There’s a specific topic within the adoption world that I am pretty passionate about…transracial adoption. Transracial adoption is when you adopt a child who is from another racial background than you. As our society is getting more and more progressive, this is become a real option for more and more families. First, I’d like to quote some statistics at you:
When potential adoptive parents were asked in their home study what races they’d be open to in a placement, this was their response:
-88% would ‘accept’ a White baby
-33% would ‘accept’ a South American or Hispanic baby
-28% would ‘accept’ an Asian baby
-14% would ‘accept’ a Black baby
(only 7% of those pursuing international adoption would adopt Black children)*
While these statistics currently show that transracial adoption is still fairly uncommon in the US, it is on the rise…significantly. With the closure of many international adoption programs and countries (like many South/Central American countries, Russia, etc), and the waiting list for popular countries like Columbia and China at staggeringly long rate, more and more people are moving to domestic infant adoption. And to be very honest, most of the babies needing homes are from a minority ethnic background.
One of these things is not like the other.
As a prospective adoptive parent, the choice to adopt outside your race is a very personal decision. You need to weigh many factors, including how extended family will react to a different-colored family member, how inclusive your community would be of your family, and what kind of very critical opportunities you can provide to the child so that they can connect with others who look like him/her.
And if you do decide to adopt outside your race, you need to know that you will be very visible as a family created though adoption. People ask questions, you child will ask questions, and you will talk about it A LOT. You need to be okay with that….and that of becoming an advocate not only for your child and family, but also for your child’s racial background.
If you do decide to pursue transracial adoption, I can personally tell you that it is one of the most amazing, enriching, and transformative paths to travel. I have learned SO MUCH just in the 16 months of my son’s life. And I’m looking forward to traveling this journey of self-discovery with him. It is truly a blessing and an honor to be his mom.
Over the course of the next few adoption posts, I'd like to dive a little deeper into topics around transracial adoption, white privilege, education, and communication. Please leave a comment if you have any other topics you'd like to see covered!
*statistics from Rage Against the Minivan, via Love Isn't Enough