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Transracial Adoption is the Right Choice

Are you trying to decide if transracial adoption is the right choice for you and your family? Is there a particular race, culture or ethnicity that stands out to you? Have you thought about how adopting transracially will affect your family? Your world?

Adoption Choices of Oklahoma wants to help you in any way we can. Choosing to adopt outside your own race isn’t one that can be taken lightly. There are many aspects to consider. However, we hope that this resource will be a guiding light for you.

Adoption Eligibility

The first thing to determine would be if you meet the requirements to adopt. These will vary depending on where you live, of course, so the following will only be consistent with the state of Oklahoma. Anyone who is 21 years of age and older is eligible to adopt. This includes: husbands and wives who adopt jointly, married individuals who are legally separated and same sex couples.

For more information regarding your specific circumstance, or if you have questions about Oklahoma domestic adoption laws, please be sure to consult with your lawyer and one of our adoption professionals.

Determine Your Comfort Level

Adopting transracially will present its own set of challenges. Keep in mind, though, that stepping outside your comfort zone for the sake of your child is something that comes with parenthood. Discomfort can manifest in same race adoptions just as easily. It’s all part of the journey.

So, it’s important to be as prepared as you can be, and to learn how to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Living in a diverse or multicultural neighborhood helps, too.

Learn about Your Child’s Birth Culture

Hispanic, African American, Asian, Native American. There are many different races and cultures within the realm of transracial adoption. If you are hoping to adopt from a particular race, ethnicity or culture, be sure to research all you can about it.

Find out what makes your child’s birth culture stand out. The important holidays or celebrations. Vital days in history that impacted it. Signature dishes that you can learn to cook and implement into your meal plans. Take a course that will teach you the basics of your child’s native language, or attend a community event that centers around your child’s birth culture. All of these are imperative as you are asking yourself if transracial adoption is the right choice for you. Not only will it help you bond with your baby later, but it will also give you a sense of the culture as a whole.

Talk with Family and Friends

It’s important to ask questions and seek counsel from those around you who have experienced a transracial adoption. To rely on their words and gain insight into their adoption journeys. They will be amazing resources when it comes to learning everything you can about the potential ups and downs. But, as you do, keep in mind that each and every adoption journey will be different.

That said, take in what you hear from them, and then ask if they know anyone who chose transracial adoption for additional perspectives. Look for local support groups with those who have gone before you, or who are considering adopting transracially for the first time. Every piece of information you can get can help you determine if transracial adoption is the right choice for you.

Acknowledge Racism

Time to get a little more real. How do you feel about races outside of your own? Any strong or negative emotions against any of them? Why or why not? Knowing whether or not transracial adoption is the right choice for you and your family requires being honest with yourself. Confronting every race, ethnicity and culture outside your own and truly evaluating your thoughts and opinions about each one. When you adopt a child transracially, you’ll be responsible for helping them cope with any and all prejudice, bullying and stereotypes they face growing up. You will also need to teach them how to navigate all the racial differences of your own culture.

If you have any negative feelings against other cultures, raising a transracial child will be extremely challenging.

Embrace Diversity

When a birth mother chooses to place her transracial baby with you, she is offering you two incredible opportunities. One, that she feels comfortable with you enough to raise her child. Two, that she is giving you the chance to gain a deeper understanding of her culture. Based on everything you’ve included in your adoption profile book, your child’s birth mother thinks that you will be excellent parents and raise your new son or daughter to embrace diversity and grow up with a healthy sense of racial identity and tolerance.

Is Transracial Adoption Right for Me?

How did you measure up against the segments above? Do you still feel the same passion and desire towards transracial adoption? If yes, then perhaps transracial adoption is the right choice for you and your family. If no, maybe re-evaluate why you want to adopt a child from a different race. Do some additional soul-searching and researching, and then reconsider or pursue another type of adoption.

Remember to learn all you can about the cultures outside your own. Think about which could fit best within your family, and how you would implement it into your lives. Get advice from loved ones and others who have chosen transracial adoptions. All of this will help you. But, when it comes down to making the final decision on if transracial adoption is the right choice for you — you are the only one who can truly know for sure.

Sources:

Adoption Choices of Arizona. “Is Transracial Adoption Right for Me?” Adoption Choices of Arizona, 10 Sept. 2019, www.adoptionchoicesofarizona.org/blog/2019/09/is-transracial-adoption-right-for-me/.

“Seven Suggestions for a Successful Transracial Adoption.” AdoptUSKids, www.adoptuskids.org/adoption-and-foster-care/how-to-adopt-and-foster/envisioning-your-family/transracial-adoption.

“Should You Consider Placing Your Baby in a Transracial Adoption?” American Adoptions Blog, 26 Oct. 2018, www.americanadoptions.com/blog/should-you-consider-placing-your-baby-in-a-transracial-adoption/.

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