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Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2014 Apr;20(2):231-43. doi: 10.1037/a0035324.

Race and bicultural socialization in the Netherlands, Norway, and the United States of America in the adoptions of children from India.

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Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University.
Centre for Child and Family Studies, Leiden University.


A cross-national sample of 622 internationally adopted children from India with White parents in The Netherlands (n = 409), Norway (n = 146), and the United States (n = 67) was used to contrast country-specific bicultural socialization (BCS) practices among families of transracial intercountry adoption. The 3 countries vary in their degrees of minority (US > Netherlands > Norway) and Indian populations (US > Norway > Netherlands). The current study examined parental survey trends among BCS practices, children's negative encounters about adoption, racial and positive discrimination, and parental worry about these issues. Country-specific differences were revealed: The United States and Norway (greatest Indian populations) reported the greatest similarity in BCS practices, classmates being a source of negative reactions/racial discrimination, and parental worry. The American sample encountered greater negative reactions to adoption from others; Dutch children experienced the least negative reactions from others overall, yet as in the United States (samples with the greatest minority heterogeneity) they still noted significant experiences of racial discrimination. Country-specific sociopolitical perceptions about adoption, ethnicity/race, and immigration are considered as factors that may have been used to inform parenting practices that facilitate children's biculturalism into family life (i.e., adoptive family stigma, percentages of Indian/minority populations, immigration policy trends). Concluding, cross-national research such as the current study may help intercountry adoption policymakers and practitioners to better understand and inform BCS practices in adoptive families.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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