How to Prepare Transracial Adoptees for Transitioning to College

How can parents help their transracial adoptees transition to college and why can this transition be hard for both teens and parents. We talk with Dr. Amanda Baden, a Professor in the Counselor Education Program at Montclair State University. She is an active researcher and currently leads their Adoption Research Team. She is also a transracial adoptee.

Hit the Highlights
  • Acknowledge that this will likely be a strange year for preparing anyone going to college.
  • What are the major developmental milestones for all adolescents that happen during the 15-20 age frame?
  • What are some of the additional developmental milestones for adolescent adoptees?
  • What are the additional developmental milestones for transracial adoptees during the late teen years?
  • Why is the transition to college sometimes a difficult one for transracial adoptees?
  • What do you mean by “honorary whiteness”?
  • Is the experience of transitioning to college different depending on the race of adoptee?
  • Some adoptees feel like the bridge between the race/culture of their adoptive family and the race/culture of their birth. What are the issues with being the bridge.
  • Are there specific things parents and transracial adopted teens should look for when choosing a college?
  • The complexities of using the “transracial adoption story” as part of the college essay.
  • How can the feeling of rejection that some adoptees feel be exacerbated in the college application process?
  • How does the college experience impact adoptee identity development?
  • Can the transition to college be especially difficult for parents of transracial adoptees?
  • Parents concern about whether their child will leave and emotionally not return.
  • Birth parent search is usually open to adolescents at age 18, which is right during this time of transition.
  • How can parents help their transracial adoptee make a successful transition to college?

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Music credit: Michael Ashworth

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