Archive for June, 2010

An Example of Cultural Adoption

June 20, 2010

My husband Martin  has no known Celtic blood. However, when we lived in Scotland for two years, he demonstrated a very strong Celtic connection. He loved Scottish music and dance and many other aspects of this culture.  I did not understand  this strong affinity.

His last name, McCrea,  is an adopted name. His father Kenneth, abandoned by his birth father, loved his second step-father, an Irishman with the last name of McCrea, more than any of his other dads.  He took on both the name and the heritage of his adopted dad. This cultural identity was passed on to his son, my husband.

Love is the key to this case of  cultural adoption – the love between an adopted father and his adopted son, transmitted to the next generation culturally.


Introduction to Cultural Adoption

June 15, 2010

Have you ever felt part of a culture, a people group, that you are not biologically connected to? It is a common experience, especially for adoptees, raised by parents from a different ethnic group. I, for example, was raised by my adopted parents, two children of Irish immigrants. Passing down her culture,the first song my mother sang to me was Toura Loura Loura, a famous Irish lullaby. She transferred Irish thinking, superstitions, and speech to me. I totally identified with being Irish.

When I found my birth mother and my biological roots eight years ago, I discovered that genetically I was mostly English, not Irish. I do have some Celtic blood but it is not predominant. I still feel more Irish than English, because not only was I adopted as a person into my adopted family, I was adopted culturally. My identity is Irish. I am an adopted Irish person. Not only did my parents adopt me, I was adopted by their culture.

Cultural adoption is a very valid concept, one that needs to be recognized as a tool for sorting out the cultural confusion that can occur in adoptees’ minds after reunion or at any other points of realization of cultural differences between themselves and their adopted family.