Transracial adoption can be an exciting process for families who are educated about the different needs for a child of a different race. As excited as you may be, it’s important to be informed of the process and requirements for your baby to be happy and healthy.
Make sure you’re open to conversation with friends and family, because that’s the first step to ensuring the surroundings are safe and comfortable for your baby. To be positive you’re going to excel in your adoption and beyond, reach out to others who have been through the same process. This could help you realize aspects you’ve never considered, and educate you on the different needs for your child.
Here are a few things to consider if you’re ready to adopt a child of another race:
Be comfortable talking about race.
If you struggle with the idea of discussing race or race relations, then it may be difficult for you to protect your child from any hurtful or harmful remarks. If your child is a minority, she may encounter situations of discrimination, racism, etc. – as their parent you will have to prepare your child for any circumstance that may arise, and safeguard them from damaging environments. Racism still exists, so be willing to distance yourself from ANYONE (including family and friends) who is not supportive, positive or healthy for you and your child.
Consider the community you live in.
It’s important that the area you live in will be safe and enjoyable before you start the adoption process. But it’s also important that it’s diverse so your child doesn’t question themselves or feel like they don’t fit in. Consider the school district they would attend, and any clubs or organizations your child could join. Are there other children that live nearby for the child to play with?
Be open to conversation with other transracial adoptive parents.
Establishing a support system of other families who have adopted a child of another race can create a great space to learn and prepare. Try reaching out to other families who have done this process before. You never know what you may learn from people’s experiences, and it can help build up your supportive community.
Educate yourself in Health, Skin, and Haircare.
When adopting a child of another race, the parent must know the different health conditions your child may be susceptible to, how to protect and take care of different skin tones, and the best way to take care of different textured hair. It’s a great idea to find a class that teaches these necessities. Make sure you know proper care techniques so you can pass them down as the child grows.
If you are not educated in these topics, or unwilling to learn, then you may want to reconsider adopting a child from a different race.
Transracial adoption can be scary, but it is also beautiful and rewarding, if you’re prepared. Make sure to do your research before jumping into something, and to always keep an open mind, because that can benefit not only you, but your future baby as well. If you’re okay with discussing race, creating a safe environment for your baby, talking to other families who went through the process, and educating yourself on different needs of the child, then you should feel like you have a good start for your journey.