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Archive for interracial adoption

Creating a Multi-Cultural Family Through Adoption

a multi-cultural family through adoption!You’ve waited so long for this adoption to happen. You hope that you can bring joy, support, lots of love, and a life full of great experiences to a child. You started the adoption process with the knowledge that you just wanted a child to share life with, regardless of race.

In reality, adopting a child of another ethnicity isn’t as simple as that. It takes lots of education, awareness, and sensitivity.

Your child’s cultural awareness should be a priority in your lives, no matter if your child is a newborn or eight years old. Some find it uncomfortable to explain racial issues to a curious child. But, remember that your child won’t always be a child, and they’ll be judged, unfortunately, based on their race at some point in their lives. As the parent, you need to know this and make a conscious effort to talk about it in your household.

Make sure to bring your child’s culture into your home, their toys, and their lives. For example, buy your daughter dolls in her race, and tell her how beautiful those dolls are. It’s necessary to take your child to cultural events where they can learn about their heritage and read them about their culture.

As your child grows up, their awareness of their ethnicity will become clearer. As their parent, it’s your job to help them to acknowledge this. Help them to learn that their success shouldn’t be based on their race, but that it’s a factor in how they’re seen by others.

Isolating your child in an environment without any “color” could be damaging to their self-identity and growth. Since your family is multicultural, your child’s school and home life should reflect that. You can give your child a wonderful upbringing by teaching them how to connect with people of any race while still being proud of who they are!

Considering Trans-Racial Adoption?

trans-racial adoptionWhen a family adopts a child that is a different race than their own, it is considered a trans-racial adoption. Currently, we are seeing this in the adoption of African American children by Caucasian families, through both domestic and international adoptions. Not only is this a trend in Christian homes, but high-profile celebrity adoptions are also setting examples. Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, and Katherine Heigl have all recently adopted children with an ethnic heritage different than their own.

While you may be completely prepared for this, you will need to ensure that your family is prepared, as well. Ted and Amanda were open to a child of any race and were chosen by an African American birth mother to adopt her baby. Brought up in Christian homes, they never imagined that their families would have anything but love for their baby. Imagine their surprise when an uncle and a cousin both made racial slurs about their baby at the family gathering designed to welcome the baby home! Have these family conversations well in advance. You don’t need to change your plans based solely on your family’s approval, but you should be aware of their view. It may be an opportunity to pray for God’s change in their hearts.
Similarly, you should evaluate if you have resources in your city or county to expose a child to their heritage and others that share their ethnicity. It may seem odd when they are quite young, but when they begin to ask questions about why they look different than you, it will help you explain if you also have places to go and things to share to support your child as he grows up confident as the individual he is and as part of your family.

Your adoption home study provider may require or recommend classes for families open to adopting outside of their race. You should actively participate and ask questions so you will be prepared later. Seek out programs or support groups for families built through trans-racial adoption. If these are not available in your area, consider attending a church with diversity and programs available to support your child’s need for identity and belonging.

Here are a few important questions to ask yourself if you are considering trans-racial adoption:

  • How will you help your child be comfortable growing up in your hometown?
  • Do you already know people of diversity or who may share the same race as your child? Will you need to make new connections to expand your social circle for your child and family’s well-being?
  • Do you know of support or play groups for trans-racial families created through adoption? If not, would you be comfortable starting one?
  • Does your neighborhood or city hold cultural celebrations? Attend, introduce yourself, and get involved.
  • What are ways you’ll honor, respect, and celebrate your child’s difference within your family? Books, dolls, play groups, and other avenues are available to help a child identify with and embrace their unique racial differences in a positive way.

This information was excerpted from our Founder Mardie Caldwell’s book, Called to Adoption. Do you have questions about how we can help you adopt? Just send us an email or give us a call at 1-877-383-6847.

Transracial Adoption Stories

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Lifetime Adoption recently hosted a Q&A webinar all about transracial adoption. Joining us as webinar guests were three adoptive mothers who have adopted a baby through interracial adoption. If you’ve been thinking about adopting a child of a race different than your own, or if you’ve wondered how to talk about adoption with your future child, this panel of adoptive moms will be a helpful resource. The tips and experience of the adoptive parents in this special webinar will touch the hearts of anyone hoping to adopt through a transracial adoption, or who’ve recently welcomed home a child through adoption.

Every hopeful adoptive parent will have to decide what preferences, or search criteria, to specify as they pursue a child through adoption. The best way to decide how to set those preferences is to learn as much as possible and to be confident that those preferences will lead to an opportunity adoptive parents will eagerly and comfortably accept.

There are questions any adoptive parent may face as they raise a child through adoption. The unique questions a child has about his or her adoption story should be embraced; a great way to prepare for those conversations or to become the parent your child needs is to learn from parents experienced with adoption.

You can tune into the webinar on transracial adoptions by clicking on the “play” button below:

Would you like to learn more about open adoption, transracial adoption, or how you can start your journey to adopt a baby or child? You first step towards a Lifetime adoption is by filling out our free online application.