A theoretical look at biculturalism in intercountry adoption
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Intercountry adoption has been, and continues to be, a popular method of family formation worldwide, as well as a means of providing homes for children who would otherwise remain parentless. The popularity of this social welfare practice suggests that countless families continue to face the challenges of raising children whose ethnicities derive from two different ethnic backgrounds. Yet, virtually no research exists on the development of a bicultural ethnic identity in intercountry adoption. Instead, research has focused on the importance of birth-culture socialization, or the lack thereof. Faced with too little direct research on the subject, this paper synthesizes and critically reviews literature from the ethnic socialization, biracial, acculturation, and adoption fields. The aim was twofold: (1) extrapolate key elements of the literature that inform on the development of biculturalism in intercountry adoptions; and (2) identify gaps in the literature. Suggestions for future research and practice are offered.