Cross-cultural adoption in South Africa: new directions for research

01 Jul 2020

This article reviews the literature on cross-cultural adoption in South Africa and provides new insights and research questions to help social work practitioners and researchers better understand the impact of cross-cultural adoption for adoptees. The article compares the context of race and adoption research in the United States and South Africa, paying particular attention to strengths and limitations of research studies from both countries. In this paper, I argue that race and racism shape the experiences of black cross- cultural adoptees, and therefore adoptees? ability to navigate such circumstances should be a central focus when assessing the impact of cross- cultural adoption. While much research from both countries has focused on the experiences and perspectives of parents and social workers, future research should focus on the adoptee perspective. Practical implications for those involved in social work practice and social services in the South African context are also addressed.