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Sharing the spotlight: The non-adopted siblings of transracial adoptees

John W Raible, University of Massachusetts Amherst


In the community of adoption and throughout its related literature, the needs and experiences of "invisible" or non-adopted children in transracial families have been largely overlooked. This study attempts to address that void by documenting the meaning and influences of transracial adoption in the lives of twelve non-adopted white adults who grew up with a transracially adopted brother or sister. The research used discourse analysis to document the narrative identities of the non-adopted siblings as they were enacted during interviews about transracial adoption. Five composite narrative identities are discussed, with distinctions made between those that were characterized as transracialized or un-transracialized. Transracialization is presented as a participant's active engagement with discourses of race and adoption in ways that may result in "post-white" identities in non-adopted siblings. Transracialization is discussed in terms of its benefit to members of adoptive families and the professionals who serve them, including social workers, psychotherapists, and educators. Implications for the community of adoption and the field of education are offered, along with recommendations for future research. ^

Subject Area

Bilingual education|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Raible, John W, "Sharing the spotlight: The non-adopted siblings of transracial adoptees" (2005). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3193934.