How would a bi-racial child be classified as far as ethnicity

Christine - posted on 07/24/2009 ( 228 moms have responded )

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Im about to give birth to a bi-racial child. I am white and the father is haitian. I heard that the children are classified as to what ethnic the father is.

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Myra - posted on 08/30/2012

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I believe bl/cau would be correct. Because the child would actually be both. My grandchilds mother is black and his father is white. Race is not important to us. We love him no matter what race he is. : )

Misty Florine - posted on 08/28/2012

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Your son or daughter is going to be classiied as Haitian if you allow it to be documented as such. You have the right as a mother of not allowing peolple in society to tell you the raceof your child. Men has taken the credit for having the child their race. This was classified by some men as long as history could be researched. I would clasify your child as bi-racial and place specifics in parentheses or not.





Misty

Raquel - posted on 08/27/2012

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@ Christine Lay...first I want to say we have something in common because I am from Panama and my significant other is from Leogone, Haiti (country side outside of Port-au-Prince). Yes, I am black and yes I come from a Latin American country. Ignorant people always think you cannot be black and hispanic at the same time!...like it is an oxymoron. Well guess what! they are the morons because race and nationality are two different things. Raise your child to identify with both their racial and ethnic background. But as I stated in my previous blog... if your child looks black, American society has already labeled them as "BLACK". Because American society is all about White privilege and if you appear to be anything other than white you will face concious or subconcious racism. Haitian people as well as Caribbean people are very proud of our culture, we have a very strong heritage and I hope you continue to share that with your child to be. Not sure of the racial make-up of your significant other because people in the Caribbean can be a multitude of races and/or ethnicities as myself but I hope he can help teach you and your child about the beautiful Caribbean culture, the Haitian Creole language, the delicious food, and sensual and sexy Haitian Compa music. Take a trip to Haiti and see the warmness of the Caribbean people. I claim myself to be black, but if I am feeling frisky on any given day I can say I am Panamanian, Caribbean, Afro-latina, West Indian, Afro-Antillean, Hispanic...it all depends on my mood. Because I will NEVER bow down to how American society wishes to perceive me. Trust me, Caribbeans have a very strong sense of pride as a people. We never have to choose which race we belong to, we are not fixated on race. If you are born and raised in Haiti, you are Haitian no matter what race you are! Congrats on your new edition and best of luck. Get to know about the Haitian culture, do a little research on the history of them winning the war against the french army to be the first independent black ruled country in the Western Hemisphere!

Kiesha - posted on 08/27/2012

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I. Myself am bi-racial. My father's white and my mother's black. I used to question my Mom about what I was and she said that the rule was you are what your father is, but then if you have a black parent, regardless if it's the mother or father, you are black. Now I have a son whose father is white. Even though he doesn't look it, I tell him he's black. I am starting to notice more paperwork that have the option of bi-racial and I check it every time. If it's so confusing for our generation, imagine what the next will go through.

Angela - posted on 08/27/2012

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Haitian is a nationality not a race. Most Haitians are black. So your child will be biracial black and white. People will classify him based on what they see. Some mixed kids look all white but mostly they are olive skinned and wavy haired, time will tell.

Raquel - posted on 08/27/2012

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STOP THE PRESSES!!!...After reading most of these posts I had to say something once and for all! I have heard all too much from the "American" experience on this blog. Now it is time to hear from the CARIBBEAN perspective. I am proudly from a country in Central America called Panama (well known for the Panama Canal), Costa Rica is to the left and Columbia is to the right. Me and my parents left when I was a very small child to live in NewYork. Regarding the racial and ethinic make-up of Panama, the building of the canal and the presence of the American military all helped to shape Panama's beautiful array of races. During the building of the canal, West Indian skilled workers from various Caribbean islands such as Jamaica and Barbados came seeking employment on the canal. Chinese laborers, as well as middle eastern and indian workers made their way to my beautiful country as well. American troops stationed at the Canal Zone mingled with the local women...procreating to their hearts content. We had indigenous tribes who still have functioning communities presently such as the Embera, Guaymie, and most famous of all the Kuna indians. Consequently, what do you think occured? Everyone in Panama is mixed to a certain degree and shares various multiracial / multiethnic / multicultural components! And guess what we label our selves? PANAMANIANS!!!!!!! No matter what our father is, what our mother is, who our grandparents were because it does not matter. We are a nation united as one people who share the Panamanian culture. Why can't America adopt this notion and stop all this ignorant, feeble minded racial nonsense? We range from the whitest white to the blackest black. My family comes from Bocas Del Toro where a majority of Panamanians claim West Indian roots (Jamaican and/or Barbadian) after the canal builders setteled there to raise their family. So at any given time you could hear English / Spanish / Patois / and sometimes Chinese (from the local Chinese business owners who decided to make Panama their home as well). My family members are all multiracial and multiethnic, I have some cousins who are from Costa Rica, some cousins or aunts born to parents from Honduras, or St. Vincent, or Jamaica, or Haiti, or Nicaragua, or Grenada, or from a Caucasian US military troop. I feel so uneasy at times because I am black, My features are black and American society portrays me as African American. Not that there is anything wrong with being African American but do not assume that since I appear black to you I should automaticaly be labeled A.A., I could be from Puerto Rico or Peru (Yes, they do have black peope!), I could be from Canada, England, Germany, Morocco, Figi, oh and let us not forget... I could be from Africa. To all the parents raising bi-racial and multi-ethnic children I feel for you because in American society putting a label on race helps to classify who in this country will be priveliged because the whiter you look the more society is open to granting you opportunities, decreasing barriers and limitations to success. That is why some parents of bi-racial children have their children "pass" as white or raise them as only knowing their white identity. Some very fair skined black families have done and continue to do the same as well. This shamefully happens in Latino communities also. To all the readers who took the time to read my post I hope you understand that in America too many racial contraints are placed on individuals and to not fall victim to this. Do not let society determine the upbringing of your richly fabricated family. Remember you are the one with the advantage. You go to any other country and your uniqueness will be celebrated, admired, and sometimes envied. I have had so many caucasian people compliment me on my brown skin, how it glistens in the sun and turns a nice nutmeg shade when I tan. How my hair texture allows me to change my hairstyle so effortless, one day straight and the next day curly. How speaking spanish and knowing how to dance salsa is so intriguing. My sister who is darker in complexion than me works for the Uggz flagship store in NY where a lot of international tourists visit. She recognized this man staring at her so intently, she knew from him speaking Italian where he was from. Eventually in his broken english he said she is so beautiful, with such lovely skin and gave her a kiss on her cheeks (that kissing part would have been a little too much for me...LOL). The moral of the story is love yourself and find beauty in yourself before you accept what people find beautiful in you. I appreciate what they say but I know those things about myself already, so flattery will get you nowhere with me. Moreover, It is the norm for some countries to be multilingual because they have to be in order to interact with the countries that surround them and that is an asset. In America people assume that if you speak another language you are a foreigner raining on their parade. In Jamaica their motto is: "out of many, one people", no matter what your race is you are Jamaican. I dare you to Google Butch stewart, founder of Sandals resorts and tell me how you would classify him! Also google his son and daughter in-law. How do you think Americans would classify them?! I am proud of my Caribbean heritage that produce in me an open-mindedness to accepting others for who they are and not making ignorant judgement against somebody who could also be sharing my same homeland because looks are very deceiving. One day you think you could be insulting somebody, but you could be just insulting yourself because you may have things in common with that person you never realized. I hope you parents do what is right and do not let your children have to choose one race over the other. Help them incorporate the beauty that their mother and father bring into the fabric of who they are as a human being. With ONE EXCEPTION...you can agree or disagree, but if that child for one fraction of a second appears black you have to raise them as black. I may sound extreme but let me explain. For example, if you have a son whose mother's race is anything other than black and the father is black and his predominate features are black and he is "Driving while black" and the cops pull him over for no apparent reason, they are not going to care if his mother is white or that he is mixed. The cops only see a black man in front of them. I am not saying he should deny his heritage but once you appear black or if you are perceived to have any african blood running through your genes America has already labeled you. So it is better to prepare your child for the onslaught of discrimination (whether blatantly or under the rug) they will receive so they know how to handle it in a positve and constructive way. No matter if you live in the most diverse neighborhood of America, it is going to happen! America is not an Idyllic society...there are just too many unspoken boundaries people are in denial about. I am so blessed the way I was brought up because I was never forced to be anything but a proud Panamanian. I was raised to believe that being black as well as having a latin heritage was a blessing. On final note: For anyone wishing to visit Panama you truly, truly would be welcomed with open arms because you will feel right at home. Mi casa es tu Casa!, Mucho, mucho besos dulces y tanto amor para todo. Translation: { My house is your house, a lot of sweet kisses and a lot of love for all}...sounds better in Spanish.

Mika - posted on 03/23/2012

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I never asked the hospital but I am white and just resently noticed they classified my son as white. I think it is usually based on the mother but sometime I think they base it off of the features of the baby. Like if my son had been darker skin with black hair I bet you they would have listed him as hispanic because his dad is Puerto Rican. If you are a white mother and your childs father is black and the baby had dark skin they would probably chose black. It seems so racist but i bet thats how it works. But if the mom were black and the dad white I bet they would go with the mom. I list my son as a white hispanic on forms. I do not get why they do not have a mixed option but it is getting a bit more common. Just not as common on official forms. I rememeber when they did the census and people flipped out over the options given.

[deleted account]

I check other and or black and white. Just because he might look black, doesn't mean that is his only race. Sure teach him that people might consider him black, but to not be ashamed that he is black and white. Check off both. It doesn't really matter except for on the papers anyways.

[deleted account]

Since race and ethnicity are two different things, much would depend on what the child's ethnicity actually IS. For example, a biracial child born and raised in America would be an American ethnically; a biracial child born and raised in one of the Caribbean countries might be Hispanic, Bahamian, or any of a number of other ethnicities, depending on which Caribbean country we're talking about..

User - posted on 03/21/2012

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@Rachel, your son looks like a black boy to me, it really doesn't matter what you put on that birth cert, he will be judged by the color of his skin. First look at him and he is black.

User - posted on 03/20/2012

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With Blacks you are what your father is. With Jews you are what your mother is.

Rachel - posted on 03/20/2012

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Not necessesarily. My son is white/african american and he is classified as both.



Also, you don't HAVE to give your child the father's last name. You can, it is your choice. Just don't let the father or his family pressure you into using his last name if you are not sure if he will be a responsible parent. (Or if you have some other reson for wanting your last name for your child)



Remember, although my son's dad is not around, I believe every mama and daddy need to make the naming decisions for themselves. stay true to what is right for your child and situation.

User - posted on 03/17/2012

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THey don't look white, they look black to me, and probably to the rest of the world.

Claret - posted on 06/25/2011

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Both my boys are half black & half white and I check both boxes whenever I fill out paperwork or write it in. One looks mixed, the other looks caucasian. They're both so I mark both.

Nikki - posted on 06/25/2011

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I understand that for recording purposes they have to put something on paper but it drives me crazy that we are classified by our race. I am white, my children are White/Mexican and my current boyfriend is black. I don't look at people and see their color first. I hate that anyone else does either. BUT to answer you question, here in MN they classified my children by my ethnicity. So on paper they are White.

Janick - posted on 06/15/2011

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My husband is Mexican and I'm white; When we are in Mexico people say our children are white and when we in Canada people say our children are Mexicans. My 5 years old starts to realize that he is different from others because others remind him that he is different, But at the end we are all human being ; )

Jane - posted on 06/12/2011

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I let my kids decide. My daughter puts other, and my son puts black.

However, if someone asks me, I'll say human.

Ariel - posted on 06/12/2011

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Honey I have 5 bi-racial kids and I say they are white. the decision is up to you

Kimberly - posted on 06/07/2011

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I feel your pain. I am black/white but look white. Most of the time I am forced to pick one so on one form I am black the next I am white.I think its just crazy I am forced to do this I am not one or the other.I remember going to a new school and getting to that part on the form so my mom asked me what I wanted to be this year (it was a running joke with us) I said both the lady in the office in a very nasty way said I could only pick one.Now I don't know what to put for my girls they are black/white/hispanic. I just hope I will be given the option to pick something a little truer to them. ;-)

Temple - posted on 05/16/2011

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do not allow your child be classified , put both races, don't screw him before he is born. they are suppost to go by there fathers race, but if they have both mark both. raise your babie without a lable

Sam - posted on 05/16/2011

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We just pick 'other' or if it's a blank I write 'multi' :) It doesn't say anything about race on my son's birth certificate. I did have a very aggravating situation last year where they sent home a paper from my son's school asking me to indicate his race. Apparently everyone got them. I wasn't even going to fill it out until I read at the bottom that if I didn't, they'd pick one based on their own 'observation.' it flew all over me because I knew they'd say my son was Hispanic and he isn't. I scrawled something irate on the bottom of the paper about how I didn't see what this info had to do with anything.

April - posted on 05/02/2011

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I never knew that some people with bi-racial kids classify the race of their child based on their father. I would imagine that the mother would be sad to be left out like that.

Yeah if people ask me what nationality i am, i always say "i'm half Australian, half Filipino" because i'm neither more of one race than i am the other :)

Lisa - posted on 05/01/2011

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Well, I am half British and half Jamaican. So the proper word is Malato (however u spell that lol) but if I have to check a box on something i am filling out it would just be other! i have never heard of it going by what the father is.
If another person asks me what I am, I say " half British and half Jamaican!

[deleted account]

On forms I user other for my son. I do the same for myself, even though I am caucasion, and for my husband who is Nigerian. In my opinioni it is none of their business.

Amanda - posted on 10/29/2009

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My daughter is only 3 months, and she is black and white. I am white and her father is half black half white. She looks completely white! She has the most beautiful blue eyes and the most pale complection. It is up to the parent to mark which race their child is. I usually mark the other or bi racial on paper because eventhough she looks white, she has both races in her and it is only fair to recognize both!

Liza - posted on 10/27/2009

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We teach our children that they are are of mixed culture (white/african american) But i always tell my children that they are whatever they consider thereselves to be if they see them self as white, black, or biracial They can be that!!

Yocheved - posted on 10/13/2009

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You know it really bothers me that you still have to put a race down when the baby is born. However, because it will be evident that the child is black I'm sure that is what they will put. Here in Israel they don't put a race on the birth certificate. I would ask that they put Bi-racial on your child's, since that is what she/he is! Good luck, enjoy your new baby!

Charlene - posted on 10/13/2009

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It only doesn't work because we settle for the status quo and don't stand up and fight for the right to claim our individuality. I understand that in some places, by law, you are required to answer the question, but in order for that to change we have to be willing to stand up and say that it is wrong. And it is our responsibility as parents to teach our children to embrass all of who they are and not to let people put them in a box and when they are in situations where they have no choice but to check something...to never let that define who them and that they don't have to be afraid to speak up and say so.

Sonia - posted on 10/12/2009

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Unfortunately that doesn't always work such as for my daughter's health insurance and school. I didn't check a box and they told me I had too. So I checked both and they said I had to pick one. However my daughter is proud of who she fully is! However I agree!

Charlene - posted on 10/11/2009

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My son is mixed race...though I am teaching him just that he is Canadian, and to respect both sides of his heritage, white and black. Where I realize that many people will look at him and classify him as black, as well as my unborn child, I think it's important to teach children to respect and accept both sides. I believe it is our duty as parents to teach them to accept themselves and part of doing that is including both sides of where they come from. Teach them that they are beautiful and that they have the opportunity to help change they world by not being held down by a classification of race. Perhaps having interracial/interrcultural children gives us the opportunity to help change (be it slowly) the perception of race we can teach our children to live outside the box of classification. Let them be complete in who they are...and let's quit labelling our children and show society that we don't accept the status quo of stereotypes and quit checking boxes. If we want society to quit judging our children based on the colour of their skin, maybe we ourselves need to quit asking the question...how to do I classify my child...and simply don't allow anyone to put our children in a box.

LORETTA - posted on 10/10/2009

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Honestly as sad as it sounds I have to put Hispanic on my children's paperwork so that if they can benefit in anyway from their Hispanic heritage, they do. My daughter is a light colored Mexican and my son looks completely white. My son has dirty blonde hair and blue eyes, so when I say Hispanic they look at me funny. But he is just as much Mexican as my daughter. I'm a pale white so they don't even bother asking when I say 50/50 for both. They can tell she looks like me in the face except tanner. But my son has a look all his own. I say tell your children both but tell anyone who asks that they are whatever benefits them most. Exactly word for word. "Whatever benefits them most"

Wuraola - posted on 10/10/2009

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very interesting thread. I honestly can't remember what is on the forms for the children. I am pretty sure that we had a multiracial option in England. This would have to be the only option for my kids. The kids have Nigerian, Jewish, Arab, Welsh, Irish, Scots, English, Danish, Polish and Spanish blood so when you look at them they can fit into a number of so-called ethnic groups. The kids are just kids and I know I am biased but they are fantastic kids.Certainly in this day and age, multi racial has to be an option, if you have to classify at all.

Sonia - posted on 10/09/2009

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I found they are classified by how they look. I hate that places are updated with bi racial on their forms. For instance her health insurance told me I could only check one and I said no she's both. They actually told me well I'm putting black because she look black. I want my daughter to be proud of who she fully is!

Krystal - posted on 10/09/2009

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I have 2 biracial sons and on any paperwork I choose both black and white. In my job I deal with birth certificates some and it is true that at the hospital they will make you put the race of the mother since it is 100% fact that she is the mother and even though the daddy is standing right there, there is no "proof" that he is the father. That really offends me....but what can you do?

Jen - posted on 10/09/2009

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Funny story for you! I have 5 children one is Hispanic, black, Indian and white but looks Hispanic. The others are black white and Indian but look more black. So I go to register them for school in a state that demands that you tell them your race. I have always told my kids to never deny any part of who they are. So the lady registering them demanded that we say a race. I looked at the oldest who looks very Hispanic and said Cordell what race do you want to be today. He laughed and said I’ll be black. Then I looked at the younger one and said what about you he said I think I’ll be white. I then said to the lady there you go! Her face looked as if she couldn’t believe what had just happened. She smiled and said I see your point. So my child who looks black is registered as white and the one who looks Hispanic is registered as black and I think the next child to go to school will represent the Indian In our family…

Tara - posted on 10/08/2009

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MIXED RACE. I am mixed race, so is my husband of course so is our daughter. We're Canadian though, and in Canada, mixed race is basically its own "category." I know in the US they seem to default to the darker race though...I believe this is because of history.

Josmarie - posted on 10/04/2009

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When I have to put Issac's ethnicity ( he is Puerto Rican and white) I put down both... because well the baby is both... sounds reasonable to me...

Shannon - posted on 10/04/2009

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I agree that THEYshould not be allowed to fill out your paperwork, but what do you mean, don't use MYchild to get more money for your school? Wouldn't that benefit your child if the school got more money? It is what it is. I used to get upset that I was the forgotten race where my children are concerned. I do not anymore. I feel that they know who I am and I am Mom! So if checking a box that says they are black (which they are half) gets the school more money to benefit MY child, then by all means!

Shannon - posted on 10/04/2009

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The most significant difference between these races is:



(a) language

(b) hair and facial features

(c) skin color. This distinguishing feature is primarily due to difference in amount of the pigment, melanin, in the skin. This melanin protects the body by absorbing ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sunlight which falls on the skin. UV radiation can damage the skin and produce skin cancer if it is not filtered out in this way. The shades of color in human skin can be represented by the Von Luschan Scale and ranges from almost pure white to pure black.



Why do we even have to list a race?

I know a woman who told her child to put down black, so that he would be considered a minority and he could benefit from that when apply for college? Is this true?

Rva - posted on 10/04/2009

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My best friend is Korean & Black and I'm so blessed that she is a part of my life. She had so much of an issue with identity and I am so glad that she shared that with me. For the Koreans she wasn't "Asian enough" and for the Blacks she wasn't "Black enough" and she never knew where she fit in. When we were growing up there didn't seem to be as many bi-racial kids as there are today and I really think that helps them with a bit of that issue, however, I want my kids to know that they are made up of each race and that's what makes them beautiful so they need to recognize each portion, no matter how small the percentage is. I make sure that they are listed as multi-racial or multi-ethnic in the school and for all testing. I see absolutely no reason for making them choose when it took so many different parts to make such beautiful children.

Katherine - posted on 10/03/2009

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My husband is a very dark skinned mexican and I am a very light skinned american. Our 3 yr old is just like me and our 8mo old is just like him. They were both born here in Mexico and I have never been asked their race for any form here or at the consulate. After reading all of this I am for the first time asking myself what race they will put on college forms, etc...I guess Mexican American? They will one day just have it be a write in like your name.

Teresa - posted on 10/03/2009

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I kinda went through that when I was registering my daughter for school years ago. I'm black, her dad is latino and black. There wasn't an "other" or "mixed/biracial" box I could mark, so I asked the lady what I should mark when I explained my dilemma. She told me to mark the box that read "hispanic, of black/african heritage." According to the school district, she's hispanic, NOT hispanic AND black!!!! Honestly, I raised my daughter to be proud of her biracial heritage and not be forced by others to "choose" which race she should be or want to be. That's just me....

Jeannette - posted on 10/03/2009

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My daughter is both black and white she is not one or the other she is both if asked on forms to check one I check other

Kristina - posted on 10/03/2009

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i believe we have to wait for the child to grow up, experience things, and decide how they would like to label themselves. i know that i consider myself african american and that some people with same/similar ethnic make-up consider themselves multi-racial. i do know that mixed and mulatto are not exactly P.C these days. Mulatto actually translates to mule. do what you feel is right until your child is able to decide for themselves. that's what i plan to do. for my daughter, when multiracial or mixed race is not an option, i select all that apply. :)

[deleted account]

My son say his is half Mexican; half white and 25% German ;-) and in minor percentage Polish, Lithuanian, Swedish and Czech and that with a smile on his face.

Selina - posted on 10/03/2009

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Wow I have just been reading and cant believe how tough it is for most of you and where you come from, because you have to choose one or the other ethnicity box and not both.



Im from NZ and over here different cultures are the norm. Everyone that lives here in NZ are something, rather than just plain NZ...

Who is a New Zealander really?? Who is an American really?? etc etc..

If you were born in a country, then should that be your ethnicity...There shouldnt be single ethnics..no one is a pure bred nowadays...



My son is 1/4 NZ pakeha (white), 1/4 Tongan and 1/2 Samoan...so what should he have to tick? Luckily where I come from, they allow you to tick more than one option box!! :) NZ lets us embrace our ethnicitys. Wish you were all able to too! :)

Cynthia - posted on 10/02/2009

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My children are black/white and they automatically consider black. This world will never see them as white. The older they get the more they seem to be accept by one group or the other. It also depends on the person remember people are raised different some blacks don't accept it and on the other hand some whites have not accepted it. On that note having mixed children is a teach your kids what they should know how cruel people can be at times and that they are loved by you as the parent and to come to you should any remark be said or name that they may be called outside of their name.

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