In our current world, racism and prejudice are two things that most of us have encountered at some point in our lives. Whether that means we’ve been at the receiving end, or been the one doing it to someone else, it’s sadly become commonplace in our society. It’s something that affects everyone — especially children.
If you are considering transracial adoption, you’ve probably already been back and forth with whether or not it’s a good idea. Fears, uncertainty and questions have no doubt taken residence a time or two. Maybe you’ve even listened to the misconceptions about transracial adoption, and wonder if they were true. Don’t worry. You’re in good hands. Adoption Choices of New York is here to help you dispel some of the myths associated with transracial adoption.
Myth: Transracial adoption is harmful for children
Fact: There are those who believe children of different races do not belong in families that do not share their culture. For instance, black children with white parents. It’s said that transracial adoption hurts children psychologically, physically, and culturally. This is false.
Race is a major part of transracial adoption. That aspect is true. It’s something prospective adoptive parents should be prepared for, and carefully consider throughout the process. However, as a whole, transracial adoption is not harmful for children. In fact, recent studies show that parents of transracial adoptees talked more with their children about race and ethnicity than that of same race families. It enhanced the varying cultures in the home, and created a broader sense of acceptance.
Myth: Talking about race breeds racism
Fact: No. You’re actually opening the lines of communication to teach them about acceptance, and educate them about the current culture of racism and prejudice. This will help them understand their world better, and how to navigate any challenging conversations or disrespectful words that are thrown their way. Talking about race with your children, and showing them that their differences are a good thing is beneficial in the long run.
Myth: Love will fix everything
Fact: The misconception within this surrounds the idea that an adoptive parent’s love for his or her adopted child will supersede any challenges or doubts brought on from the outside world. Unfortunately, this isn’t correct. Love is indeed powerful. But, it isn’t a one-way street or like a magical genie. Just like with any other kind of relationship, it takes daily effort to make the parent-child bond work.
Myth: Differences will fade away
Fact: Along the same lines as above, differences don’t disappear with time. In fact, as your child grows, so will their awareness. Nurture doesn’t win over nature. Both must work in tandem.
By the time a child reaches toddler age, they are able to detect different skin tones. They will begin to ask questions, and process emotions. These only get more complex as they grow older. That’s why it’s so important to teach them early on that differences aren’t a bad thing, that they are special, and nothing is wrong with them.
Myth: Adopting transracially shows you’re a good person
Fact: Is that you’re reason for adopting a child of another race? If so, you may have to take a moment to re-evaluate. Bringing home a child from a different race or culture just so to show that you’re a good person isn’t the best reason to pursue this type of adoption. Rather, transracial adoption should come from a deeper motivation: your heart.
If you are adopting transracially because you truly believe that children are more than the color of your skin, then you’re doing it right. Don’t let anyone make you think or believe differently.
Adoption Choices of New York
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of New York.
Make an Impact
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
“Ages and Stages of Development.” Ages and Stages of Development – Child Development (CA Dept of Education), www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/caqdevelopment.asp.
Dawes, Laina. “The Myths About Trans-Racial Adoption.” Myths About Trans-Racial Adoption, www.refinery29.com/en-us/myths-about-adoption.
“Guest Blog: 3 Misconceptions About Transracial Adoptees ⋆ Arms Wide Texas Adoption Services.” Arms Wide Texas Adoption Services, 11 Sept. 2018, www.armswideadoption.org/blog/guest-blog-3-misconceptions-transracial-adoptees/.
“Is Transracial Adoption Harmful to Kids?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/adopting-reason/201605/is-transracial-adoption-harmful-kids.
“The Realities of Raising a Kid of a Different Race.” Time, Time, time.com/the-realities-of-raising-a-kid-of-a-different-race/.