The issue about Transracial Adoptions…

Charlize Theron and son Jackson 4I recently read an article about what racial socialization means in the context of transracial adoption. The writer of the article asked ‘what will become of the transracial adoptees raised in white spaces if they are not prepared to encounter our highly racialized society?’

He stated that ‘just as blacks socialize their children of issues of racial discrimination and “otherness,” whites socialize their children (albeit unknowingly) in the unearned privileges of whiteness.’ He raised the issue of how black/Asian children being raised by Caucasian parents would be viewed by black childcare advocates and how their race would be called into question:

“Thus, when black childcare advocates see whites raising black children, they call these children’s race lessons into question. Do white parents have the cultural foresight to teach their children to be aware of the racism of society, particularly when few whites have any interest in discussing race and their role in the maintenance of white privilege?

How can white parents raise black children when they express difficulty in having honest and open conversations about race with people of color?”

He went on to say: “However, unlike other groups of whites, white adoptive parents of black children have a vested interest in understanding racial mistreatment, and not just from an individual perspective but from a larger societal framework.”

“Communicating this kind of knowledge to adopted black children (i.e., racial socialization) provides them with ample protection and allows them to more effectively confront the negative consequences of human prejudice and bigotry.”

mary louise parker and childrenWhile I agree with his views on racial socialization and concerns with transracial adoptions, I am of the opinion that adopted black and Asian adoptees raised in Caucasian household will fair no different than biracial children who grow up in one-parent Caucasian/Asian homes. How do those parents impart racial awareness to their children? How do they explain their children’s racial background to inquiring strangers? How do they raise their children to accept both racial social norms, traditions, cultures?

We live in a generation that’s more socially, culturally and racially accepting than any generation before us. As a result of that, transracial adoptive parents are aware of some of the issues that may face their adopted children. They currently deal with the stares, the questions and ideology of raising a child racially different than their biological ones.

Sandra Bullock and LouisThey deal with teaching their young children a language different than they are accustomed to, they deal with introducing a different cuisine to their young ones and other coping skills. I agree with the writer of the article on ‘What White Adoptive Parents of Black Children Should Know’ when he says:

“Given the historical tenacity of injustice, it is therefore vital that white adoptive parents help their children develop a positive racial identity and a strong set of coping skills. This might be difficult for many whites, having had very limited experience with and superficial knowledge of race-based oppression.”

However, living in a country like the United States, the effects of racial identity brings up the issue of racism. When teaching children about race, it starts to create an awareness of:

  • a  racial identity that’s greater in comparison to other races
  • a racial identity that’s lesser in comparison to other races

In my personal opinion, one of the main reason Caucasian adoptive parents adopt across the race lines is to begin a culture of erasing the racial divide that has existed for centuries. Imagine how this will impact our society 100 years from now?

Even if unknowingly transracial adoptees are raised in the ‘unearned’ privileges of ‘whiteness’, the color of their skin will hinder any form of imposing said privilege. There are no ways around this, even though every child deserves a privileged upbringing.



5 thoughts on “The issue about Transracial Adoptions…

  1. I am of the opinion that adopted black and Asian adoptees raised in Caucasian household will fair no different than biracial children who grow up in one-parent Caucasian/Asian homes. – DItto on this. Just what I think as well.

    • I also believe that adoptive parents will teach reasonable expectations to their children. I thought that was obvious?

  2. I just read the original article. So the writer of that article is concerned that black or Asian adopted kids will be raised like white kids? What is that even? My mom is white and my dad is black. Yeah they taught me that different races/religions have their differences in tradition/culture but that at the end of the day we are all equal before God and before man (well except the ignorant racist one). So how will that be different for transracial adoptees? ‘Cos I don’t see how that’s really different from me.

    • Gurl this is why I like you. You are always so objective. We need to meet in real life. You speak it as you see it. I feel the exact same way. I get what the writer is saying about blacks raising children black, and whites raising theirs white. But my mom is white too and my parents have been divorced for a long time. I lived with my mom growing up and we don’t exactly look alike.

  3. Pingback: Mixed race orphans placed in families with white parents ‘are deeply affected by cultural and racial differences’ | KolorBlind Mag

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