When you think about growing your family through adoption, what are the aspects that stand out to you? Personality traits? Characteristics you hope that your new son or daughter might have? What about his or her physical features? Hair. Eyes. Skin color. If you have the heart to adopt a child who has a different skin color, or who comes from another culture than your own, transracial adoption is a great path to consider.
From the moment you decided to adopt, you’ve no doubt started to research the available options and to learn all you can about the adoption journey itself. In the midst of that, there’s also the inward struggle of weighing the pros and cons of your decision. Believe it or not, these are all important parts of the decision-making process. It’s perfectly ok and natural to carefully consider the many facets involved. Not only does this show that you are committed, but it also shows your dedication to the process. Read on to gain insight into some important factors of transracial adoption. Please know this is not a complete resource.
To begin, let’s get the cons out of the way first.
Cons of Transracial Adoption:
- Standing Out. If you adopt a child of another race, it will be noticeable. Particularly if your child has another skin tone than you. As much as we may wish it, our country is not free from discrimination. Racism and prejudice, unfortunately, are still alive and well. While not every family will encounter this, it’s still something important to be aware of when adopting transracially.
- Loss of Culture. Similarly, children raised in a home of a different culture can lose touch with where they came from: their birth origin and culture.
- Increased Risk of Prejudice. Little kids tend to speak their minds. Both good thoughts and bad. They lack the filter of discernment that tells them what is ok to say and not. As a result, your child could be exposed to negative comments and remarks when his or her classmates find out that he or she was adopted into a family of a different skin color.
- Struggle with Family Judgement. Another con with transracial adoption you may face involves acceptance from friends and family. Those who do not understand your choice to adopt from a different race and culture may present a challenge. Though, keep in mind, the views that your friends and family have could be generational. For instance, older generations were taught to stay within their own race because cultural issues were more rampant then.
Pros of Transracial Adoption:
- Expands Cultural Views. Adopting a child of another race and culture can teach you a lot about the rest of the world. It provides you with the opportunity to integrate yourself into another way of doing things, and helps you learn how others live.
- Teaches about Discrimination. Studies show that infants can distinguish varying skin tones, and that by early childhood kids will feel more favorable to those who look similar to them. Teaching your son or daughter about what discrimination means will help them appreciate diversity and recognize that differences can be beautiful. In addition, it can deepen their understanding of their own culture and develop a healthy sense of pride in his or her racial heritage.
- Inspires New Traditions and Experiences. When you adopt transracially, you’ll want to make sure that you implement your child’s birth culture into your home so that he or she doesn’t lose touch with their background. Research what some major celebrations are in your child’s culture and add them into your repertoire of traditions.
- Embraces Cultural Diversity. As aforementioned, racism and prejudice still exist in our society today. Yet, adopting a child outside of your race is a great way to help change the world. Love knows no bounds – especially with adoption. Each and every person should be accepted regardless of skin color, race, culture or ethnicity. Transracial adoption can be a very moving experience for you, your child, your child’s birth family and your other family and friends, as it helps all of you understand the importance of diversity and to freely embrace it.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
Red, yellow, black and white. Skin color doesn’t matter. Every child needs a loving and nurturing home, regardless of their physical appearance.
Remember – adoption is all about creating your family. It will change your life in the best way possible, and present you with learning opportunities every step of the way. To better help you through the pros and cons stage of your adoption journey, consider these questions: what are your true motivations to adopt? Why do you want to be a parent?
Think through these carefully. Be transparent and honest with yourself and your spouse or partner. You may find that answering these questions helps you find the response you already know deep down.
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
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.
“5 Common Transracial Adoption Benefits.” Angel Adoption, Angel Adoption, Inc., 17 Mar. 2017, www.angeladoptioninc.com/blog/5-common-transracial-adoption-benefits/.
Haris, Nadia. “What to Do If a Grown Stepdaughter Is Disrespectful in Your Home.” Hello Motherhood, 6 Dec. 2019, www.hellomotherhood.com/what-to-do-if-a-grown-stepdaughter-is-disrespectful-in-your-home-9898727.html.
“Transracial Adoption Pros and Cons List.” NYLN.org, 23 June 2015, nyln.org/transracial-adoption-pros-and-cons-list.
“Unbiased Transracial Adoption Pros and Cons: Navajo Code Talkers.” Interviews, Videos & More, navajocodetalkers.org/unbiased-transracial-adoption-pros-and-cons/.