It’s usually difficult to find resources to help professionals understand the fundamental loss of cultural identity for an intercountry adoptee but the best source, is those of us who live it. Here we provide a few of our resources provided by intercountry adoptees in specific areas of expertise as professionals:
Adoption and Multiculturalism (book) a global collaboration amongst academics with lived experience, devoted to critically exploring the cultural aspects woven within intercountry adoption; led by Indigo Willing
Balancing Two Worlds: Supporting Transracially Adopted Asian/American Students on the College Campus (D Suda & Nicholas Hartlep)
Research in Australia has recently explored the use of art therapy to help us heal from our cultural disconnection and loss. The research results will be shared here when completed.
To help us develop a positive cultural identity, we suggest exploring in depth our birth culture and heritage, remembering that culture is more than learning the language, celebrating national public holidays or cooking a country’s foods.
An excellent resource to visualise what “culture” means:
This video animation provided from the Stolen Generation (Australia’s Aboriginal people who had their children taken from them and placed into white adoptive homes) portrays the impact of lost culture and the profound intergenerational trauma we end up carrying until it’s recognised and supported to heal.
Another couple of Indigenous videos that help to explain the importance of reconnecting to our cultural origins and finding our sense of belonging:
Indigenous teenagers find a connection to country
Fostering Lifelong Connections – The Bridge & Building Bridges
Here are some ICAV blogs that speak from lived experience about the importance of helping us embrace and integrate our lost birth culture, the impacts of it’s loss, and how we navigate reconnection to our lost culture and heritage:
Another close connection to the cultural loss and impacts intercountry adoptees live is widely documented as the concept of “Third Culture Kids” (TCK), a term used to describe children raised outside their own, and/or their parent’s own country of origin, usually these parents are expatriates.
Here are a list of TCK resources that can help you understand better:
So Where’s Home: A documentary film about Third Culture Kid Identity
Third Culture (Podcast)
People Like Us (Podcast) – the podcast includes episodes interviewing intercountry adoptees : Garon Wade, Marie Gardom, Anna Svedberg
Helping Internationally Adopted Children Develop a Healthy Cultural & Racial Identity (by Dr Hollee McGinnis)
Supporting the Expat Village (for adoptive parents to be supported as they raise their children in expatriate lives – French but use Google Chrome to auto translate to English)
Supporting Third Culture Kids (a coaching service to help adoptive parents who are raising third culture children)