NY Times: Adoption & Search for Identity

Posted: November 9, 2009 in Adoption

The NY Times featured an article today which highlights a study on adoptees’ search for identity. The article focuses on adoptees from South Korea, but could be applicable to children adopted from other countries. Our son will be raised as an American. But I hope we will be able to offer him the support and encouragement he needs whenever the time comes that he may want to learn more about his heritage and ethnicity. 

“For Joel Ballantyne, a high school teacher in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who was adopted by white parents in 1977, the study confirms many of the feelings that he and other adoptees have tried to explain for years.

“This offers proof that we’re not crazy or just being ungrateful to our adoptive parents when we talk about our experiences,” said Mr. Ballantyne, 35, who was adopted at age 3 and who grew up in Alabama, Texas and, finally, California.

Jennifer Town, 33, agreed.

“A lot of adoptees have problems talking about these issues with their adoptive families,” she said. “They take it as some kind of rejection of them when we’re just trying to figure out who we are.”

Ms. Towns, who was adopted in 1979 and raised in a small town in Minnesota, recalled that during college, when she announced that she was going to Korea to find out more about her past, her parents “freaked out.” – Excerpt from Adopted from Korea and In Search of Identity, New York Times, November 9, 2009


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