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Transracial Adoption: Does Race Matter?

Transracial Adoption: Does Race Matter?

By Alexis Watson

The adoption process is a complex and sensitive process. The process can become more sensitive when you consider a multicultural or multiracial adoptive family. Race impacts the adoption process. While it might sound trendy to not see color, it’s important that color blindness is erased throughout this process. Here, we will explore the challenges and biases surrounding transracial adoption. In doing so, we hope it creates space for open and honest conversations about race and identity within adoptive families. 

Finally, we will be sharing all of the resources available to you by Adoption Choice of Missouri. Our adoption experts work with all potential adoptive families and birth parents. Our adoption agency accepts and encourages potential families to come as they are. We are aware of the potential issues that may come with transracial adoption. We understand the challenges of making a home multicultural. Our experts are here to help guide you through those issues and challenges. We want our adoptive families, birth families and child(ren) to feel safe, seen and heard. 

Transracial Adoption and Why Race Matters

When considering adoption in Missouri or anywhere, it’s important to discuss transracial adoptions. If you’re interested in moving forward with a transracial adoption, it’s important that you include it in your adoption plan. There are many nuisances to consider when placing your child with a family that doesn’t share the same racial background. As the birth mother, you may feel doubtful of your decision. This feeling is normal. Most adoption agencies are aware of the potential issues that transracial adoptions bring. We, at Adoption Choices of Missouri, work with our families to manage these nuances. 

There are many benefits offered to a child being raised in a same race home. The same race adoptive family will be better equipped to meet the cultural needs of the child. They will also be able to help the child build a strong identity culturally and racially. However, being adopted into a multicultural or multiracial family has its benefits as well. 

Your child being raised in a multicultural or multiracial family comes with many positives. It’s important that the adoptive family actively teach the child about their birth family’s cultural background. Their teachings will help the child embrace their cultural background. This will create a strong sense of identity and pride in their heritage. It will also help the child form and maintain healthy relationships with friends and family who share the same background. Growing up in a multicultural or multiracial home will expose the child to people from different cultures and/or races. The home will be centered on diversity. It’s crucial that the adoptive family commit to having open and honest conversations with the child about their cultural background. This commitment will help the child develop strong coping skills, a sense of self, and have a supportive community. 

Challenges and Biases Surrounding Transracial Adoption

As there are various benefits to transracial adoption, those benefits don’t come without challenges and biases. There are many stereotypical biases that plague adoption, but more so when we consider adoption for multicultural and multiracial families. 

When placing a child for adoption, there’s a chance the adoptive family may come from a multicultural or multiracial background. Historically, Caucasian families most often adopt outside their race. (Campbell). Just because a minority baby is raised by a white adoptive family does not mean that that child’s race will be erased. Nor does it mean that the child will have white privilege. It’s crucial that we address the racial differences. As mentioned earlier, being color-blind will cause more harm than good. It’s beneficial for adoptive parents to have conversations about race and the way it impacts them. 

Growing up in a multicultural or multiracial family may expose your child to racial prejudice, racism and discrimination. At the very least, your child will be flooded with race-related questions from peers about their parents and siblings. Some of these questions may be innocent, as their peers will want to know why the parents look different from the child. For those questions, it’s important for the adoptive family to educate the child on their culture and racial background. The earlier the conversations, the better. The child will feel less offended by the questions and more confident in responding. However, dealing with racial prejudice, racism, and discrimination is vastly different. 

While it’s fairly easy to expose racial prejudices, racism and discrimination, it’s not as easy to spot microaggressions. Everyone involved in the transracial adoption process might experience a few microaggressions along the way. A microaggression is a statement or action committed against a marginalized group. Microaggression can come from anyone: family and even friends. 

Transracial Adoption Resources

If you are considering adoption in Missouri and are searching for ‘adoption agencies near me,’ look no further. Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to guide, advise, and advocate for our birth mothers. Our adoption specialists are here to help with the hurdles of transracial adoptions and provide supportive counseling along the way. We provide medical care and adoption plan assistance. For those eligible or in need, we provide financial assistance for basic living expenses and safe housing. Our experts are here serving and helping pregnant birth mothers. 

If you have an unplanned pregnancy and need our help, give us a call today. We are excited to hear from you. 

References:

  • Campbell, Leah. “Things to Consider When Adopting Transracially.” Verywell Family, 28 July 2021, https://www.verywellfamily.com/things-to-consider-when-adopting-transracially-5120245. Accessed 26 January 2024.