Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Thinking about Transracial Adoption?

Happy Thursday, friends!  This is Caryn here, you may remember me as your IVF blogger for the last six months here on Bloggers for Hope. I’m now transitioning over to be your adoption blogger, which I think will be very exciting!  As you may have read in my biography, adoption is how I came to be a parent…specifically though domestic interstate adoption through private agencies.  This is the part of adoption that I know very well, but I will do my best to provide prospective from other adoption avenues, like international adoption and adoption through foster care.

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


  1. Yay! Thanks for posting! We have our 3.5 week old son with us who is transracially adopted! We're looking for other families who have done the same in the area. Any chance you're in the Nashville area too? =) I look forward to seeing what you write!

    1. Rats, no! :( I'm in the Minneapolis area. Fortunatly for us, Minneapolis has the largest number of tranracially adopted kids per capita in the US, so there's lot of families here! You should come visit! :)

  2. Excellent post. I love being a transracial family!


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