Dr. Marva L. Lewis, Associate Professor, recently published research on trauma, race, and identity with Dr. Rhonda G. Norwood, Assistant Professor of Practice at LSU School of Social Work. Their article "'When I Go to Heaven, I’ll Be White': The Ethics of Transracial Adoption Within the Context of Childhood Trauma and Racial Identity Development" is the featured article in ZERO TO THREE Journal September 2019: Professional Values and Ethical Considerations.
This article explores the identity development of young children of color growing up in transracial adoptive homes. The authors present the story of a 6-year-old child with a history of severe trauma and how this trauma shaped her understanding of race and identity. After her eighth foster placement, the child’s play and talk became increasingly self-depreciating of her black skin color, leading to concerns that the child had begun to equate her movement from her previous foster homes with the face that she was Black. The article concludes with a discussion of the need for relationship-focused, strengths-based, ecological systems approach to evaluate ethical issues of racial identity formation within a sequelae of childhood trauma and placement into a multicultural family.
To read the article for free, click here.