Am I hispanic and should I have claimed this on my college applications?

So growing up, I’ve always been told that I’m Hispanic (Mexican specifically). My mom was adopted by a full Hispanic man after he married her birth mother (who is Caucasian). My mom doesn’t actually know anything about her birth father and I am concerned as to whether or not I am truly classified as Hispanic based off of the fact that she was adopted. It’s really weighing on my shoulders as I don’t want to be dishonest. She told me to claim it for my college applications and I did. My sister, who is two years older, also claimed it when she applied two years earlier. I just don’t want my integrity to be on the line. I even consulted with my high school counselor and she told me that I should claim it. I decided it would be better to get some second opinions on the matter though. P.S.-I have blue eyes and I look as white as someone can get. Am I truly Hispanic or am I not because she traces this Hispanic origin back to her adoptive father?

I wouldn’t have enough knowledge to answer your questions, but hispanic does not mean you have to be a tan/dark-skinned person. You can be any race and still be hispanic. The Spanish themselves are white.

Hispanic is an ethnic identification. If you feel Hispanic, you are. Race, skin tone, eye color, and hair color have nothing to do with it. There are plenty of blonde, blue-eyed Hispanics out there.

Thanks for the replies @neoking and @happymomof1 . I mean I honestly do feel Hispanic. I’ve been immersed in the culture my whole life and I forgot to add that my mom’s maiden name is even Gomez, which she gained when she was adopted as a baby. It’s just I didn’t know if the fact that she was adopted meant that I’m not truly Hispanic

It doesn’t give you much of an advantage.

I don’t think you can claim to be Hispanic by osmosis. Not being related by blood is a big stretch to call yourself Hispanic.

If your mother had been adopted by an African American man, would you then claim to be African American?

Those of us, who are legitimately Mexican-American, Native American, African American or Pacific Islander URMs whose parents encountered racism in: education, careers and public businesses; who have lived through discrimination and who lived/were raised in unhealthy, scary environments are concerned with people claiming to be something that they are not, to score an advantage in admission. These people are scary because they have no clue why the advantage is given to the Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander and African American URMs.

The adcoms know, from school records, about your ethnicity. They also see EC activities, which a number of URMs tend to do through community-wide events through their festivals, fiestas, church revivals, choirs, pow-wows, quinceaneras, etc. URMs aren’t exclusive in their community events and religious-based activities, but the trend is community/extended family, and the adcoms are familiar with certain cities’ neighborhoods.

No, you don’t have to grow up poor and speak Spanish, but you should have some idea of the culture, history and richness of Spain and HispanoAmerica.

For the record, me and my children appear to be Anglo (freckled/fair skinned), but we come from a long line of “Spaniards” and Native American mestizos.

My kids didn’t feel the need to claim it because it doesn’t make a difference in our state, and, they wanted to get into their schools on their merit. They know they are Latinos.

Your high school counselor told you to claim it? Wow.

That’s the thing that confuses me though @“aunt bea” There is a difference between claiming you’re African American because that falls under the race category, being Hispanic does not. It’s classified as an ethnicity. You can be Asian, white, or black and be Hispanic. I didn’t claim it for an advantage either. I was merely doing what I was advised to do. And technically my mom falls under the category of having a parent who encountered racism because he was Hispanic. Just because she was adopted doesn’t mean that he wasn’t her dad all the same. He adopted her when she was one. He loved her and considered her as much his child as he did his biological children. And I have truly been immersed in the culture. In fact, I called my mom’s adoptive father Tata growing up just like my cousins who were blood related to him. I went to all of the family fiestas and my mom is actually fluent in Spanish. The whole thing is just kind of a catch 22. I don’t know what to do, but I don’t want the fact that I claimed it to come back and haunt me.

It won’t come back to haunt you. You’re fine, really. You were raised as a member of an extended family of Hispanic heritage, whether blood or adopted. Honestly, the boost is a small one anyway. Don’t waste time and energy sweating it.

Good question.

It’s debatable.

Agree, this OP is fine and shouldn’t worry.

This question was posed sincerely. You grew up immersed in the culture and realities. Your mother has a Hispanic surname, Hispanic father and grew up in the culture. Anything on your app mention this heritage besides the check box? You applied to college you qualify for?

It’s true we don’t think kids who just have, say, Hispanic friends can magically call themselves so, when their own life realities were not. Your case is a bit different.

There was a question that asked if you’re Hispanic or Latino and you reply yes or no or leave it blank. I replied yes of course. Then there is a question below that asks something like regardless of your answer to the previous question, what is your race? I answered white on that question since I consider myself part Hispanic and part white. @lookingforward My ACT was the average for admitted students at my #1 college choice. I made a 31 composite. Also, I have a 4.0GPA. I didn’t dive into heritage on the essays. I more or less just focused on telling my life story on the personal essay in regards to my struggle with poverty. Again, thanks for the input everyone. It’s really making me feel more relief and closure to hear more opinions on this