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As an adoptive mom to two black children, and thus, the matriarch of a transracial family, I can testify that white privilege, prejudice, and stereotypes against black people still exist despite the number of people who claim to be colorblind.
In addition to racial prejudices, my family is sometimes treated as second-class because we came together through adoption instead of biology. We have been asked horrendously nosy questions: Are your girls real sisters? Once I was preparing to take a weight lifting class at my gym when a black man in his sixties approached me and asked if the little girl I carried in with me every day was my child.
The reasons for this are debatable, complicated and numerous, ranging from socioeconomic disparity to cultural norms to familial beliefs and traditions. And, despite what some may believe, black birth mothers sometimes choose white parents to adopt their children, even when there are available black couples.
When we started our first adoption process, our social worker told us that out of more than 20 families waiting to adopt, only two were open to adopting a black child.
Third, non-traditional family structures are far more acceptable than ever before, and this holds true for transracial adoptive families. You have celebrities to thank. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Sandra BullockTom Cruise and Madonna all adopted transracially, making the transracial adoptive family, while still unique, seem much more common.
And when it seems more common, people are more likely to accept it and some of them are likely to follow suit.
They are both educated, caring women who chose us to raise their daughters. Was race a factor in their decision? But every mother I know, regardless of race, wants opportunities, security, and love for their children.
Personally, my motivation to be open to adopting a child of any race came from my belief that God is ultimately in charge. We were educated on transracial adoption, and we live and work in diverse communities. Additionally, we travel often, enjoying the experiences of learning about other races and cultures.
Now, how do I explain that in a nutshell to a nosy stranger? I do not think every adoptive family is prepared to adopt a child of another race. When parenting children of color in a transracial family, love simply is not enough.
Love is NOT enough. Research on transracial adoptees demonstrates time and time again that transracial parenting is a unique task one that must be carried out with education and intention in order to raise confident, secure children.
Our motivation to adopt and to accept a child of any race is, despite the complexity of race and adoption in America, quite simple: I wanted to be a mother to the child God had for us. Rachel Garlinghouse is the proud mother of two brown babies. She is a freelance writer and college writing teacher.
Read more about her family at White Sugar, Brown Sugar.Sentence length. Shorter sentences give a concise style, while longer ones are more sedate. A good guide is that you should be able to .
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