Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MA in Child Development


Child Development Graduate Program


When exploring culture, race, and identity, Chinese adoptees in the United States often can face numerous emotions, ranging from confusion, to curiosity, to celebratory. From honoring Chinese holidays, to wearing American-style clothing, to being called a "banana", adoptees have a unique set of experiences when trying to navigate what it means to be Chinese, Chinese-American, and American. Through a series of interviews conducted with ten adult female Chinese adoptees within the U.S., this study investigates key themes related to cultural and racial identity formation. Key themes included exploring the different aspects of Chinese culture participants were exposed to, instances of racism participants faced, and discussions with their parents about various race issues both within the family and on a societal level. It was found that adoptees were exposed to a wide range of aspects related to Chinese culture, ranging from celebrating Chinese holidays, to learning Chinese language and dance, to simply eating at Chinese restaurants. It was also observed that the adoptees not only faced multiple forms of racism, especially microaggressions and stereotyping, but that having discussions surrounding racism and other race issues with their parents were mostly absent. The majority of the findings within the study were congruent with previous literature and research; however, it is strongly recommended that more research about the Chinese adoptee population should be continued in order to develop better resources for adoptees, their families, and others within the community.