We are not racist, we just don’t think a child of color would thrive in our community.
I hear this all the time. And what I tell people is this…
You don’t need an explanation for your decisions and frankly it’s nobody’s business what you decide. While I don’t judge anyone based on their personal criteria, other people may not be as nice. So, let this be a warning, that you may want to keep your decisions to yourself. Nobody needs to know. And trust me, people want to know everything!
Bringing in a child of a different race is not a decision that should be taken lightly. It’s a decision you really have to understand and be real with yourself about.
I’m white. I adopted a Mexican child.
It may sound stupid, but nobody ever told me to educate myself before I adopted and frankly, I just didn’t think about it. So my education started after the adoption process and continues today. Which brings me to another point –
If you are going to adopt a child of a different race or ethnicity than your own, you have to be willing and open to continue learning. And you also have to be willing and open to making change. If you aren’t willing, you are doing an injustice to your child.
This may be as simple as understanding the stereotypes of a race, the cultural norms or unspoken code. Maybe it means learning how to cook different foods than you are used to and learning different values and traditions.
Or, it could mean that you need to think about where you can find mirrors for your child – people that look like them. Does this mean moving or transferring to a different school district, finding doctors that look like your child or maybe classes in a different community? Maybe it does. Would you be willing to do that?
Without getting too deep into the topic of transracial adoption, I guess what I’m trying to say is that it goes much deeper than personally being comfortable with other races than your own. You really have to be willing to give serious thought to a child’s identity in the long run and what you are willing or able to do to help your child feel comfortable in their own skin.
For some good reading on transracial adoption, check out Fro and a Bow, Not Just a Black & White Issue, What You Should Know Before Adopting Transracially, or http://whitesugarbrownsugar.com.
If you DO decide you are open and comfortable with transracial adoption or if you simply have questions or need resources, just contact me. I can help!