Transracial Adoption Transracial adoption is that white parents will not be able to give a black child a cultural identity and survival skills in a racially diverse society. “Adoption, defined as the legal act of taking a child into a family and raising the child as its own (Vianna, 1981).” Black children need to learn coping mechanisms to function in a society where racism is prevalent. Black families are capable of teaching these mechanisms in everyday life without having to seek out special projects or activities. They live their lives in a white-dominated society, and their children learn by daily interactions. Even when white adoptive families actively seek out interactions and activities with black families, they put an emphasis on the differences within their family. Cultural support can be especially difficult to give if there is limited understanding of the cultural differences of family members. White couples are ill equipped in their understanding of African American culture to adequately prepare a child for life in an ethnic group other than that of the adoptive parents. Despite their best intentions, whites cannot fully understand life from a minority perspective. Over time, there has been a decline in the availability of white children to adopt. Adoption agencies cater to white middle-class prospective adoptive parents, and, because white children are not as available, the agencies try to persuade these families to adopt black children. The harm will come to transracial adoptees because of the obviousness of the adoption and the constant reminder of being adopted may be interpreted positively. A child who is of a different race will learn sooner that he or she is adopted, and being forced to recognize this will make the adoption easier to talk about, thus making for a more open relationship with the parents. It has been suggested that there are direct benefits to the child in learning early about the adoption. They include a
References: Shireman, J. F. ([995). Adoptions by Single Parents. In Single parent Families:
Diversity, Myths and Realities (ed. Hanson). New York: Haworth Press, Inc.
Simon, R.J. (1974). An assessment of racial awareness, preference, and self identity among white and adopted non-white children. Social Problems. 22. 43-57.
Simon, R.J.. & Alstein, H. (1977). Transracial adoption. New York: Wiley.
Simon, R.J., & Alstein. H. (1987). Transracial adoptees and their families. New York:
Simon, R.J. & Alstein, H. ( 1991). Intercountry adoption. New York: Praeger Publishers.
Vianna, F.M. (Ed). (1981). Tile American heritage desk dictionary. Boston, MA:
Houghton Mifflin Company.