How to have a Successful New York Transracial Adoption
If you’re considering a transracial adoption for your child, you already know that transracial families are beautiful. You’re far past the taboo — you know that just because people don’t share a race, that will never stop them from loving one another. Transracial parents will still identify with and love their child, even if they don’t look even a little bit alike. You might think that having a successful transracial adoption is as simple as picking a decent adoptive family, but it’s much more complex than that. The right adoptive family will do their part to educate themselves on raising a child outside of their race. They’ll know it will take a little more work to optimize your child’s experience growing up in a transracial family. In a successful transracial adoption, your child will learn self-acceptance, multiculturalism and will be comfortable in their skin. He or she will understand your culture and their adoptive families and will see all the beautiful similarities and differences. At Adoption Choices of New York are your friends in adoption and we will help set you up with the right adoptive family so that you may know how to have a successful transracial adoption.
Choose an Adoptive Family Who Sees Color
“I don’t see color.” People will say this time and time again, convinced that they’re saying the right thing. What most people are trying to say is that they see everyone as equal humans. They want you to know that they will raise your child as their own. But that should go without saying. It’s not the helpful statement people think it is. The colorblindness mentality does a disservice to your child. If the adoptive family doesn’t see color, they aren’t seeing everything that makes up your child. To have a successful transracial adoption, race must be accepted and recognized. Because even if the adoptive family is truly colorblind, the rest of the world isn’t. People will ask questions, make assumptions and acknowledge race in more aggressive ways even if the adoptive family won’t. Being “colorblind” also means ignoring your child’s racial identity, something that will become confusing to him or her growing up if history and culture aren’t taught at a young age. So, it’s better for the adoptive family to see skin color. To recognize race and prepare, as a family, for transracial adoption.
Choose an Adoptive Family Who is OK with Tough Conversations
Healthy communication can go a long way in raising a child. This means having an open discussion with the adoptee when they’re old enough to understand. This is the moment when the adoptive family not only sees color with the world, but also addresses it more specifically with the adoptee. Acknowledge that racism exists in the world. Acknowledge culture and acknowledge differences, and all the ways those differences are beautiful. An informed adoptive family encourages honest and thoughtful conversation. For example, they can prepare their child for questions he or she may get when they go to school. Another child may be confused why your child looks different from their parents. But, If the child is aware of this, these questions may come as less of a surprise — the adoptee can feel more comfortable expressing that they were adopted. The adoptee’s family may not look alike, but that doesn’t lessen that they are a family who loves each other.
Choose an Adoptive Family Who Listens
If you, the birth mother, get the opportunity, it would be beneficial for you to speak with prospective adoptive families about race, too. You may want to ask important questions. Profiles, while incredibly useful, may not contain all the information you’re looking for. By speaking with the adoptive family, you can get an essence for who they are. Find out how the adoptive family will educate themselves as your child grows up. You may want to look for a family who has already thought deeply about these questions before adopting a child from another race. For example, how will the adoptive family teach your child about their birth culture? Or his or her history? How will they confront any discrimination your child may face? Does the adoptive family already know how to have a successful transracial adoption? Or do they still have a lot to learn? It’s okay to have a lot to learn, as long as the adoptive family is willing to learn before they commit to raising your child.
Find an Adoptive Family Who Will Connect Your Child to Their Community and Culture
It’s important for a child to feel as if they belong with their adoptive family and have a place in the world. Any child will go through some search for identity — clothing style phases, hobbies, and so on. But, for a child in a transracial family, establishing identity can have a layered meaning. The adoptive family should help the adoptee by getting involved. Teach them about their birth culture and history. Show them important people — in history and today — who represent their racial group proudly. Choosing to live in a diverse community is another great option that will make the entire family feel supported. This way, your child can go to a diverse school where they are equally represented. He or she won’t feel singled out. The adoptive family, as a whole, can live in a community where they are not different from everybody else, and your child can have ample opportunity to make friends in many different racial groups.
Recognize Race and have a Successful Transracial Adoption
In transracial adoption, the most important thing is the first step: recognize race. By recognizing race, you and the adoptive family are setting yourselves and your child up for success. As the birth mother, you can make sure you choose an adoptive family who is committed to doing all they can to support the adoptee for everything that they are. You have the power to make a difference in your child’s life, especially now that you know how to have a successful transracial adoption. Open communication, preparedness, and connection to culture can make a huge difference in the adoptee’s life. At Adoption Choices of New York, we are committed to preparing you for any choices you make in your adoption plan. Adoption Choices of New York is available to assist with your adoption plan. Call us, text us, email us; we are here for you! Contact Us 24/7: 800-505-8592 (Phone) | 518-478-8420 | Click to Email Meet the Author: Tara Giuffre has always loved reading and writing and grew up in the worlds of Narnia, Harry Potter and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Taking this passion for stories, she received a degree from Rutgers University in Journalism & Media. Besides writing, she likes long walks on the beach, spending time with her family (and her cat, Sansa), and baking the perfect loaf of bread. She enjoys sharing vital information about adoption and birth mothers choosing adoption to families making important choices for their future family!