1. It can validate a sense of identity
It’s understood at this point that many adoptees struggle with identity and the desire to belong. Whether that be in their own families or society, the worry is still present. However, there is one basic part of a person’s culture that can foster feelings of acceptance and security: music. Music has a myriad of genres for a reason with each genre speaking to or speaking for entire groups of people and cultures. Regardless of whether it is a domestic or international adoption, listening to the music particularly linked to that area can help an adopted child feel connected to where he or she came from. It can grant adoptees a reconnection that demonstrates that even if they may feel secluded or confused, they belong to a greater mass of people—culture.
2. It can spark interest in another culture
Going off of point number one, becoming familiar with the particular music of an adoptee’s place of origin or culture can help influence a longing to gather any and all knowledge about those aspects of one’s character. Perhaps by listening to the music, the adopted child may want to learn the native language of where she came from or the dialect that makes her culture unique. The music can also influence the potential desire to learn about other areas of culture including dance, cuisine, ideologies, etc. It will also work together in making the child feel more associated with something he can call his own.
3. It can give the child something to call her own
In discussing adoption with other adoptees, I have witnessed that a relatively universal concern was that of feeling like nothing was theirs. They were obviously happy with their lives and harbored no feelings of ill will toward how their lives turned out, but they always recalled feeling like there was nothing they could claim as their own. Add on constantly being asked about their differing appearance from their parents and what their “real” families are like, it is understandable why they felt like nothing was theirs. But, in listening to the specific music of their cultures, they had something that was theirs. They were able to own it, to lay claim to it. That music was a descriptor for their own beings that they weren’t even aware of.
4. It can be used to send a message
While I have been making these points purely about reconnection, music does not just have to be limited to one specific genre to support an adopted child. Music is a platform for artists to share what they feel is necessary to say. That can be manipulated for positivity and public awareness. Top 40 artists can write something that can easily connect with an adopted child even if it has nothing to do with adoption. Artists writing about feeling alone or outcasted or about a desperate search for identity can easily resonate with adopted children and give them something to bond with. It can grant them a platform to relay messages they thought would remain unheard. It allows them to be heard.