Transracial Adoption: What is it?

Print anything with Printful

Transracial adoption involves parents of one race adopting a child of a different race or ethnicity. It is controversial, with proponents arguing that it can provide a better life for the child and promote integration, while opponents argue that it can strip the child of their heritage and lead to cultural isolation. Adoption across international and racial boundaries is also criticized for being easier and less expensive than domestic adoption. Parents who choose to adopt transracially should carefully consider the cultural and racial issues involved.

A transracial adoption is an adoption in which the placed child is of a different race or ethnic origin from the parents. Most commonly, transracial adoption involves White parents and Black, Latino, or Asian children. Often, a cross-racial adoption is also cross-cultural, with the adopted child being from a different country or culture, as well as a different racial background.

One of the places where transracial adoption is most common is the United States, where families have been adopting children of different races since World War II. Many early transracial adoptions involved parents who simply wanted to help needy children, regardless of their backgrounds, and often the children were integrated into existing families with non-adoptive siblings. With the Vietnam War, adoption outside the United States became even more common, and childless parents also began transracial adopting.

Transracial adoption is a controversial issue. Proponents of cross-racial and cross-cultural adoption argue that adoption should be colorblind, because adoptive parents simply want to help a child in need or do some good for the world. They also point out that many cross-cultural adoptions involve taking children out of bad situations and that such adoptions can sometimes give a child a better chance in life. Additionally, transracial adoption can help break down barriers between races, fostering integration and greater understanding.

However, there are some sensitive cultural and political issues involved in transracial adoption. Many transracial adoptees and concerned activists have expressed unease at the idea of ​​removing children of their racial and ethnic backgrounds, because it can strip them of their heritage. Parents of a different race, opponents of transracial adoption argue, can never fully understand their children’s culture and heritage and may not prepare their children for discrimination. Their children may also be viewed as outsiders by people of the same race, and some transracial adoptees have said they feel “stolen” and isolated from their culture by their well-meaning parents.

Adoption across international and racial boundaries is also perceived by some people as easier and less expensive than adoption within their own race. As a result, some people decry transracial adoption, suggesting that parents are trying to cut corners and that doesn’t speak well of it. Indeed, the standards for international adoption are very high and there are often not enough children available for domestic adoption; parents may also attempt to adopt nationwide and be stymied by regulations such as those that prohibit parents over 40 or gay couples from adopting.

Parents who decide to adopt transracially often do a great deal of soul searching before taking the plunge. A cross-racial adoption can be a very educational experience for both the parents and the child, especially when the parents think about racial and cultural issues before starting the adoption process. For those who believe need is colorblind, the many successful transracial adoptions around the world illustrate that sensitive parents can go a long way.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content