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.
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.
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.
Cake? Check. Invitations? Check. Favors? Check. Acknowledgement of racial injustice…? Choosing a theme for my son’s birthday party involved more than we had anticipated.
She’s two-years old, Jewish, speaks English and Hebrew—and is African American. Who is she? Our daughter, of course!
We were prepared to raise a child who looked nothing like us. But things changed when we found out that our new daughter did…sort of.
Although my wife and I talked a great deal about race before we decided on a transracial adoption, we didn’t fully appreciate how conspicuous our family would become. Quite simply, we now stick out in a crowd.
My wife was deluged with questions at a new moms’ group, each one more personal than the last.
In a society that claims to be “color-blind,” we must parent deliberately.
A chance conversation in the car almost set our son apart from our family. But what happened brought him closer to me than ever.