5 Tips For Birth Mothers Pursuing a Transracial Adoption
There are a whole host of circumstances to worry about when a birth mother decides to pursue adoption, and the fact of the matter is that this can be a stressful process. Choosing your child’s adoptive parents is one of the most stressful parts of the adoption process for many birth mothers because it can feel like the finish line like this is what the process has been building up to. This is the case across many forms of adoption for many birth mothers, but in some cases, the stress can increase when a birth mother is considering transracial adoption. Transracial adoption is when a birth mother places her child for adoption with adoptive parents who belong to a different racial group than their child. This may not have to be done internationally for it to be considered a transracial adoption, as many transracial adoptions occur within the United States each year. If you are a birth mother considering transracial adoption, this article is for you.
At Adoption Choices of Oklahoma, we understand that each adoption has its own specific circumstances. Our job is to be considerate of these many factors to tailor the process to your specific needs. You deserve the satisfaction of knowing that you chose the right parents for your child, and your child deserves the best possible parents that the system can provide. Hopefully, keeping some of these tips in mind will positively influence how you navigate transracial adoption.
1: Speak With People Who Understand Transracial Adoption
If transracial adoption is a foreign concept to you, then it may be good to gain all the information you can about this form of adoption and what it looks like long term. Speaking to families who underwent a transracial adoption is a great resource if you have the option. They can illuminate the reality of transracial adoption for you, at least from their perspective. If you don’t have this option, then reading the many stories you can find online will be another great resource. You won’t know if transracial adoption is right for you or your child unless you gain some perspective on the situation, so speaking to people who understand transracial adoption will be invaluable.
2: Make a List of “Must Haves”
If you are a birth mother who is a person of color, you likely understand the racial tensions that exist within the United States. You probably also want to ensure that your child never feels alone or “other” with their adoptive family because of their race. A great way to avoid these potential pitfalls and build confidence in your choice of an adoptive family is to create a list of “Must-haves.” Here’s how it works: you make a list of qualities you feel the adoptive parents must have as well as factors that relate to your child’s race that you feel the adoptive parents must consider. Of course, you can change this list however you see fit, but the point is that you have a solid idea of what you want the adoptive parents to understand before you place your child with them. Seeing how these parents answer your questions and how they may navigate the “must-haves” that you listed can be a great way to narrow down your search for adoptive parents as well as gain a clearer idea of what you want for your child’s future.
3: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions about the Adoption Process
This tip goes well with the one listed above because it extends the above point. Once you have your standards set and have a clear idea of what you want your child’s life to look like, begin asking as many questions as possible. Think of choosing adoptive parents as an interview process. You need to see if these parents are right for your child, and that begins by being open with them about what you need out of them and seeing how they respond. Don’t be afraid to discuss topics that may be uncomfortable because it is always better for you to ask the adoptive parents now than for your child to have to grapple with these questions later.
4: Be Open With Yourself
The adoption process isn’t just about asking prospective adoptive parents question after question; it is also about digging deep and asking yourself questions that may be difficult to answer. This is no different from a transracial adoption. When pursuing a transracial adoption, you should ask yourself a series of questions to see where your head and heart are at. These can be questions like: Am I fine with my child being raised by parents of a different race? How is my culture important in my own life, and how can I pass that on to my child? Do I want to play a role in their life to make sure this part of their identity is nurtured? Only you can find answers to these questions, and doing so will be important in deciding how to approach your transracial adoption.
5: Ask Them About Their Own Culture
This tip cannot be understated because it is truly important to understand the family that you are potentially placing your child with. In many cases, how adoptive parents handle and place importance on their own culture can determine how they will approach your child’s culture. Adoptive parents who are used to celebrating their culture and integrating their racial or ethnic identity into their every day lives may have a perspective on race that can enrich their child’s life. Asking these questions can also be a great way for you to begin developing a relationship with your child’s adoptive parents.
Transracial Adoption Resources
If you are a birth mother considering transracial adoption, it is only natural that you would also be wondering what resources are at your disposal—like always, reaching out to an adoption agency near you and speaking with one of their many adoption specialists is always a great choice. At Adoption Choices of Oklahoma, our specialists will work with you and give you compassionate, informed care that will allow you to feel comfortable every step of the way. Whether you are curious about your unplanned pregnancy options or have any other questions you would like to voice, our specialists are here to help.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is a private adoption agency, licensed by the state of Oklahoma and a leader in the adoption community. We have been assisting birth parents, children, and adoptive families in Oklahoma for over 19 years. Our staff members are committed to providing an ethical, empowering, and personalized adoption experience to all involved in the adoption process. If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.
Toll-free: 800-898-6028 | OKC Local: 405-755-1999 | Tulsa Local: 918-447-7777 | Text: 405-201-6643| Email
Meet the author: David T. Garcia is currently a student at Syracuse University working towards his degree in English with a concentration in film. He is a resident of Northern New Jersey and spends much of his time in New York City, whether it be for business or pleasure. David is looking forward to graduation so he can begin his life and pursue his ambitions. He has dreams of moving out to New York City and working as a young professional in the content writing space while also working on his own screenplays. In his free time, David enjoys spending time with family as well as watching movies and reading books. He has a passion for travel and looks forward to new experiences.