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Transracial Adoption: Is it Right for You?

Interracial Adoptive Family

Since becoming a transracial family through adoption, I have been asked a lot of questions by couples waiting to adopt or just starting the process. I’ve decided to address the most common questions about transracial adoption with the hope of helping others with similar questions. Please keep in mind I am just one opinion—there are many varying views on transracial adoption.

How did you decide to become a family through transracial adoption?

When adoption is the way you start/add to your family, it comes with a lot of complexities and questions. You really have to look at yourself, your life, and your family and decide what is best for your family. For us, adoption was just the way we started our family. When we were asked to check the race box, we checked “any race” without thinking twice. For us, it really was that simple. We felt the baby we were meant to have in our lives would be placed with us and it didn’t matter what they looked like. We just wanted them to be healthy. So, we didn’t really “decide” to become a transracial family. The first time we adopted, we became an adoptive family. The second time, we became a transracial family.

How did you overcome fears of being judged by others?

For us, there wasn’t a “fear of being judged” to overcome. We knew we might get stares and comments. However, we weren’t fearful of that and hoped we would handle all situations as a family and use those moments teach our kids that everyone is different in their own way and to be accepting of others. Our only fear really, was how our child will feel (since he is still young, we don’t know how he feels yet).

How did you know transracial adoption was right for you?

We didn’t know that adopting a child of another race was the right choice for us. What we did know was that we wanted another child and we were ready and waiting with loving open arms for whoever that child was.

How do we know if we are ready to be a transracial family?

I struggle with the right answer to this question. I feel if you are really having a hard time seeing yourself as a family made up of more than one race, or are uncomfortable with the stares and comments you may get, then transracial adoption is not the route to family you should pursue. Plus, if you are asking this question, you probably aren’t ready. I have known couples that chose “any race” on their forms, just hoping for a fast match. But when matched quickly, with a child outside of their race, they decide to not go through with the adoption. That’s not fair to the expectant mother who is trying to make an adoption plan for her baby. It is also not fair to any child for you to adopt them and then decide you aren’t comfortable with the stares and comments.

Transracial adoption is part of my life and I’m glad it is. I wouldn’t have my son if it wasn’t. However, not everyone is comfortable learning about another race or culture (something that’s important in transracial adoption) and that’s okay. If that’s the case, you don’t have to feel bad, but choosing transracial adoption might not be the right choice for you.