Emerging Adult Chinese Adoptees' Perspectives on Family, Relationships, and Parenthood Amid COVID-19

Hannah Meredith Wing, Fordham University


Chinese transracial adoptees’ lived experiences are under-researched despite being one of the largest subgroups of transracial adoptees in the United States. The highest rates of adoption from China to the United States. occurred in the late 1990s and early 2000s, meaning that thousands of Chinese transracial adoptees have entered or are approaching emerging adulthood. Utilizing a constructivist paradigm and qualitative phenomenological approach, semi-structured interviews explored 23 female Chinese transracial adoptees’ perspectives on family, romantic relationships, and parenthood amid COVID-19. Data revealed one superordinate theme: Decision-making processes surrounding developmental tasks in emerging adulthood served as catalysts for transracial adoptees’ renegotiation of their adoptive, racial, and ethnic identities. Six major themes emerged: (a) reflection on adoption, (b) re-evaluating racialized identity before and after onset of COVID-19, (c) appraisal of ethnic socialization, (d) racial preference for romantic partners, (e) vision for forming a family, and (f) compensating for gaps in socialization through parenting choices. Findings suggest that emerging adulthood prompts Chinese transracial adoptees to undergo a cyclical introspective process of evaluating and reformulating their relationship toward their adoption, race, and birth culture that integrates their past, present, and future selves. Given the dearth of literature, study findings serve as a foundation for future research on, and clinical practice with, transracial adoptees as the Chinese adoptee population ages and, more broadly, to provide insight into race relations, intersectional marginalized identities, and experiences of racial in-betweenness in a racially conscious society.

Subject Area

Psychology|Asian American Studies|Individual & family studies

Recommended Citation

Wing, Hannah Meredith, "Emerging Adult Chinese Adoptees' Perspectives on Family, Relationships, and Parenthood Amid COVID-19" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30572360.