May is APIA Heritage Month.
I made this to express the social labels, prejudices, and struggles to be an Asian adoptee, Asian/Filipino-American, and other facets of my identity.
As part of the 2nd largest Asian American group, Filipino American, while growing up I was and am determined to learn more and understand what it means to be both Asian/Filipino American due to my socialization in a densely populated white cultured area. I’ll re-emphasize the culture shock of not meeting other people of my heritage and ethnic background until halfway through high school and even made my own effort of learning more what constitutes my heritage, not my culture.
So for many APIA Adoptees, I highly encourage to express yourself and your stories within histories/herstories that we share.
Feel free to submit them on this site.
Adoptee Language Usage
Positive Language Negative Language
Birthparent Real parent
Biological parent Natural parent
Birth child Own child
My child Adopted child; Own child
Born to unmarried parents Illegitimate
Terminate parental rights Give up
Make an adoption plan Give away
To parent To keep
Waiting child Adoptable child; available child
Biological or birthfather Real father
Making contact with Reunion
Parent Adoptive parent
Intercountry adoption Foreign adoption
Adoption triad Adoption triangle
Permission to sign a release Disclosure
Search Track down parents
Child placed for adoption An unwanted child
Court termination Child taken away
Child with special needs Handicapped child
Child from abroad Foreign child
Was adopted Is adopted
Asian America Unabridged
International Adoptees who have not sworn Citizenship can potentially be deported back to their country if they commit a particular crime.
Just wanted to share this:
This the first time I heard any information about my foster parents…
A Coconut. Dark coffee colored, strong and an impenetrable outside along with a soft, white, and tender inside. The Coconut is often used as a metaphor describing Filipinos. The brown hard outer shell describes the color of a Filipino’s skin and his or her willingness to survive. The inside is used to describe the infamous hospitality and softness of the Filipino wellbeing. As for the white color, it’s the”Westernized” appeal and ability to assimilate into other cultures so easily. I would consider myself a literal coconut due to my adoption.
Can Different-Cultured Children Assimilate into their Adoptive Families?
April 21, 2010
Adopted at an Older age
I was adopted at three and a half years old and lived in a foster family in the Philippines. I do recall vague memories from that period of my life. Not like dreams but just small clips of it. Old pictures help complete the sequence while the black and white print outlined on my Adoption papers tell half of my story since my birth. Unfinished but still being searched, the missing pieces to my life’s puzzle will be pursuit upon my journey.
Growing up in a Caucasian white family was not really different from any other family, besides having to always tell people that I am adopted if they wondered why my parents were white.
It was until I reached my preadolescence and adolescence that when I tried to make friends with other Asians, I was somewhat shunned for not being Asian enough. I dealt with the same discrimination that other Asians dealt with but did not fully understand because I was very unfamiliar with the culture.
“Oh you’re adopted? Your parents don’t love you then”
“You must be a problem child because you’re adopted” (The reasoning behind this stereotype is because some adopted children float from foster family to foster family due to clashing and emotional/psychological instability.)
“You must be good at math/science since you’re Asian.”
“Wow you speak very good English.”
“Oh you’re Filipino? You aren’t Asian!” (Don’t argue with me on this one. I teach Filipino American and Philippine History and Identity)
“All Asians look the same”
“Wetback of Asia”
“Don’t you eat dogs?”
Ultimately, trust played a role. Whenever my parents would leave, I was afraid they wouldn’t come back. I would wake up in the middle of the night and check up to see if they were still breathing; I was scared to lose them. It is probably from always being left that I have attachment issues. From the time I was born, to when I lacked the attention when living in the orphanage for two years, and then brought into the foster family and later had to adjust to moving into a different family. Psychological trauma that even though I may not remember, it still affects me in subconscious manner as a young adult.