Contexts of Racial Socialization: Are Transracial Adoptive Families More like Multiracial or White Monoracial Families?

Rose M. Kreider, U.S. Census Bureau
Elizabeth Raleigh, University of Pennsylvania

Much attention has been paid to the racial socialization of nonwhite adopted children raised by white parents. While in the mid 20th century adoptive parents were counseled to ignore racial or ethnic differences between parents and children, current practice emphasizes the importance of children developing positive ethnic and racial identities. This paper uses the restricted-access American Community Survey, a large, nationally representative data set to show that the context of racial socialization for transracially adopted children is more similar to that of white children in white families than to children of interracial couples. We compare social/demographic characteristics such as racial diversity of the county of residence for these groups of children as a proxy for racial socialization. This paper seeks to add a quantitative, nationally representative picture of the context of racial socialization for specific groups of transracially adopted children, complementing existing qualitative research published in this area.

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Presented in Session 112: Emerging Family Forms