The aim of this study is to demonstrate the complexity of identity construction among internationally adopted adolescents. Seven semi-structured interviews were carried out with internationally adopted adolescents from thirteen to nineteen years of age. The method used in this study is an interpretative phenomenological analysis of the interviews. This enables us to identify three principal themes related to the question of identity construction: feelings of belonging, visible alterity, and returning to the country of one’s birth. Through these seven adolescents’ stories, we observe the dialogues and conflicts within each of them, and can demonstrate a moving, dynamic quest for identity. The importance of time for these adopted adolescents, as an indispensable ingredient in the stages required for their identity construction, gives clear evidence for the idea of a slow, dynamic progression of identity. Inevitably, this difficult but creative path indicates the complexity of standing between two filiations, two countries, and two cultures. This in-betweenness must be understood in its distinctiveness, as a métissage belonging to no single category of identity.
- international adoption