Transracial adoption issues that may arise and tips to overcome them

By Jan Douglas

If you are a pregnant woman thinking about adoption and are seeking information on transracial adoption, Adoption Choices of Colorado has been helping women since 2002. We are a private adoption agency in Colorado with locations across Colorado, including an adoption agency near Denver. Making a choice to place your baby for adoption is not easy. We understand what a birth mother goes through when making this decision. Yet, there is a beautiful side to the adoption process.

Transracial adoption is when a birth parent chooses to place their baby in a home with parents of a different race or ethnic group than the baby. Multicultural families are more common nowadays than in the past. Thanks to technology, individuals can meet others living thousands of miles away in today’s connected world. According to the Census Bureau, there is an increase in intercultural marriages in the United States. A birth mother choosing a family of a different race or ethnic group than the unborn baby is not uncommon as it was once. 

If you need adoption help now, please call or text us at 303-670-4673 (HOPE) or visit us at Adoption Choices of Colorado.

Qualities a birth mother may want to consider when selecting an Adoptive Family

There are many characteristics to think about when deciding on an adoptive family. What is important to one person may not be to another. Religion or spirituality may be essential to you. What comes to mind when you envision the life of your unborn baby? Is the sexual orientation of the marriage partners vital to you? Are there specific personality attributes you would like the adoptive parents to have? What about the age of the parents? Would you prefer a younger couple or an older couple? Even hobbies, interests, and job history may be details to consider. The birth mother makes these decisions. If you need help learning how to put your child up for adoption, one of our adoption counselors can meet with you and discuss the adoption process, including choosing the adoptive family. In addition to all of these elements, the racial or ethnic make-up of the family can be in the birth mom’s decision. Part of the adoption plan includes choosing the adoptive family. Specifying a transracial family is an option some birth parents make. 

Issues that may arise when choosing a Transracial Adoption

There are many beautiful things about a transracial family:

  • growing up in a home with more than one culture 
  • an appreciation for different customs and traditions
  • being exposed to diversity from birth

However, there are also challenges to consider with this type of adoption. Specific race differences can bring a unique set of difficulties. White parents adopting black children will need to begin the discussion of prejudice at an early age. Unfortunately, even preschoolers experience discrimination. The adoptive parents using simple language can talk about racism, and as the child matures, so too can the language.  What school to send your children to is also an aspect to consider. Kids spend a large amount of their growing-up years in school. If the child is of a different race than the parents, exposure to others like them is important. Sending them to a school where the kids are of a similar race or ethnic background may help. They will have others like them to identify with.  Striving to be authentic in your home can be a challenge too. There needs to be an awareness of what a child of a transracial family may go through out in the world. Adoptive parents must be watchful of any hidden prejudices in their upbringing. And make sure their child understands any harmful experiences encountered because of their race or ethnicity are NOT their fault. Any negative talk by others because the child is of a different race than their parents can be damaging. No matter what the racial differences are. 

Steps involved in reviewing potential Adoptive Families

Adoption Choices of Colorado carefully screens all potential parents. Our trained caseworkers will interview all family members in the home. Additionally, they will undergo a background check. Further steps will require the prospective parents to provide a child abuse clearance report and a State Bureau of Investigation report. They will also need to furnish copies of their marriage license, physician’s report, including HIV test results, and other medical records. There are many safeguards established for the acceptance of adoptive families.  How does the matching process work for putting a child up for adoption? There are five steps in the adoption process:

  • Contact one of our Colorado Adoption agencies
  • Discuss your option with one of our trained adoption counselors
  • Choose an adoptive family
  • Create a customized adoption plan
  • Receive post-placement support

Choosing adoption does not have to be an individual journey

The reasons a birth mother might choose adoption are various – unplanned pregnancy, her age, financial situation, and so on. No matter the reason, it is crucial for the birth mom to understand she is not alone. Nor is she the first woman to decide on adoption. While adoption may present particular challenges, it can also be a beautiful beginning. Adoption language has changed over the last several decades. The phrase “giving up a baby for adoption at birth” is no longer standard terminology. Here are some examples of positive adoption language vs. negative. Place my child vs. give up child, birth parent vs. real parent, unplanned pregnancy vs. unwanted pregnancy, and many more. 

Adoption Choices of Colorado has been helping women for over twenty years. We provide caring and loving adoption counselors who can help you through the adoption journey. There is no judgment. If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to learn more about your adoption options, contact Adoption Choices of Colorado by email, phone, or text: Email Us, Text us: 720-371-1099, Call us: 303-670-4673 (HOPE). If you are hoping to adopt, please contact us here.

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