When you adopt outside your own socially-designated racial group, you suddenly become head of a multiracial family. Whether your child is in school or by your side, you are forever part of this multiracial family.


AFFIRMING SIMILARITIES

Although you do not share your child’s genes, there are likely some similarities between you and your child in physical appearance, personality, interests, or talents. Verbally acknowledging these similarities claims your child and affirms their place as a complete member of your family. (Examples: “You and your brother have sturdy wide feet just like Daddy and Grandpa.” “I loved going to the library when I was a little girl, just like you do.”)

CELEBRATING DIFFERENCES

At the same time, it is imperative to acknowledge the differences between you and your child—appearance, personality, interests, or talents—that are likely part of your child’s biological heritage. (Examples: “Your hair is so beautiful and curly, just like your birthmother.” “You are such a speedy runner. I think someone in your birthfamily must have been a fast runner, too.”)

BOTH SIMILAR AND UNIQUE

Together, these two types of recognition help your child negotiate a complete identity for themself that affirms their permanent place in your family, while also acknowledging the valuable genetic history of their birthfamily.

BOOK RESOURCES
For transracially adoptive parents

In Their Own Voices:
Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories

By Rita James Simon & Rhonda M. Roorda

Interviews with young adults who were adopted transracially and grew up in the United States.

Purchase from Amazon


Outsiders Within:
Writing on Transracial Adoption

Edited by Jane Jeong Trenka, Julia Chinyere Oparah, & Sun Yung Shin

Essays and other writing by adult transracial adoptees.

Purchase from Amazon


Black Baby, White Hands
By Jaiya John

The personal narrative of an African American man who was adopted as an infant into an all-White family and community.

Purchase from Amazon


Inside Transracial Adoption:
Strength-based, culture-sensitizing parenting strategies for inter-country or domestic adoptive families that don’t “match”

By Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall

Written by two adoptive mothers who started the PACT adoption agency.

Purchase from Amazon

WEB RESOURCES
 

John Raible
johnraible.wordpress.com/

Written by a Black-White biracial adult transracial adoptee, now a professor of Family Diversity and Multicultural Education.

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