Fundamentals of Adopting a Child of Another Race – Biracial Adoption
With February being Black History Month, I wanted to take a minute to start a conversation on adopting a child of another race. I hope that with conversation and education, I can authentically prepare you and your loved ones for what this adoption process may look like. My goal is not to make a statement that I am the moral authority on such a complicated subject but to help families understand the fundamentals of adopting a child of another race.
One of our Expectant moms told the adoptive family, “I went through your family profile book, and I knew you were white, but I chose you because of your family and not your skin color.” This mom wasn’t concerned about color; she chose a family based on what was best for her child.
Many still have questions and reservations about the cultural impact of adopting a baby of a different race. They often want to ensure they are creating a family dynamic that sets the child up for success. It is a lifelong journey with all sorts of challenges along the way. However, we at Destiny Adoption have personally witnessed the unspeakable joys and deep love that far outweigh anything negative. It is a road worth traveling down if fate presents you with this choice.
Race may be irrelevant when it comes to your decisions regarding adoption. It certainly should not impact your bond and love for the child. Nevertheless, you must develop a veracious appetite to educate yourself and the close friends and family in the community around you. At Destiny, we know that adopting and parenting a child of another race requires even more education, understanding, and humility.
Educate You and Your Close Community
So you are ready and want to prepare yourself and your family to adopt a child of another race potentially. You (and your partner/spouse) know that you know enough to potentially say yes to creating a family in a non-traditional way. Still, you also know you don’t know enough to set yourself, your family, and your child up for a successful life together.
So, I have to say it… preparation, preparation, preparation…YES. HOMEWORK. We have some fantastic books you can get on audio, kindle, or hard copy that we not only recommend but have read and used to educate ourselves.
We recommend reading and sharing these books with your family and close friends that will be an integral part of the village that helps raise and pour into your child.
–Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad (Click for link to buy book)
–How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi (Click for link to buy book)
–So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (Click for link to buy book)
The work and time you put in during this chapter of the process will be the most valuable investment in your journey of adopting a child of another race.
Fight to Understand
As you begin to educate yourself, you will have moments where what you read directly confronts a core belief you have held closely.
Often in these moments, we believe that “love should be enough.” In a time when the spotlight is brightly shining on systematic racism and bigotry, we have to realize that “love” looks like something. On this profound emotional issue we are facing as a nation, love looks like fighting our own inherent bias and subtle racism and keeping our hearts wide open to new information and perspectives from voices of color.
Sometimes a person of color will offer a perspective that is downright offensive or seems like it is from an unsafe emotional place. These often can become the most landmark moments in changing our hearts and minds if we hear the intent and spirit behind the statement and voice and push past whatever offends our unbeknownst privilege.
Listen with Humility
“I have a black friend!” “I voted for a black president!” “I don’t see color!” “All lives matter!”
These are all telltale signs that we are more concerned about appearing that we are not racist and not listening and confronting racism. Now, wait, this is not a statement to bring shame or make you or me feel bad if that has been our wall of defense. It is an invitation to realize that we may have skipped the listening part because we were afraid that we would look ignorant and labeled as a bigot if we had honest conversations.
I promise you that most people of color would rather have an honest conversation and be genuinely listened to, even if you accidentally say something not aligned with the modern justice movement than make sweeping broad statements like those above and never listen to hear.
Suppose you or I truly and honestly want to listen and be educated by the black community. In that case, you will find people eager to give you grace upon grace in the process of us broadening our perspective and caring enough to put aside our predisposed worldview. The people of color we have worked with are gracious and have helped us gently remove our sandals from our mouths many times. Usually, with a soft touch on the arm, we are corrected and offered an opportunity to, yet again through listening, put an inherent and subtle bias in our language to rest. Yah!
Lastly, your child will grow to a place where you can see and celebrate their color. “I don’t see color,” you will find out, is not a good thing as there is nothing wrong that the world being filled with every color of God’s beautiful tapestry, and you may get the opportunity to raise and learn from one of those colors.
This journey is a privilege and truly an incredibly eye-opening and heart-shaping experience that, if you are passionate about it, will be worth the education, understanding, and listening required for creating a family by adopting a child of another race.
We at Destiny give the freedom to our expectant moms to choose the right adoptive family for them and their child, and we also offer our adoptive families the freedom to choose the right child for their family without shame or judgment. It must be the perfect match, or it is not a Destiny adoption.
Here’s to education. The path to a better world.