If you’re thinking about becoming a transracial family, there is a lot to consider. Adopting transracially goes so far beyond educating oneself on hair care and celebrating black history month. In addition to your commitment to basic parental duties, there is a commitment to caring for your child’s racial wellbeing.
Here are just a few of the important questions you need to ask yourself before pursuing transracial adoption.
What kind of personality do you have? Are you the type of person that likes to juggle a lot of things at once? Are you the type of person that likes to be in the public eye? Are you the type of person that can ask questions and accept help? Are you willing to commit to becoming a lifelong learner? If you answered No to any of these questions, then transracial adoption is not for you.
If you got this far, the next thing you need to consider is your attitude. You must be willing to confront your prejudices. We all have biases, but as a prospective parent hoping to adopt transracially, you must discover your prejudices and fight them with truths. Do you recognize that there is racism in this world? When you hear about the racism in America, are you listening so that you can learn differently, or are you dismissing and denying? Are you prepared to reach out to people of color and find out what they think about racism? Are you prepared to recognize that your child’s experience in life will be completely different from your own? The most important thing that parents who wish to become a transracial family need to understand is your experience and your child’s experience will not be the same.
The next thing to consider is lifestyle issues. Where do you live? Do you live in a predominately white neighborhood with a predominately white school district? Don’t just ask yourself if you know people of color, ask yourself if people of color are a part of your life. Our children need to see us loving people that look like them. If you don’t already have these relationships, start creating them now. As humans, we all need people and mentors to look up to that are like us; this is especially true for children who are adopted by parents of another race. In the same race adoption, children are severed from their birth families. In transracial adoption, they are also severed from their race and culture.
Are you knowledgeable in the history of racism and its role today? People and cultures that are targeted utilize their history to feel strong and combat racism. Racism is a deadly force. We must teach our children that they do not have to become a victim of racism. They can push aside racism. Part of how they do that is by understanding the rich and powerful legacy that they have come from. We must educate our children on their ancestors’ history so that they can be proud of the legacy that people of color come from.
Love is not always enough. Loving your child like your own will not make their racial differences disappear. It’s so vital to your child’s well-being to acknowledge racial differences and educate them on their culture from a young age. Seek out resources from transracial adoptees and learn from their experiences.
For more information on Transracial Adoption watch SEASON 6 of AFTH TV: https://www.facebook.com/watch/70687823829/317681526057142