Would you or did you adopt transracially? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Have you or would you adopt transracially?
Yes we adopted transracially 42 36.21%
Yes, we plan to adopt transracially 54 46.55%
No, we did not and don't plan to 7 6.03%
We adopted same-race but plan to adopt transracially in the future 1 0.86%
Other 12 10.34%
Voters: 116. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-02-2009, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just curious about how many parents here have or are planning to adopt transracially.

Rebecca, CPST, Navy wife to Chris, furmama to Fenway
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We plan to adopt transracially. We're open to any race which our agency has told us means AA or BR but there is a small chance we would get chosen for a child of another race or even white. It's funny because if by some chance we adopted a white child, he or she would be the only white child in the family. My brother's daughter is half Palauan, my SIL's son is half black, my BIL's son is half Asian, and DH's cousin's kids are all half black. Our family is already transracial so I hope it helps our child to feel not so out of place in his or her own family.

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Old 05-02-2009, 03:37 AM
 
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We adopted DS from Ethiopia and he is (currently) the only person of African decent in our family. We did a ton of research about transracial adoption before deciding to adopt from Ethiopia but have still been struggling with some of the challenges and completely blindsided by racist comments from complete strangers.

Mom to dd1 7/00 reading.gif, dd2 12/03 upsidedown.gif, and ds 2/07 afro.jpg - home forever 9/07
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:28 AM
 
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I adopted an African-American baby, through foster care. I did not state a preference for race (was open), but assumed that i had a good chance of being placed with a black child due to where i live and the number of AA kids in care. My current foster daughter is also AA and if she becomes available for adoption, i would happily adopt her.

So far, i havent really had any negative comments or anything. But my son is just over a year old, so i have plenty of time to hear them!

I used to not understand at all why someone would not be open to tranracial adoption, until i got my son. Now i "get" all sorts of reasons why someone might choose not to go down this path.


Katherine

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Old 05-02-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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I used to not understand at all why someone would not be open to tranracial adoption, until i got my son. Now i "get" all sorts of reasons why someone might choose not to go down this path.
: and we're only 6 months into it (with a 6mo). I love her dearly, but I'm finding out how you read about it and then you live it... and it's different.

We also adopted from foster care. We are Cauc. and stbad is Hisp. Honestly, I never expected anyone to really NOTICE--and a lot of times, they don't really (most don't say much, but you can see them looking at her and then studying us... kwim?). It's the other stuff that you think you're prepared for that you really aren't. Like mine with the ear piercing thing. Stupid little stuff. Well, so far it's little stuff. Like I said--it hasn't been that long and she's so young. Who knows how much more we're in for when she's older. I'm actually MORE concerned BECAUSE we live in a community that is heavily Hispanic. Here I thought it would be awesome and we were totally "set", but I'm starting to see where it can become complicated and difficult. And of course, some of that depends on her personality and wiring, too. There may be NOTHING difficult coming our way and we'll be fine. But suddenly I'm starting to see this stuff where I didn't really see it from the reading and I don't really know why... but it's bothersome.

I wouldn't change it because I adore her. I just wasn't as prepared as I thought. And if I feel this way at 6mo, how am I going to feel at 6yo or 16yo... kwim? And how is SHE going to feel?

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Old 05-02-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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We did. There are issues to be dealt with, but it's been a great experience. There are issues to be dealt with in any parenting.
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Old 05-02-2009, 08:26 PM
 
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One thing I was told during our training was this. Your child will have issues with race no matter which race of family he or she ends up living with. He or she will have issues of race because he or she is a minority race. You, on the other hand, will not have to deal with issues of race until you bring a transracial child into your family. Then you will deal with issues of race forever. Are you prepared to do that?

I had to say after a lot of soul searching the answer is yes. I already have to deal with issues of disability, issues of religion... nobody is free from the stinging prejudice of others. So while I know it's not going to be easy, I really do want our family to become a multiracial family. I guess that may sound naieve since we are not there yet. It probably sounds like I am talking from this lofty position of white privilege, somehow lowering myself and that is not it at all. I feel like there are almost no words to express what is really in my heart for my child.

I feel blessed that when we have talked to our extended family we got nothing but support from every single one of them. Each of them said the child will be their grandchild/neice/etc. no matter what race and they are excited for us to have a new baby.

A friend of mine who has four adopted hispanic kiddos and two adopted white kiddos was in the mall the other day and someone came up to her speaking Spanish. She laughed and said that even though she has Hispanic kids, she is still really gringo! I don't know if she plans to learn Spanish; her kids are all really recent adoptees. I loved her attitude and willingness to laugh about it though. She always teaches me so much!

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Old 05-02-2009, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So while I know it's not going to be easy, I really do want our family to become a multiracial family. I guess that may sound naieve since we are not there yet. It probably sounds like I am talking from this lofty position of white privilege, somehow lowering myself and that is not it at all. I feel like there are almost no words to express what is really in my heart for my child.
I couldn't have said it better myself. Like you said, I know it may be a bit naive as I haven't actually had to deal with the difficulties of transracial parenting yet, but I feel that I am as prepared as I can be right now. I know I have a lot to learn and that it will be a difficult road sometimes, but I just really feel in my heart that this is the right path for our family.

Rebecca, CPST, Navy wife to Chris, furmama to Fenway
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Old 05-02-2009, 09:35 PM
 
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We are caucasian and adopted our little girl from Vietnam (our 2 year old...our other little girl is our bio daughter). We plan to adopt transracially again several years down the road as well.

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:04 PM
 
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So far we have fostered Caucasian, AA, and Hispanic kids. We plan to adopt and are open to all races. Most of the kids we have inquired on have been African-American, several hispanic and very few Caucasian.

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Old 05-02-2009, 11:19 PM
 
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I selected other because I have no adopted children yet, but I have two friends who have done so, and their children are so very loved and happy--I would definitely do so if the opportunity presented itself!

Ladonna
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, all but 4 people that responded to the poll have or plan to adopt transracially. I really expected for it to be more like 60/40 in favor of same race adoption. I guess our families are more common that I thought.

Rebecca, CPST, Navy wife to Chris, furmama to Fenway
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:55 PM
 
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My Hubby and I aren't planning on adopting (financial reasons, though I'd love to, if we could), but I can say with 100% certainty, whether the child would be black, white or green, it would still be a child to love, so yes, I would adopt a child of a different race than myself, if one came my way. I know certain situations would be rough, but really, isn't that about every aspect of parenting, even famililes when the children and parents are all the same race?

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:54 AM
 
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We are waiting on a referral from Thailand so yes we are adopting transracially.

Homeschooling Momma to DD 8 years old, DS 7 years old, DS born 03/11 by adoptionheart-1.gif , waiting for DD born 07/10 and two furry labs. Wife to my wonderful husband of 12 years.
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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We adopted transracially. I would love to do it again so dd would have a sibling with the same background, but that's not likely to happen at this point.
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Old 05-03-2009, 04:01 PM
 
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I picked "Other" - my hope is to adopt a male toddler from Kazakhstan (for reasons unrelated to race), and this seems to be pretty much the only adoption situation in the world right now where you have absolutely no idea if a blond-haired blue-eyed kid or a Eurasian kid is going to walk into the room when you get there.
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:58 PM
 
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I picked "other" too. We have never stated a racial preference on any of our forms (were open from the start). When they called us about ds (not our first foster kido, but our first foster-adopt placement), they didn't tell us what race he was, but after they told me his name, I had a guess.

I went to the hospital's special care nursery, and basically just stood there waiting for a nurse to come introduce me to my baby, looking for all the bassinets without parents next to them and looking for blue name cards to indicate a boy. His skin color and hair was very different when he was first born than it is now. I wasn't sure what his race was when I met him...I didn't know until I met his firstparents. The nurses at the hospital kept making off-handed comments that ds' mom must have pegged the paternity wrong because ds looked so different than his firstfather. They told me that ds' mother looked like my dw, who has olive-toned, mildly dark skin (particularly in the summer, though in the winter she looks pretty "white"). Her paternal family and almost all of my extended family are pretty different nationalities from each other.

dd looks very much like me. When they called to place her with us, they did describe her, though to be honest I didn't really pay attention to that at all at that time. I was faaaar more interested in what was up with her case. Their description of her had absolutely no bearing on us accepting the placement.

It is hard now because people are *constantly* (to the point of it being annoying) telling me how much my kids, especially how much dd looks like me (ds could seriously be a combo of dw and myself). People sometimes assume dw is the nanny (it doesn't help that the kids call her by her first name some of the time). Maybe not in every case, but I do feel there is some inherent racism in the extent to which the same people comment again and again and again on how much we look alike. I feel like I have become much more of an activist on issues of racism since my kids arrived. Prior to that, I was an activist against racism and oppression. Now I am much bolder, and much more willing to "get personal" with folks I know in real life rather than just addressing the systemic stuff.

We're filling out new forms in our new state, slowly. We again have said we are open regarding race. My feelings on the matter are definitely more nuanced now that we are getting all these comments, etc. I do hear and listen carefully to those critics of transracial adoption. I do think it is soooo not as simple as "whether the child would be black, white or green, it would still be a child to love." More than anything, I want the best for all children. I want every child who could potentially be placed with me to be placed with me if that is the best that can be offerred to them. If I am the right parent for that child. I don't think that no matter what, I am the best that can be offerred to any child. On the other hand, there are so many complicated factors in adoption and the decision about what is best for each child. No single factor, like race, is the be-all-end-all in my opinion.

Whatever the placement, I want to know, is this the best match that can be made for this child? And there are a thousand ways to answer that one question. I am not offended by race coming into play in how that questioned gets answered, but I am looking forward to meeting my third child and totally open to whoever she or he is.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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Old 05-04-2009, 03:00 AM
 
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I can say with 100% certainty, whether the child would be black, white or green, it would still be a child to love, so yes, I would adopt a child of a different race than myself, if one came my way. I know certain situations would be rough, but really, isn't that about every aspect of parenting, even famililes when the children and parents are all the same race?
I'm reading a book (still reading...i keep it in my car to read when i'm waiting on stuff, so its slow going!) called "Telling the Truth to your Adopted or Foster Child" and in the chapter on transracial adoption, the author kind of addresses the above statement. Yes parenting in general has its challenges, but the author pointed out that above and beyond those typical challenges, that adoptive parenting adds another whole layer of challenges, and transracial adoption, another layer still. I do not fault anyone for choosing not to take on those additional challenges.

There is a movie called "Losing Isaiah" (i have issues with the movie itself, but thats another thread), in which a black birthmother is fighting to regain custody of her child from his white adoptive parents. The lawyer for the bmom asks if the child has any black dolls in the home, and the white mother gets defensive and makes some statement to the effect of "yes, he has black dolls, and white dolls, and green dolls" etc....but the lawyer points out that children dont come in green. So when people say something like "black white or purple, i'd love a child regardless"...it almost seems to me to be sweeping the very *real* issues of race under the rug as if its "just another color"...kind of a "color blind/loves sees no color" mentality, which is sort of naive. Esp with white parents adopting black children....we have such a long history there, of conflict, of power issues, just lots of stuff that people (of any race) are often afraid to talk about.

Another thing that has been bothering me a bit....in discussions of TA, people often say things like "well, once the baby gets there, your (racist or unsure) relatives will fall in love, after all, who doesnt love a baby!?"...for some reason that bothers me. I think its because, well sure, even outright racists might "love" a cute little black baby. But what about the MAN (or woman) that baby becomes? What about the adult black men and women that child sees himself reflected in, when he is growing up? Obviously, we can't force our relatives, friends, neighbors, etc to go through sensitivity training or force them to confront their own inner racism or preconceived notions. But i also think we shouldnt necessarily make it all about "a cute baby to love"....if i'm adopting an AA child, i better be darn sure i can love the adult he will become, the AA partner he may marry, the AA friends he may invite over, etc etc. (Is this making any sense?? Its well after midnight, so i fear i may be rambling.)

I also think when i was pondering parenting an AA child, that i made it so much about the bigger issues (like race and social justice issues) that i totally did not even get how the very very small issues (which are actually in many ways big issues too) can make you aware each and every day that this child is different from you, that you may not be equipped in the same way you would be with a same race child. I used to not get why white parents with black children always seemed to make it "all about the hair"...i thought, geez, its just hair. But over a year into parenting an AA child, who until recently had alot of hair (this is his "I'm really pissed at having a new foster sister look: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3297/...6f40dfa2f8.jpg and his "i cant believe you just cut off all of my hair" look: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3621/...f13988d4b5.jpg) i realize how much of a daily impact "just the hair" has on our lives. And how in many ways i often feel something as simple as how my child looks (how his hair looks, how his skin looks) is a reflection of my right and ability to parent him. And how if he were not of a different race, i would not often feel like all eyes are on us when we go out in public. I think some people choose not to adopt transracially, because they dont want that invisible but obvious label "Adopted child" out there all the time. I used to think that if someone felt that way, it was because they were trying to deny the adoption status of their child, or that they hadnt "worked through" grief about infertility. While that may sometimes be the case, i think its more often just about privacy.

This is way too long, i'll stop now.

Katherine

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Old 05-04-2009, 03:29 AM
 
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Oh wow, he is scrumtious!

I don't know, sometimes it seems daunting. Sometimes the next 20 years with DD who looks (and acts) just like me seems daunting. Parenting seems daunting!

I do think a lot about the issues with adoption and race though.

I hear what you're saying about relatives. We made sure to ask ours before we said yes to a minority race because I could imagine the hurt our child might feel if a beloved grandparent made a racial remark, even an unintentional one. To me having our family be unsupportive might be pause for consideration. So far they have been very supportive though.

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Old 05-04-2009, 11:38 AM
 
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We're Euro-American, our daughter is Korean-American. She's only 1.5 years old, though, so many of the issues related to race are still out on the horizon. We've had a few encounters where WE as parents had to deal with racial issues, but she's too young to understand them yet.

Honestly, sometimes being a transracial family feels heavy. I don't know how much of it is that we're just looking ahead to it and worrying, or what. I do a lot of reading (novels, blogs, etc.) written by Korean-Americans and Korean adoptees, and it's definitely a bigger issue than I thought it would be...even bigger than I thought it would be after reading all the adoption/race-related articles for our homestudy process.

I love incorporating another culture, learning about another culture, and having ties to the Korean-American community. I do. But sometimes, honestly, I know that it would be easier to just be parenting another Euro-American kiddo. Having to purposefully seek out relationships based on race (for our daughter's/family's benefit) has been odd at times, and I'm not a natural at it. I'm also very busy with my own life and all our kids, and sometimes the extra effort needed to reach out to Korean-American events or organizations is beyond what I feel I can do. Sometimes I feel guilty for doing a half-ass job of what I know will probably mean a great deal to her (feeling connected to the Asian/Korean-American community). I thought I'd be doing a better job than I'm actually doing.

Another thing that has been an adjustment is the realization that the dream of adopting and other lifelong dreams might not fit together because of racial issues. For example, I've always dreamt of living in the country. I grew up in a rural area, and I'd wanted that for my kids, too. We live in a big city right now, and it just doesn't feel right to me. Buuuuut....about halfway through the adoption process, we started to realize that living in a diverse area might be (probaby will be) VERY important to our daughter. So now what? Do we stay in the city and give up our dream of living out in the country? Do we move out to the country and have our daughter grow up as the token Asian girl in her school?

Or...what about having another child? We're considering it. We want it. But how will our daugher feel about being sandwiched between bio kids? And about being the only Asian, only adopted child in our family? We do not want to adopt again (finances, timelines, lots of reasons). If we had all bio kids, this would be a non-issue. But because we want to think of our daughter's happiness and security, it's a big issue.

I don't regret adopting our daughter, or choosing to become a transracial family. I just get tired, sometimes, of the thought processes and pressure, not to mention life-long weight, that comes along with the decisions and work of being a transracial family. And if I feel this way, I wonder what it will feel like for our daughter and our other children.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:59 PM
 
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I would not. I know what it is like to be cut off from your heritage and culture, basically being raised as white and yet not being treated as "white". I don't want to recreate that in my home.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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We adopted transracially but it was important to me to be able to confidentally pass on some cultural things. I was already fluent in Spanish so adopting a hispanic child was much more comfortable for me than adopting a child of any other race. It had to do with how I felt I could contribute to helping to maintain my child's birth heritage and culture.

I know I personally can love any child, as others have mentioned. But, as I entered into the adoption world I realized that I had to be prepared to do more than just love a child. I knew that my child would be facing issues that I never have nor can probably imagine.

I don't kid myself. I don't think my inherent interest and knowledge about hispanic culture and the Spanish language will alleviate all trans-race issues she will face. But, I feel like I have a much better set of tools than I would have with other races. Having studied and lived in Spanish speaking countries, I just have a lot more personal experience that I can share with her.

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Old 05-05-2009, 05:56 PM
 
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Quick question: Is it still transracial adoption if one of the adoptive parents is the same race as the child? We're so new to this. I'm white, DW is Mexican, so if we adopted/fostered a Latino child, would it be considered transracial adoption? Just wondering.

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Old 05-05-2009, 10:59 PM
 
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Yes, it still would...mostly because you're white, but it might also come down to whether or not the child is Mexican Latino or some other Hispanic heritage.

In the other forums I frequent, there are a lot of white/Korean-American couples that adopt Korean children. It's still a transracial adoption, and there are still many issues, related to race and culture, to be dealt with.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:51 PM
 
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I adopted transracially and am in the process of doing so again.

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Old 05-06-2009, 12:05 AM
 
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I plan to someday adopt from foster care and from Liberia....so yes, I would

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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Old 05-10-2009, 04:34 AM
 
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I voted "yes, we plan to adopt transracially," but that is not exactly true. We are 2-3 years away from adopting and open to a transracial child but we have not started the process, so who knows what will happen. I am open to any race but my one concern with a black child, especially a girl, is hair. I think I would have to do some research on how to properly care for it. I am not even that good with my own hair, so maybe this will be an issue with my bio-daughter anyway. Ah, she (or they) will have enough girly aunts. lol.
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Old 05-10-2009, 07:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaRose0212 View Post
my one concern with a black child, especially a girl, is hair. I think I would have to do some research on how to properly care for it. I am not even that good with my own hair, so maybe this will be an issue with my bio-daughter anyway. Ah, she (or they) will have enough girly aunts. lol.
Hair is huge and is not just a matter of caring for one's own hair (which is definitely different, as you indicate, depending on hair type/race), but also cultural traditions.

There are fortunately some classes on this exact topic in many regions. My foster-adopt office offered one periodically. Check into it!

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:47 AM
 
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Black salons are also a great resource. As are hair-related websites.
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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I answered that we are planning to. Though our situation is a little different. I am white, DH is black and DS is bi-racial. Our DFD is black. I will say I am surprised that I get more looks with her than I did with DS. I think people just assumed he was mine and with her they can't figure it out if she belongs to me or not. Then when it is DS, DFD, and me, I think people just assume both are adopted. I have no clue what people assume when DH is with us.
For us preparing meant that we made sure we have a support system in place and have friends of all different races. DH's good friend has a black daughter but just married a white woman and we have friends who are white that adopted 2 black children. So luckily, in our world families all look the same and different than ours.
I am actually very surprised how much hair does come into play. I guess I should have known by the comments I got when pregnant with DS. Honestly a girl with DS's hair would be soooooo easy to manage and I would not have had issues at all, his hair is very similar to mine, loose curls and thin. But I do find myself struggling with DFD's hair some and worry about people's judgements of my ability to take care of it and the comments I get about her hair. I am sure that will wear off and I will get into a good routine with it. I just need to manage my time better and allocate at least an extra 15 minutes in the morning for hair.
I wouldn't change it and no one in our family/social circle feels that transracial adoption is not a good fit. They all think she is great and she does fit in so well with us.

Carly, mama to DS C (5th grade), DD Miss M (07/09, fostered 1/10, adopted 08/10), and Little Miss C (11/10, fostered 01/11, adopted 11/12). Foster Son, Mr. A, age 11 placed 10/13.
My angel babies , ~01/08~ (twins), ~09/08~, and ~01/09~.

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