With all things, whether positive or negative, having resources that aid and support are ideal. This is especially true when you are struggling through a challenging season of life. But don’t worry. Adoption Choices of Colorado is here to help you cultivate new resources.
In our last blog, we spoke about the benefits of transracial adoption and how your child will bring a unique set of challenges to the table. Now we will share some of the numerous resources for transracial adoption. These unique challenges you and your family will take on together doesn’t have to be a negative experience. There are other adoptive families exploring, learning and growing just like you. In fact, the resources below all aim to facilitate positive experiences for transracial families.
Resources for Transracial Adoption
Resources for adoptive parents are innate towards providing real-life experiences. You are not alone in your triumphs or challenges as a transracial adoptive parent. Whether you are trying to find your way into an entirely different type of community in person or virtually, the following resources for transracial adoption can help even point you in the right direction.
Here are a few examples of adoptive transracial parents who wrote blogs about their personal experiences:
- The Full Plate: Full Plate Mom (FPM) is a mom to 11 kids through private domestic (transracial) adoption and international adoption.
- The Adopted Life: Angela Tucker is a nationally-recognized thought leader on transracial adoption and an advocate for adoptee rights. In 2013, Angela’s own story of adoption and search for her birth parents was featured in the documentary “Closure.”
- A Birth Project: Lisa Marie shares the dynamics in her search for her birth family and her experiences as a Black girl adopted by white parents, her ‘life as a TRA’ – a transracial adoptee.
Bernice Cullinan and Brod Bagert, writers for Reading Rockets, discuss how children learn and are aware of how language sounds even before they begin to understand the existence of written language. It is said in their article, Reading with Your Child, that reading stimulates your child’s imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It also helps to develop his or her language and listening skills. So, through reading to your child about stories that recognize and normalize transracial adoption, you are encouraging them to be proud of who they are and to further explore their birth culture.
Books are said to be the sum of available knowledge and experiences. Books allow you to dive into another world. They can also be used as a guide to problem solve obstacles that you may face in your own life, much like the ones each character faces. The examples of books below are a good way for your child to find ways to relate to these real-life experiences or the possible challenging encounters they may have.
- Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care: A book about natural hair styling tips for parents raising African-American daughters.
- A Parent’s Guide to Natural Hair Care for Girls: A how-to guide for healthy and gorgeous black hair plus an introduction to natural hairstyles.
- Pact, an Adoption Alliance compiled two separate lists of books for babies and toddlers and preschoolers pertaining to race and adoption. Books for Babies and Toddlers About Adoption, Race and Family and Books for Preschoolers About Adoption, Race and Family
There are a handful of reasons why you and your family should be a part of a support group or playgroup. For instance, joining a playgroup shows your child and the world that you are willing to be open and transparent about being a transracial family. You are showing your child that other families look just like yours. Attending playgroups exposes your child regularly to his or her birth culture.
Here are a few community-based groups that will help you navigate the things you may face as a family, but also give you an outlet to meet new people or families that are similar:
- Joy-Filled Transracial Families: Members include transracial families built via adoption and biology; a variety of topics are discussed in this group, mostly from an adoptive parents’ perspective.
- The Colorado Coalition for Adoptive Families: a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization formed by a group of families in 1999 who wanted to increase the number of pre- and post- adoption services for Colorado adoptive families. Their primary goal is to provide information and advocate for adoption throughout the adoption process.
- Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families: have been supporting adoptive families since 1992. They are dedicated to the healthy development of transracial families, promoting pride in your child’s birth culture and seeing that the adoptees grow into confident, well-rounded adults. Heritage Camps is located in Denver, Colorado and serves as a post-adoption resource and family-centered experience for both you and your child.
Community-Based Resources for Transracial Adoption
For transracial adoptive parents, there are community-based guidelines to follow. Ones that help you navigate how to present yourself as a transracial adoptive family, as well as handle any difficult questions that may be asked.
- Transracial Parent Pledge: Robert O’connor’s the creator of Transracial Adoption Training, created the Transracial Parenting Pledge as a reminder of goals and commitments to children.
- Transracially Adopted Child’s Bill of Rights: Liza Steinberg created an adaption from Marilyn Blake Dramé’s A Bill of Rights for Mixed Folks, a basic list of what a child is allowed to rightfully have morals and value-wise when it comes to being a part of a family.
- North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC): A guide to transracial parenting and transracial parent training.
- Pact, An Adoption Alliance: Offers transracial adoption consultations, workshops, webinars, videos and articles, along with additional lists of resources.
- Be The Bridge: An organization that builds partnerships with people who seek racial justice and reconciliation. It is faith-based and encourages conversations with an intent to learn from and educate others on injustices. Parents in transracial families may be particularly interested in locating a local Be The Bridge chapter (to find or start a local chapter, you’ll need to join their group on Facebook first).
Cultivated Resources for Transracial Adoption
Acknowledging the challenges your child may experience and implementing resources for transracial adoption facilitates consistent, positive reinforcement about your child’s cultural background. This, in turn, teaches them healthy ways to cope with being transracial and instills a greater sense of self-confidence in their identity. Especially within similar groups that include their racial identity or birth culture. Thus, your child will have a positive and healthy way to serve his or her well-being and others.
These resources for transracial adoption provide a consistent network of support within all adopted families and communities. It also provides a platform for outreach to happen within a community that lacks these resources or forms of support. But, it also gives your family the opportunity to grow and connect as an adoptive family.
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.
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.
She is a jack of all trades (i.e. a Gemini). She is a Denver-based writer, creator, artist and student. A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU).
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.