Out of the Grey Area: Is There a Collective Adoptive Identity?

Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Rebecca Overmyer-Velazquez


What does identity and belonging mean to an adoptee? Is it easy for adopted children to feel like they belong? The research presented will be a collective of life history interviews of 6 adoptees from ages 18-30 who’ve had to answer these very questions for themselves. This study will use the perspectives of adoptees to try and shed light on the “grey zone” in which they find themselves because of their unique, independent adoption stories. The literature gathered emphasizes that children in both open and closed adoptions have the same difficulties. My research adds to the literature as not much research has been conducted by an adoptee on other adoptees; it will also document the viewpoints of adoptees directly. With my findings I give others a clearer idea of how adoptees view their identities and how being adopted affects adoptees throughout their lives. Also ,my findings show that there is such a thing as a “collective adoptive identity” which is part of what I was looking for while conducting my interviews.


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