Many hopeful adoptive parents would happily welcome the chance to adopt a child who is of a race different than their own. If you’re interested in transracial adoption, there are essential elements to follow so that you can help your child thrive. A few of these include learning about and respecting your child’s culture, and finding ways to support their connections to it.
Today, Lifetime is giving you 4 tips on how you can have a successful transracial adoption!
1. Talk to Family and Friends
When you’re wondering if adopting outside of your race is right for you, connect with your family about what becoming a multiracial family will look like. How will they react to the changes your adoption will bring? Are members of your extended family excited about your decision to adopt, and ready to support you and your child? Do you live in a community that appreciates diversity? Is the community likely to accept the child you bring into your family?
2. Educate Yourself on Adoption
If you’ve considered transracial adoption, it helps to learn from other adoptive parents. This is especially true when it comes to life-after-adoption. Check out this webinar, highlighting the experience of three Lifetime adoptive moms, each with a different story of transracial adoption.
Remember, adopting transracially isn’t just when “a Caucasian couple adopts an African American child.” If you are open to adopting a child who may not share race in common with you, it’s important to learn as much as possible on this side of your adoption story. This Transracial Adoption Q&A webinar is a great place to start!
3. Consider Role Models for Your Child
Your child will naturally turn to you for guidance because you’re the parent. But they’ll probably have questions related to their race and culture that you can’t answer or issues that you can’t understand. Consider including adults in your child’s life who share their culture. It will give them the asset of positive role models!
4. Make Connections
Adopting a child of a different race is an excellent opportunity to explore new resources and get involved with groups in your community. Consider:
- Seeking out diverse schools in your community where you can enroll your future child.
- Participating in groups that are dedicated to racial justice.
- Joining a faith community that matches your adopted child’s heritage.
- Make connections with other transracial adoptive families with children.
Are you ready to take the first step in your journey to adoption? Start today by filling out Lifetime’s free online application.
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.