The Yellow Banana Paradox: Surveys and Interviews exploring Chinese Adoptees’ Identities
In 1979 China created the One Child Policy in fear of overpopulation. Due to this law, families with more than one child would be forced to give up their second child or their daughters for adoption. Couples outside of the U.S. who could not get pregnant or wanted to adopt, had an opportunity to adopt babies from China. As a result the Chinese adoptees’ identities would be influenced by the adoptive country’s culture. As a Chinese adoptee, my own experiences and identities were strongly influenced by living and being raised in a white culture in the United States. I was able to reconnect with my fellow Chinese friends who were affected by this policy. I begin with the history of Chinese adoption, and previous research on adoptees’ identities. This study was accomplished by conducting 20 surveys and nine interviews. The questions asked were on how race/ethnicity, culture, and life experiences had an influence on the participant’s identities. During surveys and interviews, many of the participants expressed excitement about having this opportunity to tell their truths about living and being raised in a White culture while looking Chinese. It is important for my participants to share their stories because it adds more and different perspectives on the effects adoption has on their identities. Even though the One Child Policy in China ceased in 2015; international, trans racial, and domestic adoption will still continue to happen. Understanding how adoptees’ identity form and are influenced through their race, ethnicity and culture is important for them to understand and accept who they are in society.
Anya Galli Robertson
Primary Advisor's Department
Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work
Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences
"The Yellow Banana Paradox: Surveys and Interviews exploring Chinese Adoptees’ Identities" (2020). Stander Symposium Projects. 1885.