2020 will forever be known as a turbulent year in history. The recent wave of social justice protests has sparked a renewed call for education, awareness, and equal rights for people of color. Transracial adoption is a common occurrence in the U.S., but not everyone has a good understanding of what it is, and there is certainly a lack of education surrounding this type of family dynamic. If you are hoping to adopt, or have recently adopted, a child of a different race, this may be a topic that is weighing upon you heavily, particularly this year.
What does transracial adoption mean?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “transracial” as extending across two or more races. So, a “transracial adoption” happens when parents adopt a child of a race different from their own. Sometimes, the parents share the same race, but sometimes, they, too, are of different races.
Whether you are a newly adoptive parent, are about to adopt a child, or are just beginning the adoption journey, transracial adoption is an important consideration. You may be wondering the impact your child’s race will have on their life, as well as your lives as a family.
These are completely valid – and normal – concerns to have as a parent. No matter your political views, we have all seen how harsh this world can be. It is best to be prepared for the road ahead, as you navigate raising a child of a race that is different than your own.
It is important to be aware and prepared for the realities that come with transracial adoption. Transracial adoption can be incredibly rewarding – just as all adoptive parents would say about adoption in general. But sometimes, it requires some additional prep work. Transracial adoption books can help you feel prepared for the journey ahead. Read on, as we share some of the best books about transracial adoption, which can serve as an important resource for newly adoptive parents.
Books for You
- I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World
This book is based on Dr. Marguerite Wright’s research and clinical experience working as a child psychologist aims to teach readers that the color-blindness of early childhood can, and must, be taken advantage of in order to guide the positive development of a child’s self-esteem. This book is filled with practical, positive, and creative ideas for handling common situations, like what to do when you child says she wants a white doll, or how to handle friends and relatives who compare your children’s skin colors and hair textures.
Author Rhonda M. Roorda shares her insights and studies into the effects of the adoption of black and biracial children by white parents. While many proponents of transracial adoption claim that American society is increasingly becoming “color-blind”, a growing body of research reveals that, for transracial adoptees of all backgrounds, racial identity does matter. Roorda shares perspectives on transracial adoption by concerned black Americans of all ages, including those who lived through the Civil Rights era.
“Inside Transracial Adoption,” written by Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall, works to help adoptive parents to navigate the challenges and issues often faced when raising a child of a different race and/or culture. This book is filled with real-life examples and specific strategies for parenting success. It is written primarily from the perspective of Caucasian parents adopting African American children domestically.
Children’s Books About Adoption
There are also many books you can read with your child (or future child) to help start the ongoing conversations about adoption and race. We recommend the following titles:
- Mommy and Me Don’t Match – by K Momsa – shares a story of a mother and daughter discussing the visual differences between them.
- And That’s Why She’s My Mama – by Tiarra Nizario – defines mama for kids. She is always there for you, makes your favorite food, takes you to the park, and kisses your boo-boos better. This children’s book, recommended for ages 1-7, explains that mamas come in all different shapes, colors, and ages, but they all have one very important thing in common: They love you!
- I’ve Loved You Since Forever – This New York Times #1 Bestseller is not about transracial adoption, per se, but it is one that will be celebrated among adoptive families of all walks of life. Written by Today show co-anchor Hoda Kotb – who is an adoptive parent of a child of a different race – this picture book is a celebratory testament to the beautiful love felt between parent and child.
Finding Additional Support
There are many other sources for transracial adoptive families, such as Facebook groups, podcasts, blogs, and magazines. A credible, trustworthy adoption agency, such as Adoptions With Love, is a great place to start in your quest for support. Transracial adoption can bring its own set of challenges, but it can also be a wonderful, fulfilling life experience that brings you more joy and happiness than you ever thought possible!
For more information on transracial adoption, contact Adoptions With Love. We work with expectant/birth mothers all over the country, and can help you grow your family through adoption. Reach out to us anytime at 1-800-722-7731, text us confidentially at 1-617-777-0072 or contact us online.