"Positive and racial identity depends on our ability to identify fully with our ethnic roots, yet remain confident that race or ethnicity does not limit our opportunities in life." -Inside Transracial Adoption
Transracial adoption has grown significantly the last two decades.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that nearly half of adopted children have a parent who is of a different race, ethnicity, or culture than the child.
- The awareness to sustain the adopted child's culture within his or her new family has also increased.
- Parents of a child of a different culture have the responsibility to help their child define himself as a member of his own genetic racial community.
- Dr. Call, a developmental psychologist, recommends starting the process early and finding a variety of ways to introduce the child's birth culture.
Experts recommend that parents do the following to meet the cultural needs of their children
- Talk about your child's history often and openly
- Interact with people of your child's race
- Become integrated in diverse organizations and events
- Recognize multiculturalism as an asset
- Seek out mentors within your child's culture
- Make your home a bicultural home (decor, food, toys, books, etc)
- Talk about race and culture often
- Go to places where your child is surrounded by people of his/her same race and culture
- Celebrate your child's culture
- Celebrate differences
Incorporating as many of the above suggestions as possible often translates to many positive outcomes for both the child and the family as a whole. Having experiences within the child's own culture creates a strong racial identity and sense of belonging, along with an increased resiliency against racism and discrimination. It can also increase the bond between parent and child.