Adopting Transracially 101
When it comes to transracial adoption, the Internet holds a wealth of information. The trick is knowing what sources are the most reputable and what details are worth paying attention to.
Here are Adoption Choices of Nevada, we want to help put everything you need to know in one place, so you can return whenever needed! There is another article about all the resources for transracial adoptions that has a list of all kinds of books, websites, and support groups. After reading this and making sure you want to adopt transracially, it is a great place to stop.
So, what do you need to know before you jump into this world?
Not Everyone should Adopt Transracially
We’ll start out with the giant elephant in the room. The sad truth is that transracial adoption is not for everyone. It takes careful consideration and research to determine if it’s the right fit for you and your family.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are you feeling pressured into adopting transracially?
- Do you feel like adopting a baby of a different race makes you a hero?
If you answered yes to these questions, then you may need to reevaluate. A child is a huge responsibility. Not just financially, but also emotionally. Think about why you want to adopt transracially. If the answer is that it makes you feel good and like a hero, then consider a different option. Remember, you get a choice in this, your baby doesn’t. As part of the adoption triad – you, the child, and the birth parents – you have to put your baby’s needs ahead of your own.
You Have to Abandon Colorblindness
The world, as much as we wish it was, is not sunshine and rainbows. Race really does matter. There are going to be tough discussions you’ll need to have with your child as he or she grows up. Ignoring your child’s race is not a benefit to either of you. That’s why you need to talk about it. Adopting transracially comes with its own set of unique challenges and this is one of them.
This is where you need to check your stereotypes of different races. Start learning about the race that your child will be. Reading books, researching websites and even talking to people in your community are good ways to do this. Explore what other races might be alike, and any cultural ideas that need to be learned beforehand. There are going to be different views and perspectives, of course, but you are taking steps to educate yourself and make an informed decision about adopting transracially.
If your child will have a sibling who is older, teach your child that there may be people who will try to say that they are not real siblings. Your children will be real siblings no matter their blood relations. By teaching your children that family is a bond, you are encouraging your children to grow into well-rounded adults. Family does not always require blood relations. Family is love.
Make Positive Connections
Seriously! Make those connections with the race that your child will be. Your community is a treasure trove of possibilities. Even if you live in a smaller town, it is important to remember that your community can expand. By making friends and connections of the race you plan to adopt from, you start learning.
You are going to be a lifelong student to the new culture that your child is from. Making connections with the community, you have more partners to help you. Remember that old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child?” That definitely applies here. Adopting transracially is an adventure. Friends, family and community members will all jump in at the necessary moments to help you out. From the practical things, like hair care tips, to the complex.
These connections can lead to things your child may show interest in later in life. By incorporating your child’s birth culture with yours, you are creating a whole new world. It is important not to force something on your child. Rather, letting him or her explore the world is important. It helps your child find a sense of self.
Your child should not have to stand up to family or friends when it comes to his or her race. Educate your family on these matters. Do not be afraid to set boundaries about what can and cannot be said in front of your child. Your child is a part of your family, no matter what other people may say. It is okay to tell people that what they think or say hurts you and your child. You are your child’s advocate.
Adopting Transracially 101
Adopting a child from a different race is going to be a whole new adventure. Remember, you do not have to go into this alone. Don’t forget about your adoption agency, family, friends and other adoptive parents! Use your resources to better understand your child. This is a wonderful journey, and you’ve got the tools to take it now!
Adoption Choices of Nevada
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
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
Tia Kitchens is a college graduate with a B.S in Psychology from Capella University who has always had a passion for three things: animals, writing, and mac ‘n cheese. Two of these three are things she has based her work around. Animals are a big impact on her life due to her love for helping others through difficult situations. Through her studies, she has found the human-animal bond is strong enough to help others. This, paired with her writing, helps her record her findings and teach others through her words.
She is excited to join Adoption Choices as an Editorial Intern because she’s wanted to adopt since she was little, and is excited to learn about the industry and the adoption journey.
Her goal is to make a change in the world with her words and end up on someone’s inspiration Pinterest board! Being a key quote on someone’s Pinterest board it shows her words have a huge impact on people. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but if that picture is just words it surely means more that way! To learn more about her, follow her on Twitter and Instagram!
Atchison, Alan. “What You Need to Know before Adopting Transracially – International Adoption: Agencies, Cost, Photolistings, Process.” International Adoption | Agencies, Cost, Photolistings, Process, 27 Apr. 2018, https://internationaladoption.org/need-know-adopting-transracially/.
Mehra, Nishta. “10 Tips for a Successful Transracial Adoption.” The Mash-Up Americans, 27 June 2019, http://www.mashupamericans.com/family/10-tips-for-a-successful-transracial-adoption/.