Talking About Race and Honoring Birth Culture in Transracial Adoption


When your child joins your family through transracial adoption, you must find ways to talk about racism, instill a positive racial identity, and honor her birth culture.

Visiting My Daughter's Birth Country: Honduras

“Amanda’s Journey Home to Her Birth Country”

“Amanda’s Journey Home to Her Birth Country”

"You belong to two heritages-Jewish and Latin American-and at this special time in your life, when many Jewish families travel to the Mideast, we're heading south." More than a few heads turned when I announced this in my speech to my thirteen-year-old daughter, Amanda, on the occasion of her bat mitzvah.

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"Committed to honoring our children’s African American race and culture, we buy lotion for every room in the house and spend a small fortune on hair products…"

“Keeping Up Appearances” – Our Skin and 4C Hair Care Routine

As the parents of four black children, we drop a small fortune on lotion and products and build time into our schedule to style their hair, all the while questioning whether we know what we’re doing. A recent conversation offered some much-needed reassurance.

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The Recommended Post-Adoption Screening Tests

Post-Arrival Medical Evaluations

Your guide to identifying medical problems common to internationally adopted children.

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How we answer questions about our racially ambiguous child

Raising a Racially Ambiguous Child

We asked our reader panel: Have you ever been asked to explain your child's ethnic identity? How do you respond?

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My Mixed Feelings as An Adoptee Giving Birth

Motherhood? Me? You’ve Got to Be Kidding!

Having children was something that other people did. But giving birth has given me a sense of connection I never felt before.

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Our Birth Mother Search in Guatemala

“Looking for Answers in Guatemala”

When it came to locating our daughter's birth mother in Guatemala, we didn't know where to begin. But we knew that we had to try.

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Our Adoption Trip to Meet Our Son's Foster Mother

“Visiting Our Son’s Birth Country: The Land of Contrasts”

"Make the trip, you won't be sorry." Our journey to our son's birth country—and to visit his foster mother—was an exhilarating experience.

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Two girls playing together and discussing racism at Pact Camp

Race Matters at Pact Camp

A summer heritage camp that's all about helping transracial families.

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Cover of Finding Miracles

Book Review: Finding Miracles

This story of a teen adopted from Latin America tackles questions of identity, race, birth culture, and more.

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can-african-american-children-wear-clothing-with-watermelons

“Can Black Children Wear Watermelons?”

Many symbols commonly found on children’s clothing connote racist stereotypes of black people. Knowing this, should transracial adoptive parents still dress their black children in onesies and shirts featuring monkeys, zebras, and watermelons?

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Learning About Ethnic Differences on Vacation

“Our Summer Vacation House Swap”

One summer, we traded our Hawaiian home for Berkeley, CA so our son could learn about more ethnic differences and similarities.

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Praying While Waiting for Adoption

“Memory Givers”

As parents, we shape the memories our children will carry through their lives. What a delightful, and intimidating, prospect!

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author Rebekah Hutson, a transracial adoptee, with her mother, sister, and niece

“5 Things I Wish My White Parents Knew”

Transracial adoptees often grow up knowing that their families love them, but not truly feeling included or close to them. Here’s what would have helped in raising a black child in a white family and a racist world.

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a girl who is being bullied at school

“My Child is Being Teased at School”

Sometimes school brings tough situations, like teasing, tricky assignments, and nosy questions. When should kids handle things on their own, and when should a parent step in?

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Parents who adopted transracially share how they explain questions and comments from strangers about adoption to their children.

Parent-to-Parent: Explaining Attention and Questions from Strangers

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.

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Cultural Heritage: Connecting With Your Child's History

Summer Heritage Guide: If You Have a Weekend or Less

Great heritage ideas that dont require plane ticketsor even a full tank of gas.

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Lucky Girl cover

[Book Excerpt]: Lucky Girl

In this excerpt from her memoir, Lucky Girl, Meiling Hopgood describes her initial rejection of "looking Asian" growing up in mostly-White rural Michigan, and how she learned to embrace her Chinese heritage.

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