Adopting a Mixed Race Child
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Adopting a Mixed Race Child
My husband and I are trying to adopt an infant as we can not
create children on our own (www.thelongfamily.org). Although we
orginially thought we would adopt a full caucasian child (as we
are both caucasian), we are now strongly considering a mixed
race child (african american/caucasian). We are pursuing an
open adoption where we retain contact with the birthparents.
I would love to hear from parents that have adopted mixed race
children about their experience. I'm interested in the success
stories as well as the challenges.
This does not exactly address your posting, but I thought I
would offer our experience. We have a mixed race family - our
adopted son is a full hispanic, and we are both caucasian. We
adopted him at birth from Santa Maria, CA. We were very open to
meeting birth moms (and adopting kids) of all races when we
were trying to adopt and thus our adoption was relatively fast.
I love having some diversity in our household. For the most
part I assume that people see our son and realize he is adopted
although every once in awhile someone will comment that our son
does not look like either parent. Adoption is outside the realm
of experience for many, and others are curious about it and
will ask. I am still so thrilled with our experience that I do
not mind talking to people about it. My son (! age 3) seems
pretty comfortable with it as well. He has other transracially
adopted friends so for him families come in all color
combinations and he sees nothing unusual with that. Berkeley
is a very easy place to raise a child that does not look like
you. There are some wonderful post-adoption play groups with
every color, gender, age, etc combination you can imagine. One
thing to note: many mixed race children are often strikingly
good looking and will draw attention. Be prepared for
questions, and realize that most people are well meaning and
only curious. I always hope that some of the people I talk to
will realize how great adoption is and make that choice for
I grew up in a mixed race household. Both of my parents are white
however my mother married an African-American man when I was 5.
stepfather was the only dad I knew and he raised me from the age
My half-siblings are all mixed race and we lived in primarily
neighborhoods growing up. So tho I am not mixed race myself, I
lot of exposure to the racial issues growing up.
I am now 44 years old and things have definitely changed since I
kid socially for children of mixed race heritage. But there is
need to sort out ''who I am.'' I have had a lot of feelings around
and as I like to read, I have read to help myself cope with
how race has affected me. Books that addressed african american
with white heritage: The Color of Water, Pearl's Secret were
to me. As I am raising my kids, I found it helpful to read I'm
Chocolate, You're Vanilla by a psychologist local to the Bay Area
explores how children at different ages process race issues.
My other thought about this is that Americans tend to have a lot
deeply ingrained stereotypes about African-Americans. And it may
beneficial to really look at these for yourself and your spouse
any feelings you have. What do you feel if there is an african
young man walking behind you? What are your thoughts about the
and educational levels of african americans in this country? What
feelings come up for you if you are the only caucasians in a
setting, like a school or a shopping area? Do you know of any
class african american communities? How will you expose and
your child to his/her mixed heritage?
I wish you all the best in your adoption journey.
It took me a while before answering this advice request because
adoption is such a personal decision. One thing kept coming to
my mind though. You should maybe discuss with your partner and
find out the reason why you originally wanted to adopt a
Caucasian infant and now are open to mixed-race infant. Also
think about why you are not considering adopting an African-
American infant. You can also consult Pact, they will be able to
help you understand how transracial adoption will change your
life forever... for the better.
transracial adoptive mom
Contact PACT http://www.pactadopt.org phone: 510-243-9460.
They are an educational & membership organization in the East
Bay and they offer a lot of resources & workshops ! for adoptive
transracial familes. They have a very good self-assessment guide
called ''Below the Surface'' for anyone considering adoption
across racial or cultural lines.
this page was last updated: May 11, 2004
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