Transracial adoption....... more harm than good?

Kelly - posted on 03/15/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )




ABC ran a story about a week ago that focused mostly on the "negative" sides of transracial adoption. Of course, there are mixed feelings on both sides of the issue. Some argue that black children growing up in white households loose their racial identity, while others see the adoption of any child into a loving family environment as the best thing, regardless of skin color. I thought it would be interesting to get some points of view on this issue. Do you think that black children loose their identity and culture when they are raised in white households? ( I am specifically saying black children because the NBSWA has historically been very outspoken on the issue) Some adoption workers in the article say they urge white parents to move to a different, more diverse neighborhood, attend black churches, etc. to help the children cope. Is it enough for a child to be raised in a loving environment, or do they have to be around "their own kind" to be healthy, well rounded adults? And what does this say for our society, when we strive to see all people as equal?


Tah - posted on 03/17/2010




i am not against white people adopting black children, but even if we don't want to accept it, there is a difference, the biggest thing is that they are loved, of course, but they should also take the time to learn and help the child learn about their culture. Even simple things like doing hair, there is a difference in the product used and the way we wear our hair. I see little black children with white women and bless their hearts i know they tried, but i can tell it needs attention. If you are living in a predominantly white area you may not see color but others will and i think it important that the child be well rounded, children who are interacial even have a problem(some)...they talked about it before, what box to check, who do i identify with more. I was watching a true life where a girl whose mother and siblings were white, but her father was black, was never treated differently, loved by her family, but still felt the need to find her father and his family because she felt like something was missing. he had died but the black side of her family welcomed her with open arms, she has a brother and they could be now she feels whole...

I know it would be nice to say we are all equal, and we are, but we are not all treated that way,As a black women, I know, I see it and experience it often. so it needs to be made as easy as possible for these children to identify with all parts of themselves. It's a easy thing to say all we need is love, when you already know who you are, noone looks at you differently, or teases you because your hair is different and your skin is different and your parents look different from you. We have to look through these childrens eyes.

Carolee - posted on 03/15/2010




As long as people scream and shout that it's "not fair", we will never be able to see each other as equal. It saddens me. People should just focus on being happy, not how "black", "white", or "hispanic" you are. And people should befriend others because of their personalities, not their skin color!

I know a lot of people think my son is adopted and share in the opinion that it's "not fair to him" that I'm white and he's hispanic. A parent's love has no color. And, yes... even adoptive parents and step parents can love like a biological parent. My husband (also white) loves my son as much as if they were biologically linked.

It's when people INSIST on putting the borders between the races that make it impossible for racism to die! And anybody who insists on having those borders should not be allowed to complain about racism still existing today. It is their own fault.

Tah - posted on 03/17/2010




best thing to do..take her to a hair dresser, one who is familiar with black hair, not one that just did it in school a my daughter, she has hair to the middle of her back, but she has such a tight curl we keep it braided,(not nappy, but a tight curl, wave even) if you had adopted her and thought you were gonna wash her hair, blow it dry, and run out the door.....i got news for's a 3 hour process at best to straighten it just to put a headband on it. Some little girls at her school(more whites students than black at this school) were teasing her one day about her hair because it is always in braids(always neat, but braided, it's easier)..she was begging to wear it out....i could have cried fussing with it...but when she went to school, it shut them girl said that it wasn't real because black people don't have long hair like that...she said, my mom does and she's children can be cruel...but you better beleive i had my sister braid it right back up the next week..ok sweetie, you proved your seems like a little thing, but it it can be a issue...

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Caitlin - posted on 03/22/2010




I don't agree at all that a child should be adopted only to family of the same race. I do agree there would be some issues that need to be adressed, but in reality if we take the United States for example, isn't the culture you'd want to be teaching them american culture? It really depends on so many factors, a younger child would adapt more easily to a new circumstance and "culture". I don't see how my "culture" is any different from a lot of my black friends. We all grew up in the same areas, went to the same schools, maybe didn't listen to the same music all the time, but they weren't all into rap, and I wasn't into whatever a white girl was listening to at the time (I don't remember what was popular, i've always liked the oldies).

The hair comment made me laugh quite a bit, because I was always quite the tomboy and never really learned how to do anything beyond a ponytail, even my pigtails are uneven, and my simple braids are.. well.. not really braid-like. I now have 2 daughters and i'm wondering how i'm going to manage to do their hair when they hav enough of it!

Lea - posted on 03/22/2010




As for the issue of a child losing their heritage, all children that are adopted go through this. "White" and "Black" skin colors don't tell you what country your ancestors are from, just maybe the continent. So I would say as a whole, most people have lost their heritage, even biological children! Therefore, I deem this a non-issue for adopted children, case closed!

Patricia - posted on 03/21/2010




Is trans racial adoption any different than a white woman having an African American baby? I guess I never thought the color of ones skin made a difference. I believe that in most cases, they do not lose their racial identity....I believe most good parents will make a point to study and expand their family.

Esther - posted on 03/18/2010




I think every child deserves a loving caring family and race comes second to that. However, I do think transracial adoptions pose certain challenges that intra-racial adoptions don't. To me it's kind of like a gay couple (male) adopting a little girl. I would have no objections to it at all, but I do think it would be good for them to try to have a strong female role model in this little girl's life who could talk to her about things like menstruating etc. Now imagine being a little girl growing up in an area that was ALL male ...... Finding a more diverse community probably would be a good thing in that situation.

Lea - posted on 03/18/2010




Hmmm lets see... would you rather grow up in an orphanage or foster family, OR have your own family with parents who want and love you? Would you care if they had a different color skin? ...didn't think so. Yes, maybe life is harder for adopted kids, but think of the alternative.

Shelley - posted on 03/17/2010




i have a lovely friend who has adopted 2 sons from ethiopia che and her husband are white they attend our predominately white church and live in our predominately white area the oldest is 8 and was about 6 months when he was adopted the youngest was adopted about 8 weeks ago and is 11 months so far i believe the children are welcomed and a true part of our community and you could not find more loving doting parents i believe that it's fine to adopt inter racially

[deleted account]

Tah, it's funny you should mention the hair issue. I would like to adopt one day. I don't care where the child is from, if they need a family I'd welcome them into mine. When the Haiti earthquake struck a thought ran through my mind. What if I could adopt a Haitian child? My next thought was, "What would I do with her (his) hair?!" If I ever get to adopt a Haitian child, I'll call you up and get you to help me!

Jackie - posted on 03/17/2010




Many kids in teh system just want a home...any loving home. While yes I would not want my child to feel like an outcast and I know there are some communities more accepting than others, I certainly don't think there is anything wrong with it. By being against it I think it is just society moving backwards and promoting racism. I think a child needing to be adopted is going to have bigger issues than their tie to the black community also, they just want to feel loved and accepted most of the time. So a loving couple who openly accepts them is the best place for them in my mind, regardless of everyones skin color.

Rosie - posted on 03/15/2010




how many people that adopt the same color child really know about that particular childs roots, and what their cultural background is? if they adopt someone from romania, do they try to make sure that they know everything about the romanian culture and bring aspects into their daily american (or other country's) life? seems kindof silly to me. i don't think it's a bad thing to teach a child about their cultural background, but how much of that particular culture do you actually know, especially if you aren't a part of that culture? and the need to move to a different more diverse neighborhood seems ridiculous to me. i feel love is all that is needed, why do we have to make everything about color or race? i can't stand that everything is seperate still in this day in age. everybody is american (or whatever country you come from) and we're all culturally diverse. sure we should know where each of us come from, but to change who the family is just to acheive the notion of some cultural enlightenment for any adopted child is completely ridiculous to me. what about children who have parents one white and one black? should we make them move to a more diverse neighborhood just because their kid is mixed? to me it beats the purpose of equality in society.

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I do think that black children adopted by white parents could very possibly struggle with their identity. But who doesn't? There again, it is the parents' job to guide their children through this issue, just as they would guide them through all the other issues of growing up. At the end of the day, the child did not grow up as ward of the state in foster care and had a loving family to take care of him.

Sharon - posted on 03/15/2010




I mostly think its bullshit. A transracial adoption can work out perfectly fine if the effort is made.

[deleted account]

I have mixed views, and really think each adoption is a case by case situation. Dh & I were about 2/3's of the way done with our adoption paperwork, classes, home visits, etc. when we learned I was pregnant again. One of the classes focused solely on interracial adoption-pros & cons and I learned so much more than I bargained for. It is dependent upon so many factors: the adoptive parent's racial make up of their hometown and community, the willingness to expose the child to his/her culture, how many children are already a part of the family, open or closed adoption, the age of adoption plays a huge part as well, the attitude from extended family members, etc. You should have seen the checklists we were presented with regarding "what kind of kid are you willing to adopt"? We were seeking to adopt older kids, and they may have already connected to their culture. On our paperwork, we said we were more than open to adopting a Hispanic child(ren) because we live in a mixed white/Hispanic community. There are some black families in my area, but not enough where I felt that a child would feel comfortable. I would not want my prospective child to feel like an outcast, especially being older. So, case by case basis IMO for interracial adoption, followed by a ton of counseling and community resources in order to aide the transition.

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