Effects of Acculturation on Adolescents and Adoption

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Children that are adopted into a culture that differs from their own culture will have to learn how to adjust and assimilate in both cultures effectively. In these cases children have already experienced enormous thrashing in their young lives. Quantities of these children have suffered issues of physical abuse, mental abuse, abandonment, alienation, and isolation and will continue to grieve loss. Acculturation refers to a process where individuals from one particular culture adopt the norms, values, attributes, and behaviors from another culture.

It is fundamental that adopted children have qualified, bicultural trained, culturally competent, loving, and nurturing adoptive parents. That are dedicated and willing educate the children as much as they possibly can. This will help promote mental and physical wellness. Adoptive parents can expect the likelihood of their children experiencing excessive stressors, particularly children with special needs they will be become faced with the daunting attempt and charge towards learning new positive behaviors associated with the cultural assimilation process. In many cases, it is a survival tactic and in other cases, it can be imposed.

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Until a child begins to feel accepted and perceives that acceptance within their new bicultural family as well as acceptance within their new culture. Only then will the child become a culturally competent person that appreciates assimilation into their new family and culture. In numerous cases of multiethnic and international adoptions more often than not this happenstance usually occurs. A magnitude of adoptive parents has not given real consideration or deliberate contemplation to the costly affects of an adoptee losing his/her cultural identity. I will give explanations and reasoning for bicultural training.

It is my intention to reveal major critical rudiments concerning the positives of acculturation and what still needs to be explored. ADOPTION An explanation for adoption can be numerous and wide-ranging. Rape is one common reason for a mother to put her child up for adoption, but the core issue is invariably being that the mother does not feel able to support her newborn. Many children in different cultures especially those born to single mothers who have apprehension of the father and who believe the child may be harmed if not removed from the situation is another causation factor.

There are also mothers with psychological troubles who need to give up their child for adoption for the child’s safety and well-being. However, the most salient reason mothers necessitate to give up children for adopt is simply poverty. There are still millions of people living below the poverty line. Even in a developed country. Mothers reconcile that the child will have no hope of a quality life growing up in a disadvantaged and depressed region, with no means of support other than relying on inadequate state welfare systems.

The mothers believe repeatedly with justification, that the child will have a better likelihood of opportunity with another family. Bausch, R. S. , & Serpe, R, T. (1997). INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION When the Berlin wall came down in 1990, many children were left in serious trouble because they were orphaned, or their parents had no resources to support them. Thus, a route was quickly opened whereby western parents could adopt them. Other countries also sending their children to the United States for adoption were Russia, Brazil, Honduras, China, Ethiopia, and Ukraine.

Before 2007, the easiest way to adopt a baby was to bring one from China, a heavily populated country with very limited resources for looking after the poor disadvantaged children. Ethiopia has a population of nearly 75 million people. The country is twice the size of Texas and has an estimated 4. 3 million orphans, primarily orphaned due to poverty as well as lives in government – run and privately established orphanages. Bausch, R. S. , & Serpe, R, T. (1997). FORSTERCARE/ADOPTION

Foster parents are another starting place that may be called upon to adopt children, especially hard to place children and children that have special needs. Many children in the foster care system come from physically and mentally abusive and distressed family backgrounds. In 1997 the government passed, The Adoption and Safe Families Act. This law seeks to find adoptive parents for children in the foster care system. The foster care system has attracted harsh criticism of its practices, due to the scandals that have surfaced in the media in recent times.

Bausch, R. S. , & Serpe, R, T. (1997). Children need to know who they are and to what culture they belong to at an early age. An adoptive parent might be able to protect their child while the child is young, but as the child grows and develops into maturity; their authenticity will disclose to them who they actuality are. Based on preceding information known by adoptive parent the child could become frustrated and reject these findings, resulting in feelings of confusion and sense turmoil due to feelings of internal conflict.

As a result the adoptee’s value and self – worth is compromised. The adoptive parent is no longer able to protect the child in the microcosm they created. Hollingworth,L. D. (1997). PROMOTING SAME RACE ADOPTIONS Hollingsworth, L. D. (1998). discusses his valuable research for the reason that it a protracted source of continuing passionate and deliberate debate in the social services agencies among social workers of all ethnicities. As long as there is conversation about this scorching subject matter, there is hopefully, some constructive result will manifest from it.

Opponents of polices that protect same – race adoptions assert that children of color are languishing in out – of – hand care because they are being restricted from entering transracial adoption arrangements. This study argues that transracial adoption is not necessary to ensure that children of color be adopted in a timely manner and sets forth alternative arguments around six primary issues: 1. Polices favoring adoption by foster parents. 2. The availability of same race families to adopt children. 3.

The abundance of children in -out- home care unavailability for adoption or with special needs. 4. Disparities in child welfare services related to ethnicity. 5. Misleading data on the numbers of children of color in foster care. 6. Poverty as an underlying cause of out – of – home placement. This study clearly represents this history of the transracial adoption controversy it also discusses its status. HISPAPANIC/ LATINO ADOLESENT Characteristically acculturation occurs when a person’s culture of origin gradually changes to become similar to that of the host society or dominant culture.

A minute number of role models exit for Hispanic Americans. Less than two percent of this population is presently represented in the media and more often than not, in an unenthusiastic manor causing negative stereotyping. Research exists on the wide- ranging causation effects of acculturation taking place in the lives of immigrants residing in the United States. Unger, Olsen, & Baezonde,(2009). This particular research study investigates the acculturation theory that predicts differences in acculturation.

In addition, the differences in acculturation among Hispanics adolescents compared to that of their parents may account for increases in substance abuse. 1. The survey sampled 1,772 ninth grade Hispanic students from a series of economic groups from seven different high schools. 2. Survey questionnaires in both English and Spanish were issued to collect data that represented this populous. 3. The hypothesis was to predict the acculturation theory and describe the differences in acculturation adolescents among compared to that of their parents may account for increases in substance. Unger, Olsen, & Baezonde,(2009).

Unger,(2009) examines the outcome indicated when Hispanic adolescents perceived their own orientation towards American culture to be greater than that of their parents; Hispanic adolescents were more likely to report substance abuse On the other hand when Hispanic adolescents perceived their parents orientation toward Hispanic culture to be greater than that of their own Hispanic adolescents report substance abuse. However, when Hispanic adolescents reported dominant orientation towards Hispanic culture there was turnaround Hispanic adolescent were less likely to report substance abuse.

Unger,(2009). He further states the adolescent’s degree of “perceived family cohesion is dominant. It seems to serve as a protective buffering factor. ” (p. 37) this finding shows that cultural uniqueness provides a sense of belonging to a group membership. “Some maintain their traditional orientation, where as others assimilate and exchange their native cultural practices and values for those of the host culture. ”(Sue, & Sue. 2008, p. 382) they do not seem to understand who they are.

It is important they are not stuck in the stress of acculturation conflicts, but are learning how to manage and consult both cultures competently thus, reducing the stressors that can cause negative behaviors. NEGATIVE OUTCOME OF INTERETHNIC ADOPTION Unger,J. B, Ritta. Soto, D, W. Baezconde, L. (2009). Identifies concerns for possible negative outcomes of interethnic adoption involving Mexican American children and non- Mexican American parents. A sample of 861 Mexican Americans age 18 or older were asked whether they agree or disagreed with four consequences resulting from interethnic adoption. . The child may have an ethnic identity conflict. 2. The child may forget his or her Latino backgrounds. 3. The child’s participation in Latino cultural events may be limited. 4. The child may not acquire the skills to cope with racism. Participants from this Acculturation discrepancies survey were in agreement with the probability outcome. They also believed that there are cultural barriers preventing Latinos from adopting; with higher levels of participation in Mexican American cultural events; and with income, education, and acculturation.

However, agreement that the outcomes were probable did not necessary reflect approval or disapproval of interethnic adoption. Unger,J. B, Ritta. Soto, D,W. Baezconde,L. (2009). CONCLUSION According to Sue & Sue, (2208). Cultural competence requires knowledge, but also sensitivity to an interest in different cultures, it is imperative that adoptive parents who plan to adopt across race, receive specialized training to develop cultural – competence skills to promote and support their potential adoptees in the development of a positive racial identity and survival capability skills for a life in a multicultural society.

The adoptive parent must always be a credible resource and advocate for the child. Relevant training should go hand in hand with the adoption procedure. However, there is little documentation of agency training for trans-racial adoptive parents. This is an egregious offense; requirements for correction need to be immediate. It is in the child’s best interests. Sue & Sue, (2008). Adoptive parents must to be required to participate in a bicultural competence – training program, before careful consideration as potential candidates to adopt an adoptee of a different ethnicity can meet approval.

This type of training should edify the necessary skills the adoptive family and adoptee will need to live in two distinct cultures. In addition, the training should provide a net work of valuable resources intended for support for the family. The adoptive parent must be diligent and work hard to be authentically multicultural unit. If the adoptive parents family, friendships, neighborhood and church reflect only their culture. Sue & Sue, (2008). The adoptive parent should seek out places where commitment to diversity is more evident. It is necessary to find like – minded people with who support relationships can be built.

The adoptive parent needs to be knowledgeable about the traditions and celebrations of their child’s culture. A quantity of available resources at the public library; The adoptive parent could also subscribe to a particular magazine, newsletters, or news paper that represent global point of view or a culturally specific point of view. The adoptive parent may want to consider incorporating the food, art, and music of several cultures in to their daily lives. They may perhaps want to consider taking their children to a good ethnic restaurant, explore museums, and rent videos that offer the family new insight in to other cultures.

Adoptive parents should not forget their own ethnic heritage as well. After establishing these crucial skills in cultural diversity, the adoptive parent should have the wisdom to lead their children to be good global citizens. The adoptive parents and their adoptees will have the ability differentiate how to navigate both cultures simultamously. The resolve of this bicultural training will optimistically promote social competence and a positive identity, as it helps the adoptive parents appreciate the motivations, perspectives and feelings of individuals from cultures different than their own.

Bicultural orientation may be the promise to resolution to acculturation conflicts. Sue & Sue, (2008). Failure to achieve equal partnership for minorities in social, academic, and economic life in America will have disastrous effects for this society. MY CULTURE Sue & Sue,(2008). Discusses that people are neither good nor bad, but a product of their environment. I have experienced that impression first hand. To what culture do I belong? This is a difficult question. One I cannot fully answer because I just don’t know all the details of my family history on my father’s side or my mother’s.

My mother was orphaned during World War Two. There is no family information available for her. My mother is a British subject from London England. My father is from the island of Malta. I have never met my father. My mother suffered a complete mental break down. Thus, this caused my brother and I to go into placement. I was about four weeks old at the time. During my early childhood years I lived in a large family I had fourteen siblings two of them were black. They were the only two black children I knew. I thought that they must have been born on two hot days and didn’t give the issue any further attention.

I loved all my siblings. We were all treated in the same manor by our parents with love, compassion, and respect. If they were treated differently I would have known it. My foster parents were white. I loved them very much. Unfortunately, they are now deceased. I resided in Guildford Surrey England an upper middle class community. Guildford was voted prettiest village in all of England. I lived next to a sheep farm and enjoyed simple country living. We went to the swimming bath as a family together and played for hours. Every Sunday we all went to church together.

Extended family was a part of our everyday life also. Someone was always coming over for a visit, or living with us for a while. My grandmother also lived with us. There is nothing like the love of an awesome grandmother she was the best pastry baker in the village. People used to come from around the region to purchase her cakes and cookies. I can still smell the aroma of her cooking. Then one day out of nowhere everything in my life abruptly changed. I was told that my mother was coming and I and my brother had to go with her.

I was in shock. Long story short within a few weeks I was taken out of my home and was now living with my biological mother and her black boy friend. I had never seen a black man before. My mother told me he was my new father and I should call him daddy, I refused. Not because I was prejudice. This man was not my father and who in the world would ever believe that a black man could be my father. I already had a father who was white like me. I loved my dad and I felt insulted. I did not want another father or mother for that fact.

When I thought it could not get any worse, I was informed that we were moving to America. As the plane landed in America my life as I knew it was over. In a few short weeks I had lost my parents, siblings, grandmother, extended family, friends, school, church and my country! All communication was cut off. I was now living in the ghetto of the South Bronx in a rundown tenement building, sharing a lumpy twin size bed with my little biracial sister, she was my only source of comfort.


1. Unger,J. B. , – Olson, A. Soto, D,W. , Baezconde – Garbanti, L. (2009).  Parent childacculturation discrepancies as risk factor for substance use among Hispanic adolescentsin southern California Journal of Immigrant Minority Health. Vol. 11 pp. 149 -157 2. Berry, J. W. (1986). Multiculturism and psychology in plural societies. Ethnic Minorities in a Cross Cultural Perspective. Vol. 1 pp. 37 – 51 3. Bausch,R. S. , & Serpe, R,T. (1997). Negative outcome of interethnic children. Social work,Vol. 42 pp. 36 – 43 4. Hollingsworth,L. D. (1998),Promoting same-race adoption for children of color. Social work,Vol. 43 pp. 104-116 5. Sue, D. W. , & Sue D. 2008), Counseling the culturally diverse theory and practice. 5th ED 6. Brown, P. M. (1990). Biracial indentity and social marginality. Child and Adolescent Social Journal. Vol. 7 pp. 319 – 337. Acculturation 6 References 1. Bausch,R. S. , & Serpe, R,T. (1997). Negative outcome of interethnic children. Social work,Vol. 42 pp. 36 – 43 2. Unger,J. B. , – Olson, A. Soto, D,W. , Baezconde – Garbanti, L. (2009). Parent childacculturation discrepancies as risk factor for substance use among Hispanic adolescentsin southern California Journal of Immigrant Minority Health. Vol. 11 pp. 149 -157

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Effects of Acculturation on Adolescents and Adoption. (2017, Jan 04). Retrieved from


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