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Abstract

The present study examined the lived experience (erlebnis) of adult transracial, Korean-born adoptees (Ibyangin; Yngvesson & Coutin, 2006) raised in the United States by White families. Long interviews (McCracken, 1988) were conducted with fourteen young adult (age 26-30) Korean-born adoptees in-person or by phone. The study was anchored in the constructivist-interpretivist research paradigm (Ponterotto, 2005) and utilized the phenomenological inquiry model (Moustakas, 1994) to explore the essence of the international transracial adoption experience. Two major clusters of meaning with additional subthemes were related to a) identity development, and b) decision to return to Korea. Limitations of the study are reviewed, implications for follow-up research are presented, and clinical applications are addressed.

Keywords

Ibyangin, Transracial Korean-Born Adoptees, Transracial Adoption, Identity, Belongingness, Qualitative Research

Author Bio(s)

Jason D. Reynolds is a Ph.D. Candidate in counseling psychology within the Division of Psychological and Educational Services at Fordham University. He has been an active researcher in the areas of racial/ethnic identity, psychobiography, transracial international adoption, multicultural and masculinity issues, social justice and community advocacy, and successful aging and goals for Centenarians. He has worked in a variety of clinical settings throughout Boston and New York City including schools, universities, community agencies, and hospitals. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Jason D. Reynolds at, jreynolds18@fordham.edu.

Joseph G. Ponterotto is an active psychobiographer, multicultural psychologist, and a professor of counseling psychology at Fordham University, New York City. He presently coordinates the Mental Health Counseling Master’s Degree Program in Fordham’s Graduate School of Education. In addition to psychobiography, his current research and teaching emphasis is multicultural counseling. He maintains a small multicultural focused private practice in New York City.


Chritina Lecker is a recent graduate of the doctoral program in counseling psychology within the Division of Psychological and Educational Services at Fordham University. She has been an active researcher in the areas of client perceptions of clinical services in community mental health settings and issues of diversity and multiculturalism. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings throughout Philadelphia including universities, community mental health agencies, and organizations serving the LGBTQ community.

Acknowledgements

We wish to express our sincere gratitude to the fourteen adoptees who participated in this study. It was such a privilege to hear about each individual's adoption story and share in the meaning making process with them. In addition, we would like to acknowledge the supportive editorial review team at The Qualitative Report.

Publication Date

2-7-2016

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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