A study of the problems of adjustment faced by a group of Hong Kong orphans adopted into New Zealand families : with an investigation into possible problems of school and later life.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The purpose of this study was to discover how far orphan children, of a race other than European, would, if adopted into New Zealand-European homes, be likely to adjust to, and benefit from, a permanent life in New Zealand. Interest in the problems of Hong Kong orphans had been initiated for the writer some years before there was any knowledge of there being any orphans brought to New Zealand. In the course of his work as Inter-Church Aid Secretary for the East Asia Christian Conference, her husband had been many times in Hong Kong, and had become deeply involved in the relief of refugees, and in the varied personal problems of adjustment attendant on such relief. Thus when permission was granted by the New Zealand Government in 1962 for the National Council of Churches and the Immigration Committee of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul to bring in fifty Hong Kong Orphans, consciousness of some of the difficulties stimulated the desire to discover if this scheme would bring lasting benefit to the orphans themselves, and whether it would bring enrichment to the adoptive families. Coupled with these questions was the desire to consider the effect this form of immigration would , if continued, on the life of New Zealand as a Whole. It seemed that there were two areas in which study should be undertaken:- (a) The area concerned with the growth, development and adjustment of Chinese orphan children to their New Zealand-European adoptive families, and (b) That area related to the interaction already taking place in primary schools, between Chinese and European children, in order to anticipate, as far as possible, the future adjustment problems which the Hong Kong children would encounter. First, however, it is necessary to review the background conditions in Hong Kong and in New Zealand, against which the immigration took place.