Transracial adoption or interracial adoption refers to an adoption where the Adoptive Parents and the adopted child are of a different race or ethnicity.
How Do I Decide on Transracial Adoption?
Today, transracial adoptions have become more common, providing children with a loving forever home, which is what all children need and deserve. All hopeful Adoptive Parents will need to consider the option when they begin their adoption journeys.
Kristen, an Adoptive Mother, shares her family’s transracial adoption story:
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.
Whether the decision to adopt outside of one's race or ethnicity is simple or more complex, it is a unique decision for every Adoptive Family and it is important to recognize and respect that it will not be an option for everyone.
Healthy Transracial Adoptions
In an interracial family, it will be important for the Adoptive Parents to learn about and respect their child's culture. Most adoption professionals and child welfare experts stress the importance and the need for Adoptive Parents to help their children learn about racial identity and cultural heritage. According to the National Council For Adoption, prospective Adoptive Parents who are considering transracial adoption cannot afford to ignore the issue of race or explore it only superficially.
This process will look different for every family, but professionals have suggested: speaking with loved ones about what transracial adoption means for your family, sharing positive role models from their culture with your children, reaching out and making connections within the community, embracing cultural traditions and always encouraging open and honest communication.