children with their families. It is believed that African American children were adopted from pulverized families during the early days and therefore, it is appropriate for those children to be reunited or introduced by their families. Some people argue that the interracial adoption is diminishing the integrity of the children and therefore, it should be based on social and cultural background of children (Brodzinsky & Marshall, 2013).

Some people believed that children should be placed into adoption or in foster care based on their ethnic identity and therefore, black families should adopt black children. It is argued that it makes it possible for a child to adapt to a new environment faster and live without developing any chronic diseases due adoption. At present, it is difficult to count the number of children which are under adoption because there is no proper record of interracial adoption. The interracial adoption remains controversial with several people criticizing it since the majority of people want adoption to be done based on race or ethnicity of people involved.

The number of children that require adoption continues to increase gradually in the U.S. and from other countries. Research has indicated that more than 100,000 children from Asia are in need of adoption and especially from Syria and other battlefield countries and therefore, it is important to understand the long-term effect of interracial adaption to both the adoptee and the parents as well (Ramsey & Daniella, 2018). This would help in addressing challenges which undermine the process of interracial adoption in the United States. It also established proper procedures to be used during the adoption process to reduce the psychological impact and create a better life for the adoptees.

The psychological effect of adoption is a long-term effect which can result in a mental problem if the situation of an adoptee is not addressed appropriately. It is evident that adoptees have several issues related to adaptation to a new environment and the condition and racial issues which should be solved to make sure that the adoptee are living comfortably with adopted families.


Interracial adoption has existed for decades, and several issues related to adoption have been addressed before, to increase the efficiency of the process. However, it is important to address racial elements which can affect the interracial adoption to make sure that there are tolerance and understanding among different races. Studies have indicated that the biggest barrier to interracial adoption is racial discrimination, intolerances, and perception against certain race in the society. The Congress should amend the adoption act remove social and cultural similarities as a method to determine the adoptive parents. Culture should not be a yardstick or a qualification for an individual to adopt children from child welfare or foster care.

The interracial adoption should be encouraged and it should be done based on the ability to provide parenthood and not social and cultural factors. The barrier to interracial adoption should be removed so that individuals should be free to adopt any child without looking at social and cultural issues as a qualification for adopted. It would improve the rate if interracial adoption and hence improve racial interaction and even intermarriages in the country. However, the Child Welfare association should not use social and cultural similarities as a benchmark and more efficiency of the law to remove such act should be deployed as well. In order to improve the interracial adoption, the adoptive parents should pick the child from Child Welfare or a foster care not from the parents directly. The information needed for the child or the adoptee should be obtained from the institution, not from individual parents.

Research has established that the positive long-term effect of interracial adoption is likely to be psychological disorder or mental health problem (Manzi, Laura, & Rosa, 2014). It develops due to what adoptee undergoes to adapt to a new environment and therefore, it can be addressed appropriately to avoid such situations. In order to solve the psychological disorder or mental health problem, the process of adoption should be procedural, and adoptee should be told the truth. This will make the adopted child adapt faster to a new environment and also stop asking questions which can create a lot of worries and other problems. The adoptive parents should be able to inform the adoptee about his or culture family background and parents so that the adopted child does not take her time to investigate ate at his or her time because such action can lead to a psychological disorder or trauma. Studies have also indicated an open discussion on race allows an adoptee to understand racial composition in the family and this can help in limiting worries and questions in the family and hence it can enhance integration and togetherness in the family (Alison, Xiang, & Richard, 2017).

Significant of the study

The research was done to provide an understanding of the interracial adoption and its long-term effect on children. It provides a historical understanding of adoption since the end of World War and the latest adoption in the United States. It analyzes the effect of racial and discrimination in the process of adoption, and therefore, the research can be used to understand the effect of interracial adoption and long-term effect on the society. It is possible that the study criticizes certain policy and therefore, it can be applied by different interracial adoption stakeholders to enact a policy which can provide facilities quicker and safe adoption process. And therefore, the entire research provides an overview of interracial adoption of what happened to adopted children to parents with a different racial background (Haebich, 2015). This research can be used to drive policy and also to address the issue of racial discrimination which affects interracial adoption of children in the society.

Limitation of the Study

The limitations are conditions cannot be controlled, and they influence the study or the result of the study as well. There was not enough time and therefore, the study was conducted in hurry to meet the deadline. The research would have required computer application and also more time to analyze the data and present as well; therefore, time is a limiting factor for the study. Internet connection or internet link fluctuating a time made downloading of various resources used to complete this study longer than expected and therefore, it delayed the completion process. Finances were also needed for internet bundles was also a factor since the study required stable connection and this cost money as well.

Literature review

Despite the diversity of the United States, the majority of members of the households are still genetically related. According to the census report of 2010, the 93% of the 287 million Americans are genetically related, and the households are composed of father, mother, daughter, and sons (2010 Census Report, 2012). It means that only 3% of the households are living with adopted families and the number continues to shrink daily due to challenges faced with the adoptions and the long-term effects which have been experienced for decades now. The 2010 census report indicates that people who live with adopted families are estimated to be 18.7 million. The number of adopted children stands at over 2.5 million and stepchildren also about 4.5 million based on 2010 census report (Ferrari, Sonia, Daniela, & Rosa, 2015). It is, therefore, means that there is significant number of adopted children in the United States. However, accurately analysis of the report shows that majority of Americans have not adopted any children either from with the United States or from other countries. It is also because the number of households continues to grow at a rate of 11% while the interracial adoption remains constant and it has been reported to be growing slowly (Hayme & Simon, 2016).

In the early days, it was difficult to adopt children from any other races, but things have changed, and the interracial adoption is increasing slowly. Nowadays Americans are free to adopt a child of any race and child welfare no longer consider race or social identity as a factor when it comes to adoption of children. The racial tolerance and adoption laws have streamlined the interracial adoption and make it possible to either race to adopt a child from any race. According to Hayme and Simon (2016), the Congress passed Congress passed the Multiethnic Placement Act (MPA) which has made it possible by removing the race factor as consideration for adoption, and White Americans can adopt African American children, and African Americans can adopt White children as well. This has increased interracial adoption since 1997 and Americans can easily adopt other races without any difficulty. It is believed that not only parents of the same race can understand the needs of a child and provide better care. This has seen the adoption of black children to White families increasing tremendously over the last two decades.

But the Native Americans’ children are still not easy to adopt since the heritage of Native Americans are still being protected or governed by Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The law requires that the tribe should only be placed under the care of a Native parent. It makes it illegal or a taboo for an Indian child to be adopted by non-Native parents. This has made it impossible for other races dwelling in the United States to adopt a native or an Indian child. It is because most Native Americans do not want their children to be adopted due to certain cultural practices and belief that natives’ children must live with a native parent. The Natives belief that a child raised by parents from within their community is best and better than a native brought up by nonnative. This belief has made it difficult for non Native American to adopt a native child. And therefore, the practice has reduced the rate of interracial adoption between Native Americans and other races.

The Native belief and Indian Welfare Act has reduced the adoption rate among the Native children and therefore, most people do not adopt Native American and children who need care usually taken to a native parent or homes instead of foster care. This has made the adoption rate to be below 5% based on 2010 census report. However, the adoption rate between Whites and African Americans are high since there is no belief or law which prohibits. And for that reason, many black and whites are nowadays living together as brothers and sisters. As stated by (Riley, 2017), the adoption has helped to address the issue of racial intolerances, and it is the best way to address racial discrimination which has existed in the United States for decades.

It is evident that a significant number of Hispanic children are adopted by other races, Chinese since the end of the war, Japanese and Korean’s children as well. The high percent of adoption between white Americans and Japanese and Korean is as a result of Asia war which left many children orphans and Americans soldiers decided to adopt several of them after the end of the war. The adoption level is high among all races except the Natives Americans because they have declined to give out their children to non-Native American for adoption due to cultural and social belief. The Native Americans are culturally grounded and exposing them to other cultures is not easy and therefore, adopting a Native American’s child is difficult compared to other races or ethnic groupings in the United States (Alison, Xiang, & Richard, 2017). Studies have shown that the recent racial hostility and political intolerances which target different races have affected the interracial adoption (Riley, 2017). Though there are many people willing to adopt children from other races, hostility, demonstrations and other utterances have scared away many families.

Long-term Effect of Interracial Adoption

The long-term effects of interracial adoption are both negative and positive, and they affect both the adoptee and the parents as well. Analysis of different kinds of literature reviewed that adopted children or the adoptee usually suffers from the psychological disorder. A report by Child Welfare Association (CWA) stated that the change of a new environment affects 85% of children and the introduction of new families usually affects their minds and trying to absorb the change and accept (Morrison, 2014). According to Morrison (2014), the process of adoption takes approximately one year, and everyone is usually involved, and therefore, it involves emotional exploration which affects children psychological disorder. Adopted children live with identity problems throughout their lives; develop self-esteem and life with guilt as well.

Psychological or mental problem

Research has indicated that the number of adopted children attending clinical health treatment is high compared to non-adopted children. This is based on the percentage of the adoptee in the society, and therefore, interracial adoption can cause mental health problem or psychological disorder in the long run. Manzi, Lauran, and Rosa (2014) illustrated that studies which have been conducted discovered that 2% of individuals under the age of eighteen who are being treated for mental health-related problems are an interracial adoptee. But children who are being raised by their biological parents constitute only 5% of the outpatients (Manzi, Laura, & Rosa, 2014). It means that parents raised by their biological parents do not think a lot which can make them develop any psychological disorder.

The problem of mental health is caused by constant worries about their lost parents and their identity as well, and therefore, they tend to become guilt and feel they do not belong to the society which makes most of them end up developing a psychological disorder. Studies have also discovered that adopted children are usually found in trouble. In clinical settings, children who are adopted are the children who usually run away from home, commit significant mistakes and are even involved in crimes (Hayme & Simon, 2016). A study has shown that the number of adopted kids who are engaged in criminal activities are many than non-adopted children. In a large scale, a survey discovered that 5% of students who are involved in criminal activities in high school and other setups are adopted kids, and 15% are children who are living with their biological parents (Brodzinsky & Marshall, 2013). However, based on the population of the adoptee and non-adopted children in the society, the number of the adoptee is higher and therefore, it is a matter of concern which should be addressed.

It is evident that adoption is big loss adoptees than losing loving parents. It is because adoption subjects a child to a change of lifestyle, cultural practices and all aspect of life and adopts a new system which an individual has never witnessed. Therefore it subjects a child to trauma and that can lead to serious psychological problem if not addressed properly and timely. Most adopted children grow up exposed to a lot of temptations such as alcoholism, drugs and they end of developing the disorder and it can be the reason many adoptees are present in clinical settings across the country.

Suffer loss of identity

In the book “Being Adopted” by David Brodzinsky, the author noted that adopted children usually have it hard to deal with the loss of their identity. According to Brodzinsky (2012), adopted children live their lives thinking of their birth parents and searching for the potential birth parent as well. The fact that the physical appearance of adopted parents and adoptee usually make adopted children to question their identity constant and the interest to discover an individual’s identity does not stop until adoptee gets the truth. Adopted children constantly ask merely questions regarding their identity and about who they are, why, how and where are their parents. These questions do not stop until they become adults. They usually interested to know who their uncles, aunts are and whether individuals resemble any of their family’s members and both parents. Most of them are interested to know their cultural backgrounds, social class, and education of their parents. Brodzinsky (2012) also noted that adopted kids usually wonder the kind of conditions they would have been living if they were living with their biological parents.

However, these numerous questions adopted children live with making it difficult for the majority of them to be psychologically stable and therefore, some from a psychological disorder. The adoptee can react to the loss of their culture through anger, anxiety and also through the numbness of fear. Research has shown that some of them constantly mourn the death of their brothers, sisters and even parents and this can create psychological disorder or mental health problem. Bodzinsky (2012) stated that adopted kids sometimes do not believe they cannot be able to speak their mother and some of them tend to believe that they are denied opportunity to speak their mother tongue, and therefore, they continue to mourn the death of their mother tongue. This automatically affects the growth of a child and can lead to as stress and even a mental problem.

Racial identity Crisis

Research has established that children who are brought up in racial diversify environment grow up asking several questions and therefore, he or she become much aware of the environment. Most cases, adopted children can live their lives wondering where they belong and this psychological torture and can create mental health problem after a long term. Again, children keep wondering why they were given up for adoption by their parents and would have happened if they were not given for adoption and numerous unanswered questions usually can lead to psychological or mental problems (Patricelli, 2015).

Adopted a child may feel that they are betraying the family who adopted him or her and therefore, they fail to express their feelings by fearing that they will hurt their adoptive family. Most of them live in denial for fear of betrayal which makes them suffer in silence for a long time. It is more appropriate for the adoptive family to provide counseling and proper parenting to adoptee so that they do not keep worrying about their biological parents. A report from Child Information Gateway illustrates that adoptee may feel rejected and therefore, it makes some of them feel grief and sense of abandonment sometimes in their lives (Ferrari, Sonia, Daniela, & Rosa, 2015).

The benefit of Interracial Adoption

The interracial adoption bridge heritage and embrace diversity. Raising children from different ethnic or racial background can improve racial tolerance and create understanding among different races in the society. Studies have indicated that children tend to identify their identity through art, music, and books and interracial adoption can give students an opportunity to develop their identity, and this can help in getting rid of racial profiling or discrimination in the society. Studies have also discovered that interracial adoption can facilitate dialogue and embrace diversity as well. This is because interracial adoptee can adapt to a different culture and practiced the same culture. And therefore, interracial adoption can be the best way to build a united society and the future can exist without racial discrimination or racial intolerances if we decide to adopt interracial adoption.

Interracial adoption provides an opportunity for children to learn about other people in the society hence it enhance cohesion and build understanding with other people or races in the society. Children who have been adopted by parents from different races are well prepared to handle identity crisis (Papke, 2013). It is noted that children develop in stages and at every stage, there is something significant which they learn. However, a child can quickly learn about another race until him, or she becomes familiar to practice that particular race. Therefore, it is easy to build a free society where racial discrimination does not exist through the interracial adoption of children.


The study was conducted using several academic journals, peer review, books and other relevant online documents. In order to obtain accurate and detailed materials, Google Scholar and Sage Journal were used as the main source of information to obtain academic journals and the peer review used to complete the research. First, a search was conducted using keywords such as “interracial adoption and long-term effect and interracial adoption of children.” The search produced several results which are relevant articles of about fifty different articles. However, the articles were then selected based on their relevance to the topic and the year of publication. Based on the analysis of each article, fifteen sources were decided to be the best based on the date of publication, relevancy to the topic, the author knowledge and qualification.

In addition, books and library resources were utilized to complete the research paper. The library was based on the materials available from the website of the university and the books as well. Several materials were obtained analyzed ad few were used to complete the research paper. Most importantly, each article and sources used were properly verified to make sure that it is authentic and also relevant to the topic so that a detailed research paper could be concluded. Some of the materials used were online Newspapers such as New York Post, Washington, and Forbes because most of their articles are properly research and authentic as well.


The research revealed that interracial adoption has both negative and positive long-term effect on children. It is established that children who are adopted or adoptee have high self-esteem. According to Ramsey and Daniella (2018), the adoptees grow up asking different questions concerning things around him or her and therefore, these children have high self-esteem compared to children who were raised by their biological parents. Ramsey and Daniella (2018) stated that interracial adoptees usually experience psychological adjustment and this can be as a result of a certain situation or what transpires through their lives. The adopted children become mature faster because their mind is in constant thinking of their life and therefore, a good percentage of them reason better than children who were raised by their biological parents (Ramsey & Daniella, 2018). The self-esteem of adopted children is enhanced due to an experience they have gone through, and they can handle many responsibilities compared to children who were raised by their biological parents.

The study also discovered that international and local adoption does not put the life of a child at high risk. Several children have been adopted and living peacefully with their adopted parents and therefore, the fear of interracial adoption if factious and should be ignored. The process of adoption is usually transparent, and therefore, it is legal biding which makes it difficult for anyone to mistreat an adopted child. Research has also found that most adopted children live a decent and happy life and their adopted parents are usually supportive and provide parent love as a biological parent (Ferrari, Sonia, Daniela, & Rosa, 2015).

It is also established that there should be proper measures to address racial issues because it negatively affects the interracial adoption of children. With racial intolerances, children living with adopted parents from a different race will automatically become afraid and start wondering where they should go if the racial utterances continue to persist. Research also found that interracial adoptee has long-term behavioral changes and emotional problems which can affect an individual for a period. But research fails to measure the racial experience of the adoptee in order to understand the influence of race factor in the adoption and the adoption process of children.

The findings indicate that discrimination and race usually play a role in the overall adjustment of interracial adopted children. It is also established that challenges which are faced by immigrants are like the challenges which interracial adoptee experience in their first years. The racial issues have been around for decades, and their contributions towards the adoption of children are very magnificent since it determines the type of family and adaptability as well. It is also established that some organizations such as Child Information Gateway (CIG) and Child Welfare Association wanted to make it a policy that social and cultural factors are the essential foundation which should be considered when giving a child for adoption. It is apparently such law could have acted as a barrier to interracial adoption which could have done away with gains which have been made towards establishing a racial tolerance society (Leslie & Jocelyn, 2013).


It is recommended for interracial adoption to happen when a child is still very young. It is because research has established that children who are adopted when still young adapt faster and grow up happily with fewer problems which usually affect adoptee. When a child is adopted when still young, he or she grows up adopted social factors or cultural practices of adopted family and therefore, they do not have a problem living with the adopted family. And therefore, it is recommended to adopt a child when still very young. It is recommended to administer an adoptee to a new culture in phases at the same time being truthful about an adoptee identity. Parents should tell the adoptee the truth about an individual background and culture and reason for adoption so that a child does not spend his or her entire life wondering why he or she is not white while parents are white. This is likely to limit chances of getting mental health problems or psychological disorder, and therefore, the lifestyle of adoptee would be better compared to when the truth is a shield from them.

It is highly recommended to understand the history of adoptee before making the final decision to proceed with the procedure of adoption. This is because if the parents of the adoptee were addicts or had some weird behavior which might affect the adoptee, then it is good to know. It will allow various measures to be taken to limit the effect of such behavior and train the adoptee a good behavior. Understanding the history of adoptee also help in solving certain hereditary diseases at early stages before it can be incurable. Therefore, understand the history of the adoptee is essential for the process of adoption and also to avoid any further damages which can be caused by any hereditary condition and to avoid the long-term effect on a child (Alison, Xiang, & Richard, 2017).


Interracial adoption has made a significant improvement in the United States since it started in 1945. Several American families live with other races together as a family without any discrimination, and the interracial adoption has been accepted and is practiced by all races. Research has found that interracial adoption is an essential element which can be used to create harmony and tolerance among different races. It is because where different races live together understanding is created and therefore, there are few chances of conflict. The research also established that the long-term effect of interracial adoption is a mental health problem or psychological disorder and therefore, it should be addressed well to solve problem-related to interracial adoption. Adopted children think about their lives, question their background and everyday wonder why they were adopted or given out. According to a study such constant thinking can develop to a psychological disorder, and it is, therefore, required that adoptive parents should provide truthful information to adoptee regarding their backgrounds so that they do not live their lives regretting (Papke, 2013).

Most importantly, this research analyzed various issues which usually affect interracial adoption of children and provide the detailed long-term effect of the practice. It also provides a history of interracial adoption starting from Asian War when American soldiers adopted Korean’s children to some of the latest interracial adoptions in the United States. It has provided the problem statement and offers a solution which should be applied to address issues which are being raised as factors which affect interracial adoption globally and locally especially in the United States.


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