• being adopted;
  • birth culture identity;
  • discrimination;
  • international adoption;
  • middle childhood;
  • race/ethnicity


We examined the perceptions of adoption and related issues in 68 families with internationally adopted children in Spain (48 transracial and 20 same-race adoptions). The adopted children, between the ages of 8 and 12 years, and their parents answered questions about the children's thoughts and feelings about adoption. Descriptive data and scores on four scales – family, adoption, birth culture identity and discrimination – were obtained. Compared with same-race adoptees, transracial adoptees scored significantly higher on birth culture identity and perceived discrimination. High levels of convergence between the children's and parents' viewpoints on the experiences of adoption and related issues were found. Nevertheless, the adopted children scored higher than their parents on birth culture identity, suggesting that at this age adoptive parents may underestimate their children's connection to their cultural origins. In contrast, the same-race adoptees scored significantly lower on perceived discrimination than their mothers. We conclude that at this age adoptive parents should acknowledge their adopted child's daily-life experiences regarding cultural identity with the birth country and discrimination.