Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption

by Jane Jeong Trenka (Editor)

Other authorsSun Yung Shin (Editor), Julia Chinyere Oparah (Editor)
Paperback, 2006





South End Press (2006), 300 pages


"Explores transracial adoption from adopted adults' perspectives using memoir, reflective/analytical essays, poetry, artwork, film critique, psychology, sociology, critical race, reproductive justice, more. Discusses reasons children become available for international adoption (war, poverty, structural inequities), ramifications of the colorblind ideal for adoptees (dealing with racism, cultural alienation, emotional isolation)"--Provided by publisher.

User reviews

LibraryThing member autumnesf
This was a difficult book to read. It is made up of "stories" or articles written by adult transracial/national adoptees. As an adoptive parent I like to read what the experts are saying as they reach adulthood. This book is not a place to look for a warm fuzzy.

The articles are written by different nationalities, all with their own experiences and stories to tell. Most have something they wish their adoptive parents had done differently -- but most also say they still have wonderful relationships with those parents even as they point out the hard stuff.

What this book really, really brought home to me is that as adoptive parents, as our children become young adults we need to make sure they are aware of and take advantage of adult adoptee groups if they are interested. Over and over the adoptee's relate that they never felt a 100% fit in their white homes or communities or in their native communities. In one group they don't look like a match, and in the group they match they act too white or American (or British or Canadian....). The place they all seem to point out as a "safe" place that they fit in and were understood were in the adoptee groups. NOT parent/adoptee groups, their own group where they are free to express themselves without hurting their loved ones.

Another thing that so many of them pointed out is that so much of the "research" and studies on transracial/national adoption with all the good results, first tend to be based on younger children, and second, the experts tend to be white social workers, doctors, adoption workers, adoptive parents ,etc., not from actual adoptees. Hopefully that will change in the future because most of these adoptee's tend to discount those findings as done by people without a clue or with an agenda to support.

A good read. This is a book I will keep.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

300 p.; 6 inches


0896087646 / 9780896087644


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