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.

Even though she was adopted from China, my daughter loves American pasttimes.

“What Being Asian Means to Her”

“What Being Asian Means to Her”

At 13, my daughter is still figuring out who she is. Race is one part of the picture, adoption is another.

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Children in a multiracial family

“Why Am I the Only One Who’s Pink?”

Being Mom to "virtual twins"—one African-American, one white; one adopted, one biological—has taught me to validate both of my children for who they are.

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AF readers and AFC community members sound off about diversity at school.

Classroom Consciousness

Finding the right school for your child is a personal, and sometimes emotional, process — especially when considering diversity and academic excellence.

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One mom wonders when to address ethnicity in multiracial families.

“Should I Proclaim My Family’s Multiracial Identity?”

My son's Mexican heritage is not apparent to others. Is it my responsibility to identify ourselves as a multiracial family?

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One mother describes her experience with transracial adoption.

“Blurring the Line”

Mississippi has the largest population of African Americans in the United States, and the color line seems to be drawn in permanent ink or, perhaps, in blood. Because of this, I always believed I would never go back after my daughters came home from Haiti.

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An adoptee who was born in a prison, exposed to subtances, shares her story of beating the odds

“Beating the Odds”

My prison birth could have set me up for a life of failure. But the love of my families has led me to one of resilience and hope.

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People playing the djembe drum

“The Rhythm of Our Lives”

While looking to connect with our children's culture, we found the beat of the djembe drum would become a comforting family melody.

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One mother builds a dollhouse family to reflect transracial adoptive families.

“A Dollhouse Family Just Like Ours”

Buying a dollhouse for my daughter's third birthday was a cinch. Finding the right family to live in it was a bit more difficult.

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Well-maintained hair is important for the racial identity of an African American child

“Braiding Barbara’s Hair”

As the white mother of an African American daughter, I learned more than I ever could've imagined about hair.

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Reflections on Raising Transracial Adoptees by Rhona Roorda

[Book Review] In Their Parents’ Voices: Reflections on Raising Transracial Adoptees

In this sequel to In Their Own Voices, by Rita J. Simon and Rhonda Roorda, we meet the parents of transracial adoptees, and hear firsthand what it was like raising children across racial and cultural lines.

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Cover of The English American by Alison Larkin

[Book Review] The English American

Alison Larkin's semi-autobiographical novel centers on an adoptee — raised in England, but born in America. Read the review, here.

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Cover of In Their Own Voices

[Book Review] In Their Own Voices

In this collection of candid interviews, adoptees shed light on the complex and controversial topic of transracial adoption by sharing their own experiences.

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A stack of books the celebrate diversity in multiracial families

Celebrating Diversity: Great Reads Featuring Multiracial Families

Children's books featuring kids and adults of diverse backgrounds and ethnicity serve two purposes: They show kids that families "come in all sizes and colors," and they are self-affirming for children of multiracial families. Here are some of our favorites, age by age.

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Yellow Race in America Beyond Black and White

[Book Review] Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White

A review of a noteworthy book about the changing landscape of race relations in the United States, an important read for anyone parenting a child of Asian descent.

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Cover of Does Anybody Else Look Like Me?

[Book Review] Does Anybody Else Look Like Me?

"Donna Jackson Nakazawa's book offers advice from both parents of children with multiracial or transracial adoption backgrounds, and from the children themselves."

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