Lois Melina has been a voice of wisdom and authority in the world of adoption for decades. We connected with Melina upon the publication of her latest book, The Grammar of Untold Stories,a collection of personal essays, to discuss immigration and international adoption, transracial adoption and the Black Lives Matter movement, and the many ways adoption and infertility continue to surface in her writing.
Helping Children Develop a Positive Racial Identity After Transracial Adoption
When you adopt a child of a different race, you have a responsibility to help him or her understand race and racism. Adoption experts, adoptive parents, and transracial adoptees share their perspectives on developing a positive racial identity.
For years, many white adoptive parents of children of color have sought to claim the relatively passive “not-racist” identity, but now is the time to push beyond self-examination into action and become an anti-racist family. Learn how to interrogate your own white privilege; talk with your child about systemic racism, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others, and the resulting Black Lives Matter protests; and commit to working toward justice.
As my children move into the world without me, I can’t protect them the way I could when they were little. I can’t assume that their lives and actions will be cloaked with the same privilege I was born with.
Fifteen years into parenting in a transracial family, I thought I had heard it all—with appropriate comebacks at the ready—until an interaction with a racist (former) boss left me simply dumbfounded.
Isaac is 14 years old, but he’s six feet tall and almost two hundred pounds. He’s also black. He hasn’t been a discipline problem since the day he came home, but someone who doesn’t know him could see him as a threat. So what was I to do on a recent evening when he asked to bike home alone in the dark?
A mother seeks advice in selecting a school for her daughter, who is biracial. How to weigh general diversity vs. specific racial representation vs. distance from the family’s home?
A homeland trip can help kids connect “where I come from” to “where I’m going.” Having traveled with thousands of adoptive families, I’m delighted to share my thoughts on the impact of homeland travel on identity formation.
In this excerpt from That Kind of Mother, by Rumaan Alam, the white adoptive mother of a black child learns about importance of talking with her son about racism and interactions with the police.
Racism exists, and it’s our job as parents to talk about it with our kids. Start with this glossary of important terms.
We left our house this morning a family of three, but the next time we walk through our front door, it will be as a family of four.
Embracing your child’s racial identity means embracing his friends, too.
Growing up in Trinidad, I didn’t use the word black to describe myself. But as the mother of two black children in the U.S., I walk the fine line of raising them to believe they are capable and worthy while understanding that everyone in this country has been taught to discount their value.
Find ways to bond and connect with the culture of your adopted African American child.
An unexpected emergency tests the strength of a mother-daughter bond.
“From an early age, my children needed to know where they belonged—and the birth country where they came from.”
Although we knew our South American-born son would face challenges growing up in a predominantly white middle class suburb, we were totally unprepared for what was to come.
If your family is thinking about adopting a child of a different race, spend some time answering these six questions to help determine if it’s right for you.
My parents were immigrants from Germany and India, my husband also comes from a mixed background; we have one biological child, and one adopted from South Korea. What makes my daughter Korean? What makes her American?
As the parent of an Asian child, I am constantly called upon to help my daughter navigate between diminished achievements and heightened failures.
While it might have been “just hair” to me, the emotions were far more tangled for them, with roots deep into the history of oppression between our two peoples.