The Development of Culture within Latin American International Adoptees
Kellie J. Hagewen, Duke University
Rachel Hagewen, North Carolina State University
This qualitative study focuses on adult adoptees that were adopted from a Latin American country into a white non-Hispanic family in the US. Based on the literature reviewed, the following research questions were explored: (1) Do Latin American transcultural adoptees develop different degrees of cultural identification, or do they all identify with their native culture with the same intensity?; and (2) If Latin American transcultural adoptees do identify with their native culture in varying intensities, what leads some to identify more strongly than others? After the interviews were completed and coded, three patterns emerged from the data. The respondents' cultural identity took one of three forms. Twenty-nine percent of the respondents identified very strongly with being Latino, 57% of the respondents identified somewhat weakly with being Latino and 14% of the respondents did not identify at all with being Columbian. Each of these typologies is discussed in greater detail.