Gehrmann, Richard (2012) Ascribing identities and negotiating stereotypes: case study of intercountry adoptees. In: Cultures in refuge: seeking sanctuary in modern Australia. Studies in Migration and Diaspora. Ashgate Publishing, Farnham, Surrey. United Kingdom, pp. 113-129. ISBN 978-1-4094-3475-7
Negotiating the shadows of the past is a central theme in this analysis of intercountry adoptees. The negotiation is multifaceted and includes adoptees' past experience before their migration to Australia and also includes their experiences of settlement into a new family in a new country. This chapter interrogates the notion that intercountry adoptees lack representation as a collective immigrant community in their own right. While the group is often examined in the context of their adoptive status, few examinations approach them as migrants, thus denying opportunities to understand these aspects of their identities. This chapter explores the notion of a hybrid identity, using this to discuss how intercountry adoptees experience belonging to a possible community. The chapter concludes that intercountry adoptees need to be repositioned as migrants as well is adoptees, and that the process of their settlement and fluid cultural identities are central to their sense of belonging. Examples are taken from a range of adoptees including those from South Korea, China and Ethiopia.
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