Understanding the Importance of Celebrating Culture in an Open Transracial Adoption
The United States is a melting pot of many different races and cultures, and it’s only becoming more diverse as time passes. As a result, the number of transracial adoptions are increasing every year. Subsequently, there are a lot of conversations around race and adoption.
There have been many discussions about the pros and cons of transracial adoption throughout our country, and understandably so. Race contributes significantly to the experience of people in the United States, and, as a result, impacts transracial adoption. One of the biggest issues some people have with transracial adoption is that it completely removes a child from their own culture and places them in a foreign one. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
At Adoption Choices of New York, we recognize the significance of celebrating culture in an open transracial adoption. Culture is important. We define it and it defines us. No child should be isolated from their own heritage, and using your role as a birth mother to share your culture with your adoptive family is a great way to provide an avenue for representation.
3 Reasons it’s Important to Celebrate Culture in an Open Transracial Adoption
Celebrating your culture with your adoptive family is a fantastic way to strengthen bonds. However, it’s important to remember that the interactions you have with your birth child need to be approved by their adoptive family. Having conversations about culture with any prospective adoptive families is a great way to ensure you’ll be on the same page after the adoption is finalized. Here are a few reasons we believe your birth child will greatly benefit from celebrating their culture in an open transracial adoption.
- Cultural Exploration can Help with Identity Confusion
Many adoptees question their identity, even if it’s only briefly. This is especially true for children in a transracial adoption. If your adoptive family actively engages in your culture, it will make your birth child feel more comfortable in their own skin.
Culture can be explored through food, holidays, language, and dozens of other ways. No matter how your culture is being celebrated, it’ll be beneficial for everyone involved.
- Adopted Children Need Role Models who Look Like Them
Minority children don’t have enough representation throughout our culture as it is, and this can be even more harmful if they can’t find anyone in their personal lives who looks like them either. Depending on the structure of your open adoption, you could become a positive, consistent role model for your birth child.
However, you shouldn’t be the only representation in their life. Living in a diverse community, enrolling in cultural classes, and celebrating important dates are all great ways adoptive families can engage with your culture. Even sharing books and movies that have meaningful representation will help your birth child feel seen.
- Your Birth Child will Be More Prepared for Adulthood
If a child’s culture isn’t acknowledged throughout their life, he or she may feel like they missed out. It’s harmful for anybody to feel misunderstood, and this insecurity may carry over to adulthood. It’s crucial for adoptive families to participate in your culture. Doing so will create positive experiences that will benefit your birth child for the rest of their life.
How Can I Learn More about Transracial Adoption as a Birth Mother?
Transracial adoption is a great option, and it’s much more successful when everybody’s culture is celebrated and respected. Turning a blind eye to race and culture can be harmful, and it won’t help adoptees navigate race issues in the future. That’s why it’s important for adoptive families to educate themselves, and you could be a great resource for your birth child in the future, if that’s something you’re comfortable with.
About the Author: Alexandra Georgiton is a fourth-year student at the University of Cincinnati studying Rhetoric and Professional Writing, and is receiving certification in Copyediting and Publishing. She has been passionate about the English language for her entire life, and reading and writing have always been her favorite hobbies. She enjoys professional writing and editing because she loves to use her talent and love of writing to make a difference in the world.