You may be wondering what you’ll face when going into transracial adoption. Here at Adoption Choices of Nevada, we want to help you out with those questions. There is often a lot to think about when adopting a child, and race is one of them. Did you know that transracial adoptions didn’t exist until the late 20th century? While this type of adoption is still relatively new, it’s becoming more common!
So, you’re not the only one wondering what comes with transracial adoption. Think of it this way: you’re about to embark on an incredible journey, and it’s going to be unique to you and your family.
Let’s get into the pros and cons of transracial adoption!
Pros of Transracial Adoption:
Let’s start with the good stuff. There are several pros as to why transracial adoptions are amazing.
- A Large Need: There is a need for transracial adoptions. Simply put, if you are willing to adopt a baby of a different race, it opens up your pairings. Pretty cool, right? By taking this big step, you can be closer to your new child.
- No Secrets: There isn’t going to be a time where you have to ask yourself, “When do I tell my child they are adopted?” This means it is out in the open as soon as he or she realizes that your skin tone is different from his or hers. That is perfectly okay! Being open about adoption with your child promotes an understanding between you and your child. It shows that even though he or she is from a different family, you love them with your whole heart.
- Cultural diversity: Your family is about to get a whole new culture introduction! That’s really exciting! See, your child should know about where he or she comes from. To keep your child’s roots promotes healthy curiosity and growth as your child gets older. Being able to sit down and have conversations about your child’s culture will help him or her grow. It is important to remember, though, that you are not automatically the culture that your child is from. Just like he or she is not automatically from your culture.
- New Community Events: This is a really neat part when it comes to transracial adoption. Not only are you going to be a part of the adoption community, but there are also going to be events for parents just like you. There are clubs, activities and groups that your child may feel he or she fits into more as they grow that you get to be a part of. Going off number three on this list, there are going to be cultural community events that you get to be a part of with your child. It is a great way to make connections and new friends. There are plenty of things to learn at these events. Like holidays and traditions that you may not know yet. The internet research can only go so far after all! There is nothing like getting hands-on with the community to learn.
- Strength: Your child is going to be better equipped at handling the tough questions in life. He or she is going to be able to deal with discrimination because you taught him or her how. Not everyone is going to understand why your child doesn’t look like you. But, through all those hard conversations, you get to teach your child how to handle them.
Cons of Transracial Adoption:
- Skin Tone and Hair: Not every child’s hair is created the same way. If your child has kinky curly hair it is going to be a different care routine than what you may be used to. There is a lot of care that goes into different hair textures, and not every hair texture can be brushed with a fine-tooth comb. It is important to get educated on this, so your little one can be as confident as can be! It will take some practice but remember that YouTube, Google, and the community are your friends! The same goes for skin tone. Children with darker skin tones need sunscreen, too! There is a myth that the darker the skin the less the need for sunscreen is. This is very untrue! Sunscreen is necessary for everyone.
- Adoptees and Isolation: As adoptees get older, they can experience feeling isolated from you and the rest of the family. Your child may find that he or she is too different in your family, even if that isn’t the case. To avoid this, stay open with your child and talk with him or her. Let your child know that you are always going to be there, ready to talk to him or her. If you need to, you can take your child to a mental healthcare professional.
- Bullies: Sadly, sometimes kids learn negative behaviors and act on them. This could be picking on others based on looks or speech. Your child may experience this if his or her skin tone doesn’t match the majority in the class. Preparing your child by telling him or her that skin tone doesn’t define them is a good place to start. Encourage your child to talk to you about things like this. While you can’t wrap your child in a bubble to protect him or her, you can be there to talk things out.
The Pros and Cons of Transracial Adoption
See? There are more pros than cons to transracial adoption. Even the cons aren’t so bad, just things to watch out for. It can be a little intimidating to jump into the world of transracial adoption, but if you are ready or have more questions, talk to your adoption caseworker or call our office. We are always ready to help and answer your questions! It is better to be over-prepared than under.
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!
navajocodetalkersadmin. “Unbiased Transracial Adoption Pros and Cons: Navajo Code Talkers.” Interviews, Videos & More, 18 May 2015, https://navajocodetalkers.org/unbiased-transracial-adoption-pros-and-cons/.
Williams, Derek. “How Can I Know If Transracial Adoption Is Right for Me?” Adoption.com, 2 Sept. 2019, https://adoption.com/how-can-i-know-if-transracial-adoption-is-right-for-me.