What is Transracial Adoption?
To put it simply, transracial adoption happens when an adoptive family of one racial background adopts a child from another racial background. In other words, it is the merging of racial experiences and cultures within the adoption process. While there certainly is expansive ground in such situations for some beautiful interactions, transracial adoptions also have to be held at high standards of care and discipline. Race is a sensitive issue in our society, and its tensions and joys are based in countless generations of both wonderful highs and devastating lows.
As a birth mother, communicating with your child and your child’s adoptive family is key. If you are considering transracial adoption, Adoption Choices of Colorado is here to give you all the resources and information you need to know to make an informed and confident choice.
How can I Help Normalize Transracial Adoption?
Transracial adoptions happen every year and are a substantial part of successful adoption stories as a whole. We live in a diverse country and the United States is often described as a melting pot of different cultures and a nation of immigrants. To help further normalize transracial adoption (and really racial interaction as a whole), you need to find a balance. Turning a blind eye to a potential adoptive family’s racial differences won’t help anyone, but making their racial differences the focus of your choices in the adoption process isn’t good either.
Failing to see race or only seeing race are two ends of the same extreme. In the end, people of different backgrounds are ultimately just people — they may or may not face different experiences because of their racial backgrounds. The best things you can do are communicate, be sensitive, and educate yourself about racial issues.
How do I Actually Pick a Transracial Family in The Adoption Process if That’s What I Want?
At Adoption Choices of Colorado, we will work with you throughout the adoption process. We have counseling services available to you at no extra cost from beginning to end (and even beyond). Adoption can be flustering and overwhelming, for sure, so we try to condense information for you to make everything easier. With adoptive family selection, we put potential families’ info into an easily-digestible scrapbook format. The families can choose to include a variety of information about themselves, including their racial/cultural backgrounds. In a nation where there are overwhelming racial majorities, despite our diversity, it can be challenging to find people from minority groups — if you have people from a particular racial minority background in mind, it can be tempting to make knee-jerk decisions.
Our advice is to take a holistic approach. As mentioned before, it is not wise to select a potential adoptive family simply for their racial background. Choose people who will ultimately share your values when it comes to raising your child. Race can be an important factor in the adoption process if you are looking for certain cultural experiences, but race should also not be the defining factor in your decision-making. It’s also important to note and remind that race and culture are not necessarily synonymous — not every person of Middle-Eastern descent is a practicing Muslim, for instance.
If I Want More Information about Transracial Adoption, Where should I Go?
We live in an information age, so don’t be afraid to explore the internet, provided that you use credible, current sources to educate yourself. There’s a lot of general information about race out there, but you can also search for more specific topics if you are hoping for an adoptive family from a particular racial background. Still, it’s good to remember that what you find might not be perfectly accurate — not everyone has the same racial or cultural experiences. When in doubt, you can always work more closely with Adoption Choices of Colorado if you have questions about a particular adoptive family.
With adoption itself already seeming like a complicated process, adding the word “transracial” might make it appear like you are taking an honors level course with more homework and difficult tasks ahead of you. While it is true that transracial adoptions might require a bit more time and care, there is no need to sweat it. You will have plenty of help along the way and everything you learn (which you will hopefully retain) can be used to improve relationships of all kinds in the future. This is especially the case if you plan on having an open adoption where you can continue to visit your child and have to communicate regularly with your child’s adoptive parents. What you hopefully learn about race and racial sensitivity will not at all be useless, and you will be well on your way to a successful adoption story of your own.
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.
Meet the Author: Nathan Dyer is a university student majoring in Communication Arts with a radio/TV/film focus. He enjoys writing professionally and dealing with hands-on problems in real-world scenarios. Among his hobbies is hiking, which always encourages him to explore new places. He looks forward to crafting written materials in the future that serve to help people from all walks of life.