Open Adoption in a Transracial Adoption: 3 Relevant Questions
Are you a birth mother in Missouri? Are you considering placing your baby for adoption with an adoptive family who is a different race than yourself or your child? If so, you might have some questions about open adoption in a transracial adoption. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the race of your child’s adoptive family will NOT impact their ability to provide your child with a stable and loving home.
At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we are open to birth mothers and adoptive families from all backgrounds and walks of life. If you find an adoptive family who is the best match for you and your child, we encourage you to select them regardless of race. If you do have questions about what an open adoption might look like in a transracial adoption, our staff are happy to answer those for you.
1. What are the Benefits of an Open Adoption?
An open adoption has many benefits for you and your child. You will be able to maintain a relationship with your child and their adoptive family. This means that you can share some important moments with your child and be a part of their life as they grow older. You and your child’s adoptive family will communicate to develop the details of your own unique open adoption plan. Your adoption caseworker will also be available to support you through the creation of your adoption plan.
2. Can I Make Sure My Child Learns about Our Heritage?
Culture and heritage are very important parts of our lives. In many cases, our cultures help us shape our likes and dislikes and introduce us to experiences and people that become the foundations of who we are. It is perfectly natural to want your child to learn about their heritage.
In any open adoption — especially a transracial one — communication is key. Because we are often taught not to discuss race openly, it might feel uncomfortable to speak about it directly but it is important that you do. This way, you can let your child’s adoptive family know about the parts of your culture that you would like to share with your child. Be open to questions. If they are unfamiliar with a certain tradition or belief, educate them! A non-judgemental dialogue with your child’s adoptive family can create a healthy and lifelong bond.
3. What if I Disagree with Something My Child’s Adoptive Family Teaches Them?
Your child’s legal guardians are their adoptive family. This means that all major and minor decisions rest with them. If you disagree with something that they are bringing into your child’s life, it is helpful to take some time to reflect on why it bothers you. Are you upset because it differs from your own culture and how you would teach them? If so, remind yourself that there are many different, but equally responsible, ways to raise a child. Are you unfamiliar with what they are sharing with your child? Take some time to ask questions! Learning more about something usually helps lessen any fears or discomforts that we may have.
However, if your child’s adoptive family is unknowingly perpetuating a racist stereotype or harmful belief about your culture, do communicate that to them! Conversations like this can be difficult, but it is important that your child’s adoptive family recognize their mistakes so they can learn from them. Remember, the goal is to provide a loving and open home for your child. A place where their culture is not just accepted but celebrated and understood is important for their growth and self-confidence.
Open Adoption in a Transracial Adoption
The top priority at Adoption Choices of Missouri is to help you find an adoptive family that will nurture and love your child unconditionally. While it is important to acknowledge differences in race and culture, it is equally important to recognize that differences in beliefs or traditions do not equate to a less loving family home. As you embark on your journey into open adoption in a transracial adoption, keep in mind that thoughtful communication is necessary and that your child is loved and cared for.
Meet the Author: Molly Doyle is a native San Franciscan, Molly is an experienced educator and a dedicated writer. She holds her multiple subject teaching credential as well as her Masters of Arts in Teaching. When not teaching children or creating new written pieces, Molly can be found kicking around a soccer ball, going for urban hikes or whipping up a fruit pie.
She currently lives in Seattle, her first home outside of California.