Adoption with complications: Conversations with adoptees and adoptive parents on everyday racism and ethnic identity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study is based on qualitative interviews with 20 adult international adoptees of colour and eight adoptive parents with internationally adopted children in Sweden regarding their experiences of racialization, ethnic identifications and coping strategies. The findings suggest that the non-white bodies of the adoptees are constantly made significant in their everyday lives in interactions with the white Swedish majority population, whether expressed as 'curious questions' concerning the ethnic origin of the adoptees or as outright aggressive racialization. The study argues that race has to be taken into consideration by Swedish adoption research and the Swedish adoption community, to be able to fully grasp the high preponderance of psychic ill health among adult adoptees as found by quantitative adoption research.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Work


  • racialization, adoption, race, Sweden
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-509
JournalInternational Social Work
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch