adoption, Chinese-american, return-trip


Asian Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Race and Ethnicity


Kimberly McKee


Since 1991, more than 80,000 children from China have been adopted to the United States. This thesis describes the circumstances that led to those adoptions and focuses on 17 Chinese adult adoptees’ return trip reculturation experiences. In doing so, this study reveals the impact of these trips on the transracial adoptees’ identities. Return trips significantly impacted adoptees with factors such as age during return trip, length of trip, linguistic fluency, and prior cultural knowledge greatly affecting trip experiences. Because of the ages of this cohort of adoptees, return trips may become more popular in the coming years as they enter adulthood, so this research will provide a lens to understand this form of reculturation for other Chinese adoptees embarking on this journey.