Talking About Race and Honoring Birth Culture in Transracial Adoption


When your child joins your family through transracial adoption, you must find ways to talk about racism, instill a positive racial identity, and honor her birth culture.

Three children sit on a swing.

8 Smart Diversity Strategies

8 Smart Diversity Strategies

Use these tips for building cultural diversity for children in your family, community, and school.

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Two siblings play together in the yard after being adopted.

“Adopting From Russia…Again?”

One thing led to another, and we became—unexpectedly—twice blessed.

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Talking About Racism with Your Child: 5 Tips

5 Ways to Talk with Your Child About Racism

Talking about racism makes most of us uncomfortable. Still, parents of transracially adopted children should resist the urge not to talk. Here's how.

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Teens Speak Out About Open Adoption

Teens Speak Out About Open Adoption

Three adolescents share their experiences with open adoption, and how they feel about their relationships with their birth family.

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A transracially adopted African-American teenager who feels supported and racially empowered

Empowering Children and Teens of Color Who Face Racism

White parents do not have the experience of feeling vulnerable or targeted based on race, so telling a transracially adopted child "I know how you feel" isn't right—but silence is also not the answer. Adoptees and experts discuss how parents should speak out and take action.

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An airplane a family took on a visit to their daughter's birth country.

“A Visit to My Daughter’s Homeland”

Our trip to her birth country gave my daughter a picture of her early life. She discovered that she was, and had always been, real.

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A mom telling her children, "I am adopted" while driving home.

“Mommy, Were You Adopted?”

I'm not sure why I never told my children. But when they asked, I knew it was time to end the secrecy for good.

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A group of adoptive women connect over their struggle to meet American standards of beauty

Becoming My Own Beauty Role Model

"Growing up, makeup felt like a mask—a cover-up for my true inner self."

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Adoption Experts answer your questions.

Ask AF: Encouraging a Cohesive Racial and Cultural Identity

“We have always tried to make sure our internationally adopted son feels proud of his heritage. This year, when the class was writing about Thanksgiving, he asked if he could skip the assignment because people from his birth country do not celebrate Thanksgiving. I know I need to talk to him, but I’m not sure where to start.”

A child toasts marshmallows at culture camp

Should I Send My Child to Culture Camp?

"My child is approaching an age where I am thinking about sending her to culture camp. Is this something I should pursue or not?" Our panel of adult adoptees responds.

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Sarah Gerstenzang shares lessons she has learned from her mixed race family.

“How I Parent My Transracial Family”

Like all mixed race families in America, we face stereotyping as a matter of course. These six lessions have helped enrich my family.

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Visiting My Daughter's Birth Country: Honduras

“Amanda’s Journey Home to Her Birth Country”

"You belong to two heritages-Jewish and Latin American-and at this special time in your life, when many Jewish families travel to the Mideast, we're heading south." More than a few heads turned when I announced this in my speech to my thirteen-year-old daughter, Amanda, on the occasion of her bat mitzvah.

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"Committed to honoring our children’s African American race and culture, we buy lotion for every room in the house and spend a small fortune on hair products…"

“Keeping Up Appearances” – Our Skin and 4C Hair Care Routine

As the parents of four black children, we drop a small fortune on lotion and products and build time into our schedule to style their hair, all the while questioning whether we know what we’re doing. A recent conversation offered some much-needed reassurance.

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The Recommended Post-Adoption Screening Tests

Post-Arrival Medical Evaluations

Your guide to identifying medical problems common to internationally adopted children.

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How we answer questions about our racially ambiguous child

Raising a Racially Ambiguous Child

We asked our reader panel: Have you ever been asked to explain your child's ethnic identity? How do you respond?

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