Interracial adoption, sometimes referred to as “transracial adoption”, is the adoption of children of a different race from that of their adoptive parent, and it is becoming more common. In such cases, parents adopt children who are not only of a different genetic line but of a different racial background as well.
Why adopt interracially? In 2012, 25.5% of children in foster care in the United States were of African American descent while 41.5% were considered Caucasian. By being selective with race and ethnicity, families limit their chance of being matched with a waiting child. Likewise, children linger in foster care that much longer.
In the past, many people of all races had doubts about the effectiveness and stability of families created by different roots. Now we know that interracial adoptions may have wonderfully positive effects on the child, family, and community. However, careful consideration of whether it is right for your family is important.
Future parents thinking about interracial adoption should consider three factors. Adopting a child of a different race requires many unique efforts on the part of the parents. Exposing the child to his/her own customs is important to preserve their native culture. Interracial adoption is a community effort, and parents should think about whether they are willing and able to give their adopted children the appropriate exposure to their birth culture.
Secondly, the adoptive family and the child will need to learn to cope with the potential psychological effects of looking different than one another. Sadly, prejudice still exists, and this can surely be another obstacle that is difficult for some families to overcome.
Adopting a child of another race diversifies a family and allows all its members to love based on unconditional bonds rather than on blood relationships. Often, families can be matched with a child more quickly if they are open to all races.
If you have adopted interracially, either domestic or foreign, we would love your input!