Adoption is a marvelous way to connect children to a forever home and for you to start your dream family. Transracial adoption provides the same results, with some added cultural trivia that are worth learning about. If you want to learn more about the benefits of this adoption style, look for our upcoming blog post entitled, “Why You should Consider Transracial Adoption.”
At the same time, the journey for a transracial adoption will be treacherous for some parents. Not only will they have to go through the already rigorous and long adoption path — paperwork, interviews and waiting to be placed — but there will also be other problematic matters. Matters such as: cultural differences, lack of understanding from family, friends or strangers, and the identity crisis your child might encounter as they grow up.
The hills may get steeper, but with your child safely in your arms, you can push past any barriers to keep the smile on his or her face. Here are some resources for transracial adoption to help you out along the way.
Resources for Transracial Adoption
At Adoption Choices of New York, our goal is to connect parents to children and help you build the family you have been dreaming about. We will be with you every step of the way. Just because the adoption paperwork has all been finalized, it does not mean we will leave you to continue the battle yourself. Transracial adoption will lead to many challenges and the resources below should hopefully help you navigate this journey better.
Not all adoptions are the same, nor will they lead to the same challenges. Nonetheless, you and your child might still experience the same lifelong issues of adoption as parents who chose to adopt a child of the same race. Some problems are just unavoidable. The article talks about 7 issues in particular: loss, rejection, guilt and shame, grief, identity, intimacy, mastery and control. For parents to fully understand transracial adoption, they also have to educate themselves on the ramifications of adoption as a whole and the effects it has on adoptees. While the article does not specifically talk about race and culture, parents will benefit from learning about the problems they might encounter on their adoption journey.
Recognized for her story about transracial adoption, Angela Tucker has made advocating for adoptees of other races her life’s mission. The Adopted Life website provides ways for anyone, including parents of transracial children, to connect to Angela if they have any questions regarding race and culture. She also offers services such as workshops to help parents have healthy discussions about culture with their children. Angela Tucker’s story was also made into the documentary “Closure” that displays cultural differences and how she overcame adversity. Check out our review of “Closure” for more information.
The Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association (IFAPA) wrote this guide as a resource for prospective parents and parents who have already adopted transracially. The purpose of the guide is to enable parents and children to discuss race in a healthy and productive manner. To ensure that both parents and children feel comfortable with the subject so that both parties will thrive in their new lifestyle. There is also an emphasis on wanting children to gain a strong sense of cultural identity and understand that being different is welcomed. Some of the focuses of the guide are:
- What it Means to be a Transracial Family
- Parenting Tips
- The History of Transracial Adoption
- Racial and Discrimination – Fostering Racial Coping Skills
After getting married, Rachel was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, which would put a risk on her and a baby if she had chosen to conceive. Thus, both her and her husband had agreed to adopt. Now she’s a mother of four. White Sugar Brown Sugar is her blog where she discusses her adoption stories, from domestic to transracial adoption style. She has written about a range of topics, including “5 Things Young Adoptees Need Their Parents to do for Them” and “7 Hair and Skin Products Our Multiracial Family is Using This Winter.” There is also a section on the blog page where she shares gift ideas, book recommendations, and a Q&A.
In Their Own Voices is a collection of research, data and stories about the experiences of adoptees who have been adopted into families of different races and cultural backgrounds. The interviews conducted were of African American and biracial young adults, who were adopted by Caucasian parents, to study whether transracial adoption is harmful to adoptees. Interviewees come from a wide range of political, socio-economic, and religious backgrounds. While their experiences are all diverse, their stories are touching and still relatable for every adoptee. This is a great resource for prospective parents, or those with transracial children, to hear different perspectives for transracial adoptees and help parents raise their own children with the best possible future in mind for them.
The Adoptive Families Magazine website has an abundance of resources for new parents regarding the adoption process. They have a section dedicated specifically to transracial adoption, where they provide articles on how to talk about race and honor birth culture. Along with informative articles, they also have stories from transracial adoptees and families of many different races. There will surely be a story or family that will resonate with yours.
Trust Your Instinct
As transracial adoption grows more popular and accepted in today’s society, the number of resources and tools for parents has also grown. While those are undeniably helpful, there is one last person you need to rely on – yourself. When you become a parent, there’s a natural instinct for you to put your child and their happiness first. You will do everything to ensure that they grow up healthy, so don’t doubt yourself. Take it one step at a time and believe that you are amazing parents because you truly are.
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.
Support Adoption Choices
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
Lisa Truong is an undergraduate journalism major at the University of Denver. She is minoring in writing and Chemistry. She has been commended by professors for her news stories as well as creative writing.
During her freshman year, her essay “See Ya on the Other Side” was displayed at a writing exhibition sponsored by the University of Denver. That essay later went on to be published in Many Voices One DU, a book also sponsored by the university.
Lisa frequently volunteers to be a leader at the Daniels School of Business for their quarterly Ethics Boot Camp where students learn about the importance of character in business. In her free time, Lisa enjoys watching animated movies with her mother, listening to music, going for bike rides, and eating breakfast food.
Cuchens, Billy. “Transracial Archives.” Adoptive Families. Accessed January 4, 2020. https://www.adoptivefamilies.com/category/transracial-adoption/.
Garlinghouse, Rachel. “White Sugar, Brown Sugar.” White Sugar, Brown Sugar, January 1, 1970. http://www.whitesugarbrownsugar.com/.
Simon, Rita J., and Rhonda M. Roorda. In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 2000.
“The Adopted Life.” The adopted life. Accessed January 4, 2020. http://www.theadoptedlife.com/.
Ward, Davina. “Resources on Transracial Adoption.” Adoption Choices of Colorado, April 26, 2019. https://www.adoptionchoices.org/resources-on-transracial-adoption/.