Lois Melina has been a voice of wisdom and authority in the world of adoption for decades. We connected with Melina upon the publication of her latest book, The Grammar of Untold Stories,a collection of personal essays, to discuss immigration and international adoption, transracial adoption and the Black Lives Matter movement, and the many ways adoption and infertility continue to surface in her writing.
For years, many white adoptive parents of children of color have sought to claim the relatively passive “not-racist” identity, but now is the time to push beyond self-examination into action and become an anti-racist family. Learn how to interrogate your own white privilege; talk with your child about systemic racism, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others, and the resulting Black Lives Matter protests; and commit to working toward justice.
As my children move into the world without me, I can’t protect them the way I could when they were little. I can’t assume that their lives and actions will be cloaked with the same privilege I was born with.
Fifteen years into parenting in a transracial family, I thought I had heard it all—with appropriate comebacks at the ready—until an interaction with a racist (former) boss left me simply dumbfounded.
In this excerpt from That Kind of Mother, by Rumaan Alam, the white adoptive mother of a black child learns about importance of talking with her son about racism and interactions with the police.
Growing up in Trinidad, I didn’t use the word black to describe myself. But as the mother of two black children in the U.S., I walk the fine line of raising them to believe they are capable and worthy while understanding that everyone in this country has been taught to discount their value.
White parents do not have the experience of feeling vulnerable or targeted based on race, so telling a transracially adopted child "I know how you feel" isn't right—but silence is also not the answer. Adoptees and experts discuss how parents should speak out and take action.
A summer heritage camp that's all about helping transracial families.
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?
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.
An adult adoptee discusses ‘the Talk’—what white parents who adopt Black children must tell them about racism, interacting with the police, and staying safe.
Answers to your parenting questions.
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.
Rhonda Roorda delivers another masterpiece to her "In Their Voices" series.
Answers to your parenting questions.
When I dressed up my daughter and took a portrait, was I just showing off my cute kid — or perpetuating stereotypes?
After bringing up race and adoption with my children's teachers at the start of each academic year, I always feel worried and hyper-vigilant. But, invariably, they get it.
When my son was harassed by a classmate for his race, I knew I only had a second to act.
Our country is far from a “post-racial” society, as this last year has demonstrated. How can you ensure that your child will grow up feeling safe, secure in his identity, and close to your family? Commit to calling out racism and fighting injustice wherever you see it.
We want to start teaching our daughter about racism early on, but we have no idea where to start.