Adopting a child from a different race will undoubtedly bring a unique set of challenges. However, having an open mind will transform these challenges into joyous learning experiences. A key problem with this type of adoption is that children from ethnic minority backgrounds are at a disadvantage. Perfectly matched families are difficult to find. In the 50’s, transracial adoptions were seen as unorthodox and even frowned upon. Today, fortunately, it is more commonplace to have adopted children from a different race, culture or ethnicity group. In fact, a 2007 survey reports that 40 percent of children adopted are often a different race, culture, or ethnicity than their parent(s).
There are several positives that come with transracial adoption. The four that Adoption Choices of Colorado has chosen to share about are as follows: more diverse cultural enrichment, better abilities to cope and deal with adversity and positive racial and ethnic identities.
More Diverse Home Environment
Having a multi-race family can bring experiences that are culturally enriching, especially if the family were to embrace cultural diversity and seek opportunities to expand their cultural horizons.
Providing a racially diverse home environment through books, art, music, movies, schools, community groups, etc. will allow for your child to have a positive identity and develop racial awareness within the family. Also, when looking for or creating a network within your child’s immediate community, look for racial diversity with health care providers, hairdressers, babysitters, schools and playgroups.
This, in turn, makes it more conducive as to how you embrace your child’s culture. How you teach your child about his or her culture and how you better prepare him or her for cultural differences. Also, how you challenge those stereotypes, biases and levels of tolerance.
Healthy Coping Skills
You should be helping your child cope with racism, discrimination or overall insecurities about identity and self-esteem. Ways you can better help your child is by educating yourself on the history of racism. Therefore, allowing your child to ask questions and challenge tolerance. One of the biggest benefits of transracial adoption is that your child gains the ability to cope with racism. To grow up with a stronger sense of self-esteem, and, when children have positive views of themselves, an easier time moving forward from hurtful comments.
Here are a few tips to help instill healthy coping skills. They aren’t exhaustive, but should be taken largely into consideration:
- Be Honest: Encourage diversity when it comes to toys, games and picture books or videos that have positive non-stereotypical roles. They can even assist with how you explain differences between others.
- Embrace Curiosity: Allow your children to ask questions openly.
- Foster Pride: Talk to your child about his or her family heritage to encourage self-knowledge and a positive self-concept.
- Lead by Example: Broaden your horizons – community spaces and or groups and friends that are from different cultures and backgrounds. Be a part of different experiences.
Positive Identities and Self-Esteem
You can impart positive self-esteem within your child by creating a sense of emotional safety and belonging. By opening up the lines of communication between you and your child. In doing so, they have a safe place to talk about his or her thoughts and feelings. Listening to your child, and acknowledging their strengths and abilities makes your child feel valued. Small successes provide the foundation for building self-esteem.
Fostering positive racial identities involves making your child’s culture a priority. Helping him or her to know what it means to be a part of their own minority group. Positive racial and ethnic identities is also your child’s ability to fully identify with his or her ethnic roots. To be confident that race or ethnicity will not limit opportunities in his or her life. It is also said that positive racial and ethnic identities will be psychologically well-adjusted.
The parent-child relationship that is formed from a transracial adoption provides the positive development of ethnic identities, transmission of cultural values, beliefs and practices, development of self-esteem and psychological well-being.
Benefits of Transracial Adoption
The most rewarding benefits of transracial adoption are that you are providing a child with a forever home. You are becoming a parent. No matter the positives, negatives or statistics, the benefit of adding a child to your family is incomparable.
Adoption Choices of Colorado
For more information on adoption please contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or phone 303-670-4401.
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
Taylor Tsakopulos, the bestselling student. She has interned locally in Denver and internationally in Dublin, Ireland, taken classes/workshops and worked odd jobs and yet always comes back to being a student and the desire to learn or create.
When she isn’t creating content she’s off dancing and hiking. Always chasing after new things and experiences. After living and working in Europe she is hungry for more.
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The Pros and Cons of Transracial Adoption. (2014, November 20). Retrieved December 24, 2019, from https://prezi.com/icjqd4ihlu2q/the-pros-and-cons-of-transracial-adoption/.