A phenomenological exploration of adoptive parents' motivation for and experience of transracial adoption in South Africa

Attwell, Terry-Anne (2004) A phenomenological exploration of adoptive parents' motivation for and experience of transracial adoption in South Africa. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

Prior to the democratic elections of 1994, South Africa was daunted by legislation flooded with racial segregation. Adoption across racial lines is, because of South Africa’s racially segregated past, a relatively recent phenomenon in this country. The number of legal adoptions has increased dramatically, especially after its legalization in 1991. Parents may adopt across racial lines for an array of different reasons, from not being able to conceive a baby, to wanting to give a child the best opportunity in life. This study explored the experiences of white parents who have adopted black children, paying particular attention to how they deal with issues of “racial” identity. In-depth interviews were used to generate qualitative data pertaining to the parental perceptions of their motivation for, and experiences of adopting a child transracially in South Africa. The study aimed to explore their motivation for adopting and experiences, as well as issues relating to “racial” identity. Recommendations have been made to assist parents who are interested in adopting transracially. The report presents findings relating to the unique characteristics of the participants who have adopted transracially. These include adopters’ motivation and thought processes before taking the relevant steps to adopt transracially; the support that they have received from others in their decision to adopt transracially; communication patterns; their relevant concerns regarding the future of their adopted child; and issues pertaining to race, culture, heritage, prejudices and stereotypes. The findings suggest that parents were pragmatic, without regrets, in their views about adopting across racial lines. The parents’ motivations for adopting across racial lines were very similar to various perspectives, but were all due to the fact that they were unable to have biological children. Parents were aware of the child’s identity and cultural issues, which may be more perceptible in the future. Their perceptions, views and opinions, and the future concerns of their children were not unrealistic. Due to the children’s young age a follow-up study of these children should be considered.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Adoption, South Africa, Law, Race
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Psychology
ID Code:2669
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:23 Apr 2012 10:24
Last Modified:23 Apr 2012 10:24
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