Well-being of 14- to 26-year-old Intercountry Adoptees, West Australia

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Intercountry adoption (ICA) remains a globally politicised institution that triggers strong discourses on whether transplantation across countries and cultures into racially different families negatively affects the adoptees’ well-being. In Australia the immigration and child welfare systems did not formally allow ICA until the demise of the White Australia Policy between 1966 and 1973 and the 1975 airlift of child war victims from Vietnam. By 1993 over 4,000 intercountry adoptees (ICAs) had arrived in Australia. This grew to nearly 9,000 by 2004, including 733 to Western Australia (WA). The majority had come from Asia. How have they fared? Despite strongly voiced opinions about transracial and IC adoptions in Australia there was a paucity of empirical research. This book outlines the first longitudinal study on ICA in WA providing an insight into the well-being of 283 child, adolescent and young adult ICAs over the decade 1994-2004 and how they compared to non-adopted locally born and migrant peers. The findings prove an important source of information for adoptees, biological and adoptive parents, adoption policy and law makers, adoption practitioners and health professionals.


Geertruda Rosenwald


Trudy Rosenwald (PhD) studied community and cross-cultural psychology at Edith Cowan University Perth W. Australia. She has 40 years experience in adoption and alternative care, the last 25 years as psychologist in state, national and international government and non-government settings. She currently volunteers for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).

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Scholars' Press


Australia, Adoption, intercountry adoption, well-being, identity, adoptive identity, Cultural Identity, Ethnic identity, racial identity, place identity, community identity, longitudinal study, Migrants, happiness, self-esteem, self-efficacy, Mental Health, physical health

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