5 Advantages of Transracial Adoption
Transracial adoption is becoming increasingly more common throughout the United States; however, many birth and adoptive parents are still intimidated by the idea. Transracial families are confronted with judgement, stereotyping and racism everyday, and if you’re an adoptive parent who’s considering transracial adoption, you must be prepared to defend yourself, your child and your family on a regular basis. Birth parents, likewise, should also be active in defending their child and their child’s family against the negativity of others who fail to see the beauty in racially-diverse families.
If you’re considering transracial adoption as a birth or adoptive parent, facing this judgement is disheartening at times. But don’t let that deter you from all the wonderful benefits of transracial adoption!
Benefits of Transracial Adoption
Education and Exposure
An automatic benefit, and perhaps one of the most beautiful advantages of transracial adoption, is exposure to different races and cultures and the opportunity to better understand the importance of diversity. If you’re considering transracial adoption, whether you’re a birth parent or an adoptive parent, it’s extremely important for you to educate yourself on these concepts -- not just through research, but through your community. The experiences of others will teach more than any amount of research you do online. Keep in mind, the more you know, the more you’ll understand and respect the differences between people and their cultures. This includes the racial, cultural and inequality issues that many people still encounter, even in today’s society.
Remember, too, that birth parents and adoptive parents alike must be actively combating judgement and racism from others. Additionally, when you know more, it’ll be easier for you to try and educate others and answer questions that your child will surely have in the future.
As aforementioned, one of the many benefits of transracial adoption is exposure to different cultures. Again, the more you know, the better! When you expose yourself to different cultures, it becomes easier to understand and appreciate the ways they differ from your own. Many people think that different equals wrong, but that couldn't be further from the truth! When you know more, you generally become more open-minded and accepting.
Understanding and respecting racial and cultural differences is important, especially in transracial adoptions, as racial and cultural background often play a major role in a child’s identity. Celebrating cultures is also an excellent way for children, birth and adoptive parents to bond, show each other support and strengthen their relationships with each other!
Identity and Self-Awareness!
Children who have been adopted almost always struggle with issues surrounding identity or sense of self. This, of course, doesn’t change when it comes to children in transracial adoption cases! Often, however, children who have been adopted transracially are more likely to confront their identity issues at an earlier age than children who have not been adopted transracially.
Without discounting the fact that there are single-race families who have discussions about race, ethnicity, culture and the importance of diversity, it’s just especially common for transracial adoptive families to have these conversations with their children at a younger age. In transracial adoptions, children often confront and embrace their birth identity -- racially, ethnically and culturally -- at an earlier age, which helps them to become more confident in their identity and self-awareness as they grow up! Also, parental support, especially when it comes from both the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parent(s), can also have a positive impact on a child’s self-image and self-esteem!
Time Length of the Adoption Process
For as common as transracial adoption is becoming, there are still more adoptive parents out there who choose to adopt a child within their race. On a similar note, most birth parents choose adoptive families who share the same race as themselves and their child. This means, for birth and adoptive parents who choose transracial adoption, the adoption process may be quicker than that of families who choose to adopt within their race. For as sad as this advantage may sound, it can be beneficial for birth parents who are ready to place their child for adoption and move forward with their lives, and for adoptive parents who are ready to embrace parenthood and expand their family through transracial adoption!
Eliminating the Stigma and Embracing Diversity!
Racially-diverse families often have a negative stigma attached to them, especially families who become diverse through transracial adoption. Adoption itself can be surrounded with negative stigma at times. But regardless of what some people think, diversity is beautiful, adoption is a miracle and love will always win! If you choose transracial adoption, you’ll have the power to not only show and teach your child that, but others, too! Keep in mind that children who grow up in racially-diverse adoptive families are often more accepting, more open-minded and more worldly than children who do not. Children raised in an environment and family that teaches them the importance and the value of diversity, understand that it’s love that makes a family a family, not race or biology.
The Beauty of Transracial Adoption
Transracial adoption is beautiful, and proves that love goes beyond race, culture, ethnicity or DNA. If you choose transracial adoption, keep in mind that it’s now your responsibility, whether you’re a birth parent or an adoptive parent, to defend your decision and to defend against the inevitable judgement and discrimination you’re going to get from others. Transracial adoptive families have to put in extra effort to fight against these things, and at times, this side of transracial adoption is going to leave them feeling extremely frustrated and discouraged.
To help alleviate some of these feelings, it’s important to remember the beauty of transracial adoption. Not only does it help people to build families, but it also helps them gain a better understanding of the importance of diversity, and broadens their horizons to different ethnicities and cultures. This, in turn, leads to a better understanding of each other and a deeper, mutual respect of our individuality and backgrounds. Diversity is part of what makes us beautiful and unique. For those who aren't receptive to understanding and accepting differences, their lack of ability to see different kinds of beauty is truly their loss!