The Benefits of Transracial Adoption
As you begin to seriously consider adoption and start on your adoption journey, you may be thinking about transracial adoption. Committing to a life-changing decision, like adoption, requires self-reflection and open-mindedness. This goes for both the birth and adoptive parents. Transracial adoption can be a positive experience for the adoptee, especially when the adoptive family respects the adoptee’s cultural identity and promotes positive acceptance. This helps the adoptee have greater self-esteem and prevents isolation within the adoptive family.
Through many successful transracial adoption stories, you may be wondering what the advantages are and how they can be achieved. This week, Adoption Choices of Missouri will be discussing the benefits of transracial adoption and how adoptive families can practice them.
Acknowledgement and Acceptance
Before adopting a child of another race, prospective parents should do some deliberate introspection. To realize it is necessary and healthy to acknowledge, respect and celebrate a child’s race that is different from their own. Adoptive parents cannot begin to embrace diversity within their home and their lives until they have done so. Further, adoptive parents need to be open to cultural understanding as they accept their adoptive child’s racial and cultural identities. An adoptive family projecting their own biases onto their transracial adoptee will create division, isolation and reinforce stereotypes. Adoptive parents who acknowledge and accept the racial and cultural identities of their transracial adoptee can cultivate racial awareness within their home and their community.
Acknowledgement and acceptance breed positivity. Only then will a transracial adoptee know that he or she belongs and are welcomed within their adoptive family. Adoptive parents can establish positive and open communication with their child where they can talk together, listen and value each other. When an adoptee can openly communicate with their adoptive parents without feeling afraid, he or she knows that they are in a safe space.
Another one of the benefits of transracial adoption is that both adoptive parents and the adoptee can grow together in their home and community. Adoptive parents can embrace diversity within the home through providing cultural outlets of learning that spark communication and understanding through art, books, music, TV shows and movies. Living in a community that is racially and culturally diverse is essential, as it provides the opportunity to interact with people with different cultural backgrounds and prevents the development of intolerance. It is also beneficial when finding positive role models, schools and extracurricular activities for your child.
Further, embracing diversity means creating a relationship between your child and his or her culture. Adoptive parents must make an effort to surround themselves and their child with experiences that teach about their child’s heritage. Prioritizing your child’s culture is critical for adoptive parents, so that their child sees and knows his or her culture and is not subjected to assimilating into a culture and identity that does not represent him or her.
Criticism surrounding transracial adoption stems from inherent biases that are left unchecked, becoming the standard for what a family should be and should look like. However, being a transracial adoptive parent shows that families are not and do not have to be conventional. Stereotypes try to doubt the validity of transracial adoption, but transracial adoption shows that such perspectives are not true. Transracial adoption has the potential to educate people who may not even realize that stigmas exist. By breaking stereotypes, your transracial adoptee will see that his or her adoptive family does not stand for intolerance or bigotry, and will work to end divisive narratives.
Creating a Family
The best part of transracial adoption is creating a family. To be able to provide a child with the opportunity to grow and be successful in a loving environment is truly a blessing. Having a child in your family is invaluable as is your adoption journey. Family is more than biology, it is unity. A family that is created with acceptance at its core ensures that a child is welcomed and will always be. Transracial adoption has the power to do just that in a family that puts respect, love and care first.
Putting your child before yourself is at the center of successful adoption and attaining the benefits. Making that choice can shape the future of your child and your relationship with him or her. Support your child always. Respect his or her cultural identity always. Remember that you can learn a lot from your child as you first become a parent and all throughout the lifelong adoption journey. Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to support you through your transracial adoption process and provide helpful information every step of the way.
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Address presented at TedxMileHigh. YouTube. Last modified July 25, 2019.
Accessed July 5, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uORk3TGSCl4 .
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Last modified May 10, 2009. Accessed July 5, 2020.