Are Those Kids Yours? I am asked that question all the time! I am the mother of four children who came into my family through inter-country adoption. I have three children who were born in China and a son born in Guatemala. I don't look like any of my children!
Families formed through transracial adoption are viewed as different from society's norms and thus are the target of many questions. Our society’s definition of a family, although changing, continues to be of adults (of a certain age) parenting children who resemble them and share the same ethnic and cultural heritage. However the definition of many adoptive families, includes adults (of various ages) parenting children whom they love and cherish regardless of ethnicity or cultural heritage.
Families formed through transracial adoption are viewed as different, unique, atypical, and unusual by most persons in our society. This difference peeks curiosity and many, many questions. So how do you as an adoptive parent of child who has a different race then yours answer these sometimes difficult, insigthful, intrusive, and silly questions?
Considerations When Responding to Questions
- Your child’s privacy is paramount
- Your child’s right to choose if, when, how, and who will respond is critical
- Your child’s emotional well-being supercedes a stranger’s curiosity
- Your child’s adoption story belongs to them
Strategies for Success
- Be truthful
- Provide generalizations
- Create positive images
- Role play with their your child prior to a potential question and allow them to respond (if they wish)
- Invite others to open their home and heart to a child
- Use humor
- Deflect or ignore negative questions/comments
Every family is unique. Families formed through transracial adoption may look different but they are special and strong.
In addition to being an adoptive mom, I am an Adoption Social Worker with Family Connections, Inc. Family Connections is an authorized New York State adoption agency that has achieved Hague Accreditation from the Council on Accreditation. They Agency has been supporting families formed thorugh transracial adoption since 1994. The Agency provides services for families throughout New York State including in Cortland, Syracuse, Binghamton, Elmira, Corning, Rocehster, Albany, Watertown, New York City and all tows in between. Family Connections, Inc. provides home study and post-placement services for families adopting domestically and internationally. The Agency also has a Domestic Infant Placement Program. In addition the agency offeres Primary Provider services for families adopting from Pakistan and Ukraine. The agency also offeres adoptive parent training services.
To talk with me or my collegue, Anita, about transracial adoption or adopting a child, please contact us at 607-756-6574 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to speaking with you.