All my relations ~ Native transracial adoption: A critical case study of cultural identity

All My Relations ~ Native Transracial Adoption: A critical case study of cultural identity seeks to explore the problems identified in the literature concerning the adoption of Native children into non-Native families in Canada between the years of 1950 and the early 1980s; now referred to as the "Sixties Scoop". The literature points to negative outcomes for Native transracial adoption in terms of adoption breakdown and identity problems for adoptees. Meanwhile the general transracial adoption literature indicates that success and failure rates are similar to same-race adoption. This difference raised a number of questions that required answering. An Indigenous philosophical and methodological approach framed a critical case study approach to the topic and interviews with fifteen Native transracial adoptees shed light on how these adults understand their cultural identity vis-à-vis their transracial adoption. The data suggest that Native transracial adoption has been unsuccessful because of the interplay of a number of factors. Although "successful" adoptions have taken place in many instances, and many positive outcomes appear to evolve in the long-term, the analysis indicates that source of problematic Native transracial adoption outcomes rests not with identity issues, but with racism. The results of this study clearly link the negative outcomes of Native TRA to the socio-cultural context of racism in Canadian society. Recommendations asserted by Native adoptees and deduced from the data are directed at ameliorating these issues.

Additional Information

Cite as: Sinclair, R. (2007). All My Relations ~ Native Transracial Adoption: A Critical Case Study of Cultural Identity (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Calgary (Canada), Canada.

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Canadian CW research