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.

Cover of I Love You Like Crazy Cakes

Book Review: I Love You Like Crazy Cakes

Book Review: I Love You Like Crazy Cakes

A seven-year-old adoptee from China shares her thoughts on an illustrated children's book about adoption.

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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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A girl in a pink shirt with Asian hair

Your Hair Care Guide

Are you unsure of how to care for and style your transracially-adopted child's hair? Use this guide to African, Latino, and Asian hair.

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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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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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When her daughter came home, she saw her fears about adoption attachment were unfounded.

“Loving My Daughter, A Country Apart”

I didn't travel to meet my new daughter. But nothing could stop me from becoming Maura's mommy.

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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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Two girls play while their parents tell transracial adoption stories

Share Your Story: Transracial Parenting

We asked readers what tips, resources, experiences they had to say about transracial parenting. Here, we share their responses.

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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 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.

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