Binational Families: In Their Own Words

Binational Americans

Who Is a Binational American?

A binational American, as defined in this study, is a U.S. citizen who has parents of different nationalities at birth. In most cases, one parent is a U.S. citizen and the other parent is a foreign national.  The foreign national parent may now be a U.S. citizen through naturalization; according to our definition, it is the original nationality of the binational American’s parents that is significant. In a smaller number of cases, the binational American is a U.S. citizen with parents of different nationalities, but neither parent is a U.S. citizen from birth. In this situation, usually the individual was born in the U.S. of parents who were in the United States to study or work, either temporarily or with the intention of staying and perhaps becoming U.S. citizens. A U.S. citizen whose parents have the same immigrant background is not considered a binational American for the purposes of this study, even though the individual may have dual citizenship.


Binational Americans are always at least bicultural (although they often are intimately knowledgeable of more than two cultures), occasionally bi- or multi-lingual, and often biracial. One issue we are exploring in this book is how binational Americans forge an identity that balances or merges these various aspects of their parents’ identities and their own life experiences.


We encourage all those who fit the definition above of a binational American to share their experiences with us by clicking on the link below. Please remember all answers are completely ANONYMOUS.

Please click here to take the survey if you are a binational American.