I thought. I researched. I talked. But in the end, it took a leap of faith to adopt across racial lines.
When the social worker brought my new daughter to my house, she wasn’t the African-American girl I was expecting. And so we became a transracial family.
A new study by the University of Vermont concluded that race plays a role for some parents who adopt internationally rather than domestically. Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 41 mostly white parents who had, collectively, adopted 33 children of various ethnic and racial backgrounds from 10 different countries, as well as the United States.
View the replay of this webinar with Deborah H. Johnson—on growing up as a transracial adoptee and what parents today need to know about talking about race and adoption, finding role models for their children, dealing with teasing, and more. Register today.
Answers to your parenting questions.
But here’s the thing—as much as we can try to protect him and teach him to protect himself, there may come a time when your child will be involved. As the parents of the white friend of my black son, I need you to be talking to your child about racism.
For many prospective adoptive parents, "the choice" of where and how to adopt is the most difficult part. Answers to three common questions when deciding if transracial adoption is right for your family.
May I take my children to the grocery store or the library without announcing where they came from, or my own history? I think, yes.
When we stepped into the next parking lot, she took my hand again. “It’s good we’re wearing our shoes,” she said. “We match. That way, people know we belong together.”
For once, the barista at Starbucks didn’t recognize me. He shouldn’t. I’m there only about once a month. The thing is, he remembers me. Well, not me so much as us. This is one of those things that come with being the white mother of a black child. Comments, questions, stares—those I expected. The strange experience of just being visible—not so much. I didn’t realize how invisible I was until I wasn’t anymore.
When I dressed up my daughter and took a portrait, was I just showing off my cute kid — or perpetuating stereotypes?
View the replay of a webinar with Beth Hall to learn about parenting after transracial adoption and hear answers to commonly asked questions from adoptive parents.
About a decade ago it was popular to say, “Love sees no color. I really don’t see that my kids are different.” I’m hoping we’ve moved away from that, because it’s just not true. We all notice differences, and, if we say we can’t, we’re denying something.
My son is African American. When we’re out, people frequently approach us, and want to touch his hair. Most seem to be well-meaning, but is this ever OK? What can I say?
Our Korean-born daughter is engaged to a Korean man. We're thrilled — but how do we discuss adoption with his family?
I tell prospective adoptive parents to take a good, hard look at their social circles, their neighborhoods, their churches, their communities and think about how those places and spaces will look and feel to their child.
View the replay of a webinar with Beth Hall, co-author of Inside Transracial Adoption, to learn what parents need to know about talking to kids about race and standing up against racism.
Even among same-race families physical differences can prompt curious questions. How did you handle it?
When I take my daughter of a different race to the dentist or gym, I’m often asked to provide a document confirming my parenthood. Is this OK?
We’d successfully raised our son to adulthood. But as grandparents, we encountered a surprising new set of challenges and joys.