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.

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

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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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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An African-American girls plays with two dolls that reflect her race

Dolls and Toys for Our Families

We asked readers, “Have you found any dolls or other toys that reflect your child’s race and/or birth culture that you would specifically recommend?” Here are the top picks.

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A woman in the grocery store explains racism for black children to her son

“Teaching My Son to Protect Himself in a Racist World”

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.

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Teenagers developing empathy by volunteering together

Building Your Child’s Sense of Self-Worth

Families that expand their worlds to incorporate all kinds of cultures help their children develop strong racial identities.

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in a family that's built through open adoption and step-relatives, more love is more love

Three Stories: Unexpected Birth Family Reunions

Today, as more and more adoptees reach adulthood, they are finding birth relatives-or are being found by them. Whether a child is from the U.S., Guatemala, Russia, or China, she may one day be in touch with her first family. These stories, each detailing an unexpected family reunion, may well reflect the complexity of what is ahead.

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A woman uncovers her prospective neighbor's racial prejudice

When Shady Neighbors Come to Call

When potential neighbors were looking at the house for sale next door, this mom of a biracial child mas mainly worried they wouldn't be friendly or would paint their house purple — until race came up.

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International adoption questions to ask

How Will We Teach Our Child About Her Culture?

Even after twenty years, adoptive families are still grappling with some of the same issues and questions about raising their children in an interracial family.

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a transracially adopted teen heading into school with friends

“On Choosing, or Changing, Schools”

As I weighed diversity, academics, and other factors when choosing schools for my transracially adopted children, I perpetually second-guessed myself. But now that my kids are teens, I’m ready to trust their decisions.

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