Racism, Prejudice, and Transracial Adoption

Here are some thoughtful comments and helpful resources for adoptive parents who have (or hope to) adopt transracially.

51Ypxjr8tEL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_In her book Raising Adopted Children, Lois Ruskai Melina writes the following:

“’Many parents who adopt transracially start out ‘color-blind,’ says therapist James Mahoney. They believe the best way to counter racism is to adopt the attitude that race doesn’t matter. Though well intentioned, that approach denies the actual experience of people of color. Race ‘doesn’t matter’ to the people whom race favors. When race results in someone being treated as second class, it does matter. Eventually, most adoptive parents see that race does matter to other people. When their children are the victims of racial slurs, are stereotyped, or are treated more harshly by the police than the white children in the community, the parents realize that the world is not color-blind and they cannot protect their children from both overt and subtle forms of racism.”

Adoption STAR’s child identity class provides training, activities/exercises, and thought provoking conversation on the concept of transracial adoption. However, some families may naturally long for more information or additional resources to help them dig even deeper into issues specific to transracial adoption. Also, families that have already transracially adopted may be looking for support or insight as their child(ren) grow and start to experience and/or grapple with racism and prejudice. Here are some recommended resources for folks to review:

  1. Consider attending Adoption STAR’s “Race Matters” workshop this spring. Sue Reardon, Adoption STAR’s Adoptive Parent Mentor and Coach, will be the facilitator. The class will introduce a panel that will include professionals and adoptive parents who will challenge the idea of love being colorblind as topics of race, identity, and discrimination will be explored. For detailed information on the event, click here: “Race Matters
  2. Visit Tapestry Books and use the search function for books on transracial adoption. You’ll find some good offerings there, including books like In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories and Inside Transracial Adoption.
  3. Become familiar with the work of blogger, speaker, and educator Angela Tucker, who shares some powerful commentary regarding transracial adoption. Her website is www.theadoptedlife.com