Before deciding to adopt outside of your race, there are a few things you should consider.
Here are some things to think about:
Analyze your community
It is crucial that your child forms meaningful relationships with others of the same race. Ask yourself the following questions.
- How diverse is your neighborhood?
- Are the schools in your district diverse?
- Are all your friends the same race?
- Do your friends and family support transracial adoption?
- Do you know people who have adopted or married outside of their race?
Having exposure to a variety of diversity is wonderful, but unfortunately not enough for a child who has been adopted transracially. Children also need plenty of exposure to their specific cultural group – they need to see individuals who look like them in a variety of roles.
When adopting a child outside of your race, you must build and maintain a bicultural home. You can include toys, movies, music, etc. that represent your child’s specific culture which will promote positive self-image.
Hair and Skincare
Hair and skincare is an extremely important aspect of children feeling comfortable in their and connected to their heritage. It varies widely between and within racial and cultural heritages, and will depend mostly on your child’s individual needs.
You should be prepared to think about hair A LOT, as it will be important to your child and important to people of their ethnicity that you may encounter in your community.
Unfortunately, racism exists in our society, and it’s important that you and your child can have conversations regarding race relations and other social issues.
You must be prepared to handle questions from people, sometimes total strangers, about your child’s heritage. In addition, you may have to consider distancing yourself from family and friends who make inappropriate comments about race and culture, to protect your child’s well-being.