Q: My husband and I are white, and we’ve adopted from Guatemala and Ethiopia. Our mostly white neighborhood has many families formed through international adoption, but we’ve been considering moving to a multicultural neighborhood that’s primarily Latino and Asian. What would you advise?
A: Non-white children benefit from being around other non-white people, children and adults, on a regular basis. This is more important than finding a community that “matches” a child’s ethnicity. For this reason, I think moving to the area you describe sounds like a good idea. Your current neighborhood’s demographic makeup reinforces the idea that minority children are raised not by people of their own race, but by whites. It’s healthy for adoptees to see other families that look like theirs, but not to the exclusion of seeing kids of their race being raised by adults of the same race. Your situation illustrates the reality of international adoption — you cannot replicate a child’s original culture. Much is given up in exchange for having a loving family. And let’s face it, to some extent, we adoptive families get noticed wherever we are.