How can you love a child of a different race? Won’t that child grow up feeling estranged? How are people going to see you as a parent? Prospective adoptive parents hoping to adopt transracially are faced with many questions and concerns. They are confused and led astray by the plethora of myths about transracial adoptions. But don’t worry. Adoption Choices of Nevada is here to help. We want to make sure the difference between what’s true and not as you are moving forward in your adoption journey.
Here are the top six myths about transracial adoption.
Myth: Parents are not able to Love their Child the same as a Different Race
Fact: Wrong! The adoption process is beautiful that way, really. Each child and each adoption story is going to be different. But they all have something very much in common. Skin tone isn’t the reason you are adopting your child, and, if it is your reason, then you may reconsider why you’re adopting.
Myth: Talking about Race breeds Racism
Fact: No, it doesn’t breed racism. Hiding the conversation about race is going to hurt your child in the long run. Here is the fact: your child is going to be of a different race than you. You will have to talk about race with your son or daughter as he or she grows up. Avoiding this topic isn’t worth your child getting hurt later on in life.
Go out and talk to parents of the race your child is. Learn about the culture your child is from. This is the only way you will get first-hand experience and be able to prepare your child for the world outside of your home. Most importantly, do not be afraid to talk to him or her about this topic either. They maybe be things said to your child or done that you may not be expecting. It’s important to learn all you can and prepare yourself to sit down with your child. Even when your child is still little, explaining that there are people out there who will not like him or her is necessary. Just do it in such terms that a little one can understand.
Myth: Transracial Adoptions are Harmful
Fact: This is a really sad myth. The truth of the matter is that transracial adoption is not harmful to adopted children. To an outsider, it may seem like it could be terrifying to walk into a room and have this child that doesn’t look like you the first time. But it’s not!
In fact, transracial adoptions are becoming more and more common. More than 40% of adoptions now are transracial. In other words, there are plenty of families out there who have gone through this process. These families are more culturally aware due to their differences in race. It is important to talk about race and where your child is from, just to lead your son or daughter to be more prepared for the outside world.
Myth: You are the Hero
Fact: Nope. That may seem really harsh, but it’s true. If you’re considering transracial adoption for the sole purpose of feeling heroic, please evaluate your thoughts.
Do you think a child is more than just the color of his or her skin? If so, you are choosing transracial adoption for the right reasons. You are doing it out of love and compassion. You know that there may be bumps in the road. too. Such as the, “Why does my skin look different from yours,” question that is bound to come up. There are also going to be people who just do not understand why your child is a different skin tone than you. They will ask many questions that are going to be bothersome or just downright invasive. But this comes with the territory. Remember that, with bumps, comes joy. Like getting to be a parent, seeing things from a different point of view, and learning a new set of skills that comes with raising a child of a different race.
Myth: Love Fixes All
Fact: Unfortunately, this is not the case. Love is not this magical thing that makes every pain go away. It will not heal all. It is very important that you do love your child with everything that you have. This doesn’t mean that your son or daughter won’t end up hurt by others’ words or actions, though.
Not every child will face the same struggles, so your child may never feel like he or she don’t/can’t identify with his or her race. It is important to note that adoptees do run a higher risk for suicide, four times more likely, than those who aren’t adopted. Love fixes all doesn’t really work when it comes to this. While it is one of the most important things to have, it’s not the end-all cure-all stance to have. Even children who aren’t adopted need more than just love from their parents. Each child and family are going to be different, and your family is no exception to this rule. Blanket statements like this are harmful to those who find themselves struggling. Remembering this is going to make it easier to keep an eye out on if your child is feeling like he or she don’t belong or just need to talk to you.
Just because your child may struggle, doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth adopting. Your child is just going to need a little extra understanding and patience is all.
Myths about Transracial Adoption
Transracial adoptions do come with a learning curve, but it is one that your adoption agency and agent can help with. There is no need for you to be alone during this. While love may not fix everything, it is a great place to start when thinking about adoption. Transracial adoptions come with many negative myths, but hopefully, we here at Adoption Choices of Nevada set your mind at ease a little.
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!
FRAZIER, ANDREA. “Transracial Adoption: Differences Should Be Embraced- Not Ignored.” The Donaldson Adoption Institute, 30 Oct. 2016, www.adoptioninstitute.org/news/transracial-adoption-differences-should-be-embraced-not-ignored/.
Verbly, Karen. “The Realities of Raising a Kid of a Different Race.” Time, Time, time.com/the-realities-of-raising-a-kid-of-a-different-race/.