“Race” is a hot topic in America today isn’t it? We’ve all got opinions. Our news media is flooded with stories about racial tensions and problems. Transracial adoption is definitely not immune from being a hot topic either.
This post could quite easily turn into strong opinion piece, and although I have my own strong opinions on transracial adoption I didn’t want this post to become a debate starter, and miss the point. (You can scroll to the bottom to hear a tiny personal perspective of mine.)
This post is simply to highlight some areas of consideration as you think about transracial adoption. So here we go:
What does your family think?
Maybe you don’t care what your family will say or do when you adopt a child of another ethnicity. Maybe you do care considerably. Either way, you have to consider the response of those you are related to. Many families we know have had to make some tough decisions or had to have some serious sit down conversations with parents or in-laws.
What about your community?
As you consider transracial adoption you will obviously think about:
Neighborhood and surrounding community
Church community – how supportive and accepting will they be?
There are many factors to consider because of where you live. There have been many children adopted and raised in a community where they are the ethnic minority and have adjusted and been accepted and loved with little to no problems. The opposite has also been true.
What about your child’s ethnic heritage – how will you handle that?
The issue of raising children that are ethnically different than you is a huge hot topic – just google for about 2 minutes and you’ll see bucket loads of sites, blogs, articles and videos with many various opinions and perspectives. Here’s some quick points to ponder:
Will you celebrate or recognize certain holidays or events that you hadn’t before?
Hair care – If you haven’t though much about it, others will have and they probably throw their 2 cents worth in your direction over it.
Ethnic Identity – how will you navigate the waters of your child’s questions or thoughts about their ethnicity? How much do you take the lead on talking about that? How do you help them be confident in who they are?
The world has its opinions and these will be made known loud and clear to you and your child as you adopt transracially. How you handle your friends, family, community and the world at large is up to you. People handle adoption (transracial or otherwise) with grace, love and common sense. Some handle it badly. It’s up to you, but like anything that is a life changing decision it’s worth doing your homework on and surrounding it with prayer.
Personal perspective – as a family we are blessed because of our diversity. We have largely been embraced, loved and welcomed as a family by people of all colors (Both in the North and the South). We are blessed to live in a community where our children’s ethnicity is typical. And my ethnicity is typical also (Except the British part), including in our church. This was a strong desire for us as a family and a deciding factor for choice of church. We try to do our best to be open, frank and real about ‘race’ with our kids, and realistic about what is happening in our country, race wise. We also personally believe that as humans we are in fact all “One Race” biologically. We concern ourselves daily most importantly with things like being respectful to one another and understanding our eternal God given value and purpose in Christ.
We’d love to share our experiences or answer any questions you might have about transracial adoption or adoption in general. Send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (813) 360-7368. Also, chek out more of our personal story and thoughts on transracial adoption at our personal blog: “Are These Kids All Yours”