When you and your child don't look alike, the world wants to know why. Parents who adopted transracially share how they explain strangers' questions and comments to their children.
Life in a Conspicuous Family Formed Through Transracial Adoption
When you adopt a child of another race, your family’s adoptive status will be writ large—and you will be sure to receive a fair share of looks, nosy questions, and comments. Experts, adoptive parents, and transracial adoptees share advice and stories about life in a conspicuous adoptive family.
We asked AF readers to tell us about their experiences with transracial adoption.
As parents, we live in constant tension: How thoroughly should we prepare our kids for the ugliness that exists in the world? For my son's safety, I can't afford to be vague when it comes to racism.
My wife and I may not match our kids, but we found a group where we all fit in.
We asked readers what tips, resources, experiences they had to say about transracial parenting. Here, we share their responses.
The mother of a preschooler shares her concern about negative comments her daughter has been making about her skin color. Parents who have been there offer advice.
When new neighbors were looking at the house for sale next door, this mom of a biracial child worried they wouldn't be friendly, until race came up.
Our daughter is not a public exhibit. She deserves to be protected from questions that undermine the legitimacy of our family.
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.
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.