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Interracial Options

My husband and I are considering adoption and one of the questions we have been asking ourselves is, “Do we want to adopt inter-racially?” We are both very open to the idea of adopting a child outside of our white ethnicity, but what I would like to know is how have other adoptive parents handled including their adoptive child’s culture? We are considering domestic adoption so no international cultures.

Have you experienced any hardships with having a child outside your ethnicity? How have you overcome those hardships? What has worked really well?  Do you feel that having a child outside your ethnicity alienates them from you and if so what have you done to overcome that?

Any information is greatly appreciated!


there is a lot of research on this topic. One issue that seems to come up is how diverse is your world? Your neighborhood? School? health providers? friends? church? Are you willing to move to a more diverse area?

you might look at tapestry books and find some books to read.

your child will experience racism because that is the world we live in. Can you help them? Is your family on board?

Posted by Regina on Nov 13, 2017 at 2:56pm

Thanks so much Regina! I will look into some books.

Posted by Hatchjl2 on Nov 13, 2017 at 3:27pm

We’re a family thanks to private, open, transracial adoption. Our oldest is about to turn 12, and our youngest is 6.

I think the first two questions are:
- Do you have friends of color?
- Do you live in an area that is ethnically and racially diverse?

If you answered “no” to either of those questions, you may not be a good candidate for transracial adoption.

Beyond that:
Are you up for the challenges of examining your own white privilege?
Can you handle telling your kids that their ancestors were probably slaves?
How do you feel when you realize that your child of color is more likely to be shot by police than to be helped by police?
What are you going to say when your black child’s white friend tells him, “You’re going to grow up to be a criminal”?
What will your response be when your black daughter comes home and tells you she wants peach skin and long, straight, blonde hair?
Can you provide real, meaningful friendships with other children and families of color?

If you think any of those questions is out of line, you may not be a good candidate for transracial adoption.

I have a blog and you can check out the “transracial adoption” tagged posts if you’d like:

I recommend reading Kevin Hoffmann’s blog, My Mind on Paper, or the writings of John Raible, both black transracial adoptees, with very different outlooks. Pact, a facilitator in Oakland, CA has some good information on their web site.

I hope this helps!

(BTW, some people get very annoyed by use of the term “interracial adoption.” It’s transracial adoption.)

Posted by rredhead on Nov 15, 2017 at 2:17am

The Interracial Adoption Option will be a helpful introduction to the topic.


Posted by Martina Krystal on Dec 12, 2017 at 5:05am

I am single, white and adopted a child from another country/culture (Bulgaria) who is brown. She was very concerned about whether people would accept her as a brown child. (Though also there were the same concerns re having a disability, and coming from an orphanage. Not surprising since her country of origin discriminates.)

I have openly celebrated her heritage from day one. I also repeatedly admire her beauty, lovely skin, hair as well as intelligence, talent etc. I do that with others of color too. We do not live in an area with many people of color. However,It is a progressive area, and people have welcomed her.

I have extended family from other cultures, made sure I had good friends of color, found BGN mentors and friends for her, we have medical and dentil practitioners of color, teachers of color, as well as other adopted adults and children, in our lives. We frequently speak about, read books, watch films, about people of color we admire. She goes to a school with others adopted and of color, has good friends of color, and or friends who live in multi ethnic families.

We have close family friends who are like siblings and look similar color, we sing songs from her culture, and go to workshops with others of color frequently that focus on AA,  African, Bulgarian or other ethnic music.We cook and enjoy foods from her homeland.We do dances from other cultures.

One thing that you need to know is that not only will your child be of color, but you will now be considered a family of color/multi ethnic too! You have to feel at home with this. Familiarize your self with history of people of color, put yourself in places out of your comfort zone with others who are not white. Practice replying to racist comments.Build ties with other ethnic families. Your child will need to know when the chips are down that you will stand with them.

Rather than experiencing hardships because of her color I feel grateful that preparing to adopt her and having her join our family has widened our consciousness and added such incredible depth and diversity to our family, our friends and lives. Good luck. It can be a wonderful part of adopting.

Posted by Happy Camper on Feb 12, 2018 at 2:43am

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