San Francisco Trans-Racial Adoption Lawyers
Trans-racial Adoption 101 by Kristy Boblitt
Trans-racial adoption definition: Adoption of a child who is a different race than the adoptive parents.
Trans-racial adoption adds another layer to the parenting experience. Parents who are raising children who do not share their racial background have an added responsibility to help their child develop a positive and strong racial identity and sense of self-worth. The fact that you are not of the same race as your child does matter and does require extra steps and attention to ensure that your child grows up to feel confident and secure in who they are, especially in a world that is still struggling with issues around race.
Bi-Racial Adoption/Trans-Racial Adoption Opens Many Doors:
- An opportunity to learn new perspectives on race and culture
- Increased richness in interactions with people from different races and cultures
- A chance to share information about adoption with others and educate others
- Learning new skills like doing hair and new traditions, foods, etc.
- A chance to be open to new experiences and learning how to see things from a different point of view
- Being a part of a community that reflects your child’s racial/cultural background where you are a minority and they are in the majority
Responsibilities Associated With a Trans-Racial Adoption:
- Being aware of your race and your own biases, how that relates to raising your child.
- Having to think about race and racism every day. It is something white people do not usually do.
- Talking about race with others, accepting that you cannot be an expert in this area, and your children will need to have tools to handle it.
- Increased awareness of racial prejudice and your own role in becoming an ally against racism.
- Coming to terms with the fact that you cannot provide everything your child needs to develop their racial and cultural identity. Recognizing that no matter how many books you read, how many foods you learn to cook, how many hairstyles you can do, you will still not be the same race as your child and they do need real experiences with people who share their racial identity in order to learn how to exist in that group on their own.
- Finding the right place to raise your child that provides a diverse environment especially in Sonoma County.
- Creating intentional communities that provide positive relationships for the family and your child with people who reflect your child’s racial identity.
- Be open to moving to a more diverse area or sending your child to the more diverse school, sports team, etc. even if it is not the strongest in other areas you value (academics, sports, test scores).
- Be pro-active. Make friends with people in coffee shops, grocery stores. Any time someone showed interest in my family, I took it as an invitation and got a phone number and called them up. I made some of my best friends that way and others never went further but it was a great way to meet new people who shared an interest in raising our children.
- Go to events — every and any event in your area where there is a chance to meet and interact with people who reflect your child’s race and culture. You will start to meet a core group of people who can then let you know about other activities as well as a chance for you and your child to make friends
- Consider the demographics of activities/organizations/vacation spots when you are choosing activities for your family. Seeking out diverse environments with real opportunities for immersion in a racial or cultural group takes effort, flexibility, openness and time. Consider options such as choosing a church, summer camp or long vacation where your child can have more opportunities to interact with others who share his or her racial background.
Kristy Boblitt and her husband adopted transracially and wanted to share the information above with adopting parents and birthparents.
Trans-Racial Adoption Resources - compiled by Alexandra Jacobs, MSW, Social Worker at TLC Child and Family Services (email@example.com)
Inside Trans-racial Adoption, Beth Hall and Gail Steinberg — Amazing book, every family considering or doing a trans-racial adoption must read this book.
PACT — An organization specializing in supporting children of color in adoption. They have classes, a fantastic book list for kids and adults regarding adoption and race. http://www.pactadopt.org/
Parents Place — Santa Rosa, monthly post-adoption support group, free childcare. Liz Jimenez firstname.lastname@example.org
Local group for parents raising children of color (biological and adopted). Contact Kristy Boblitt at (707) 696-7367 or Kristy@boblitt.com
Websites Addressing Transracial Adoption
Adoptive Families Magazine — A page on trans-racial adoption, with information about parenting children of specific cultures and ethnicities and links to books and articles. http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/transracial-adoption.php
Pact, An Adoption Alliance — Organization dedicated to adopted children of color with lots of resources and links, including a comprehensive detailed list of books for parents and children. http://www.pactadopt.org/
“Ask the Experts” — John Raible and Michelle Johnson are both trans-racially adopted adults who take questions and provide answers and opinions. http://nysccc.org/family-supports/transracial-transcultural/ask-the-experts/
New York State Citizens’ Coalition for Children (NYSCCC) — Excellent compilation of links to articles and writing from different perspectives, as well as other web resources. http://nysccc.org/family-supports/transracial-transcultural/
About.com — Section about trans-racial adoption with links to articles on specific topics. Start at: http://encyclopedia.adoption.com/entry/transracial-adoption/360/1.html
The Adoption History Project — Through the University of Oregon, a detailed history of trans-racial adoption, and links to comprehensive bibliography and other resources about adoption. http://www.uoregon.edu/~adoption/topics/transracialadoption.htm