You’ve chosen to adopt an infant of a race, ethnicity and culture different from your own. Amazing! You’ve taken an important step in growing your family. Now for the next part. Understanding what bringing a transracial child home will mean. What it will look like, and how it will affect your life. This would be the best time to immerse yourself in the education of transracial adoption to have the best outcome. Also, learning to recognize when race and skin tone matter, and when it doesn’t.
Building a multi-cultural family is a huge blessing, but an adventure at the same time. Here are some secrets on how to have a successful transracial adoption.
Acknowledge and Integrate Diversity
Take a close look at the current sense of diversity in your world. Where you live, what schools are around, and what other cultures are represented in your circle of friends. Is it diverse, or mainly same race? This will be an important thing to notice, because it’s what your child will start to observe as he or she grows. By the time children reach toddler age, they are able to detect differing skin tones, and, as we all know, toddlers are inquisitive creatures. They will pepper you with questions that you’ll need to have prepared answers to.
Acknowledge that your child is of a different origin, and be sure to integrate their heritage into your world as they develop. As a whole, you’ve chosen transracial adoption because you can see past their skin tone, and have a heart that is passionate to give a loving home to a child who desperately needs one. However, make sure that you still keep in mind that racism is alive and well, and that this will present itself many times. Research and further educating yourself in how to help your child navigate this will greatly help how they respond, establish their self-esteem, and enforce their sense of identity.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Seeking counsel from friends, family and others who have gone through similar experiences is always beneficial when trying to make a big decision. Those who have adopted transracially, specifically, will help provide insight into the pros and cons. Don’t be shy if you have questions for them. Learn all that you can.
Even post adoption, make sure that you can have a support system to rely on when you need to. Research any transracial adoptive parent groups that are in your local area. Social media is a great resource for this.
Embrace new traditions
Again — integrating the culture that your child is from, and maintaining it as they grow is essential. Origins and heritage remain a part of our history and identity, both in and out of adoption. If there is a lack of representation of your child’s culture, it can breed confusion and a sense of disconnect. So, embrace new traditions. Add in a special holiday that’s from your child’s birth culture. It’ll go a long way, for them and for you.
Secrets to a Successful Transracial Adoption
Racism and diversity are the two of the most important areas to consider when choosing transracial adoption. All throughout your adoption journey, and even after your child comes home, make sure that you keep tabs on best practices to help instill pride of their origin in your child and build and maintain a strong connection with your child. Open communication and exposing your child to a diverse group of people in their everyday lives will go a long way to creating a successful transracial adoption.
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.
“10 Tips for a Successful Transracial Adoption.” The Mash-Up Americans, 4 Mar. 2018, www.mashupamericans.com/family/10-tips-for-a-successful-transracial-adoption/.
Miller, Josh. “Parenting Tips: ‘5 Essential Tips for Transracial Adoption.’” America World Adoption, AWAA, 17 July 2017, awaa.org/blog/parenting-tips-5-essential-tips-for-transracial-adoption/.
“Seven Suggestions for a Successful Transracial Adoption.” AdoptUSKids, www.adoptuskids.org/adoption-and-foster-care/how-to-adopt-and-foster/envisioning-your-family/transracial-adoption.