Beliefs and attitudes about transracial adoption among a sample of South African students

Aziza Moos1, Kelvin Mwaba1
1University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Cite this article:  Moos, A., & Mwaba, K. (2007). Beliefs and attitudes about transracial adoption among a sample of South African students. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 35, 1115-1120.

Volume 35 Issue 8 | e1643 | Published: September 2007 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2007.35.8.1115

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Transracial adoption, defined as the adoption of a child from a race that is different from that of the adoptive parent, has attracted interest among social scientists seeking to understand how the public views adoption. Studies conducted mostly in industrialized countries suggest that most people approve of such adoption, believing it is a better alternative to out-of-home care. Those who are opposed believe that it risks damaging the racial or ethnic identity of the child. In South Africa, it is just over 10 years since the new democratic government repealed all previous laws that prohibited mixing of races including interracial marriage and transracial adoption. In the present study we sought to understand South African students’ beliefs and attitudes about transracial adoption. A sample of 72 mostly black undergraduate students was surveyed. The results showed that most of the students approved of transracial adoption and believed that it promoted racial tolerance. Less than 5% believed that transracial adoption could lead to the loss of a child’s culture. The results were interpreted as suggesting that young South Africans may be committed to the vision of a multiracial nation.

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