Does an adopted sibling of the same ethnicity makes things easier/better?

Do you believe transracial adoptees do not struggle as much with their cultural identity when they have a sibling who is also adopted from their same cultural background?

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6 thoughts on “Does an adopted sibling of the same ethnicity makes things easier/better?

  1. IMO no. I can only speak from personal experience.
    I had an adopted sister same ethnicity; but because we are all individuals she took to the state of being adopted in a very different way to me. I wanted answers, my sister did not. She was not concerned with cultural identity and appears to have been content to grow up taking on the identity of a caucasian.
    I was not. Personally I think, it was because of the way that we were brought up. The time that we brought up in. Had our APs been open honest and about our adoption, who and where we had come from and why perhaps we would both have faired very differently.

  2. Before I was summarily kicked off of the “Canada Adopts” bulletin boards, I found myself in a strange discussion in which adoptive parents were trying to justify the corrupting influence of some PAPs in Egypt, by ignoring what I was saying and asking whether “this” or “that” variation on the theme would be more “palatable” to Islamic doctrine.

    I find it interesting that most questions from adoptive parents manage to ignore everything else we’ve said and focus on this “getting around” the implications of what we are saying. How can anyone even ask this question? What is the insinuation here? Is this like asking, “is it better to be alone in prison, or else have someone else with you?”

    Such that when I answer, “of course, it is better to have someone with you in prison” this somehow justifies incarceration as a practice, as long as you put two people in a cell. This question is logically flawed, and the asker is so beholden to adoption as a valid practice, that they cannot help but want to “double up”, as long as they get some kind of approval from adoptees.

    I’m not falling for it. Please go back and reread the entirety of this web site. Please read and attempt to understand, not dismiss.

  3. ….I can not speak for others experiences other than that of my own and believe that we can not be categorized nor pigeon-holed in such simple terms. People regardless of whether they’re adopted or not are individuals in their own right and as such we deserve to be treated, if that makes sense.

    My real struggle was being brought-up in a culture/ society that did not accept me for who I was which led to a myriad of complexes, insecurities and feelings of shame. My sister being older than me felt it even more which infact made her distance herself even more from me as I became a constant reminder to her of a country that the west looked down upon, belittled, patronized etc. and to which she did not want to be seen associated with.

    …From my experience, it was not down to my sibling to make me feel better about about who I am and where we came from, but the responsibility of the sending countries, the adopters and the communities we were adopted into….and eventually ourselves. As a child I always knew deep inside that nothing was wrong with me yet my adopters and their community tried so hard to make me feel like something was wrong with me and that I’d never fit in nor be accepted. It was only when I turned older, could make decisions for myself and act on those decisions (which took me a very long time i.e. my late 20’s), that I found the words to my feelings and could finally feel ok with being me in a society that was not ok with me nor that accepting of me. I still find it tough at times and it requires immense resilience on my part…….

  4. Whether you are adopted together with a sibling of the same ethnicity, adopted with a domestically adopted child or raised alone it is still a painful experience of not knowing your own mother, to lose your roots, ethnicity, personal family tree, language, culture, the truth of your history, how you came into this world, etc etc. That is sad. It is a loss that we adoptees have to deal with on a daily basis. It is like wearing a mask. The mask is to please other people, to please adopters and for their protection that they did a ‘great savior-like’ deed, it’s a mask for society to show them that you are not really the ‘enemy’ (if you are a minority adoptee). Once we delve into our past it is like taking off the mask and appreciating ourselves. Giving us the gifts of self-esteem and unconditional love for who we are as people despite not knowing our own TRUTH history. Adopters have no idea what an injustice it is for adoptees to not have access to our birth records and to keep our birth record locked up with a lock and key. This is not fair or right and should be a crime. So, no, I don’t think it helps or make it easier to have a sibling who is adopted…..it just doubles the pain.

  5. My reply: life is unpredictable.

    My brother was also Japanese (half), the only Japanese person I knew. He was older (10 1/2 years); adopted from a Home for Dependent and Neglected Children when he was about five. My parents kicked him out of the house when he was seventeen because of “stresses” with him…but he finished high school and then college! And was killed just afterwards in a car crash. He was twenty-two.

    I was placed in part at that (adoptive) house because of him. Officials were trying to find a home for me, a mixed race child (half Japanese). This was in about 1956. They knew about him and thought the placement might be “better.” They wrote on their documents, “one of the best placements.” [And they took me from the only family that I had known when I was fourteen months old.]

    I loved my brother because he loved me. What made things better was the love. Was the placement “better” or “easier”? You figure.

    But with respect to cultural identity…that was a non-starter for either of us. We were utterly dispossessed in places that could not inform either of us about cultural identity.

  6. I know it definitely helped me. I was born in Korea and in 1974 my sister and I were adopted together. We have the same birth mother but probably different fathers. In any case we are both Korean-African American. My extraordinary parents had 10 of their biological children and adopted 3 more at age 50 and 55! Irish Catholic. Anyway, they adopted my brother who was half Caucasian and African American in 1968. For his sake, they adopted us in 1974 at ages 5 and 8. I do not remember feeling afraid or traumatized- although I may have been. From our social work papers, I
    apparently relied on my sister for comfort. When we arrived in San
    francisco, upon meeting my new father, I reportedly grabbed his

    finger and dragged him to a candy machine. My dad said I chattered in Korean and finally he figured out I wanted some Wrigley Spearmint gum. My sisters were college age and they told me I acted as if no one had ever told me “No”. So somehow, I think I was able to stay emotionally intact because I had my sister. All my reports describe me as an harmonious child and not afraid of strangers. I absolutely know that my older sister kept me feeling safe.
    Also with the identity issue. Since we weren’t infants when adopted and I had my brother and sister to compare, I “knew” I wasn’t Caucasian and therefore less identity issues. Today, I am very proud of my heritage and strength.

Adoptees, what do you think? We welcome your replies!

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