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TRANSRACIAL ADOPTION


PROVIDING YOUR CHILD WITH A POSITIVE ETHNIC IDENTITY

One of the arguments against transracial adoption is that black children need a cultural identity. It is logical that a black child should have a positive racial identity; however, it is not necessarily true that black culture is the only route to that positive identity. Several studies have indicated that Caucasian parents of African-American or biracial children usually offer those children a healthy sense of racial identity. Studies conducted by both black and white researchers, proponents and opponents of transracial adoption, show much evidence that adoptees have a strong sense of racial identity while being fully integrated into their families and communities. The studies' positive outcomes also apply to those adopting internationally.

Caucasian parents can support African-American culture and ethnic pride in their children by providing books and music about black culture, encouraging friendships with other African-American children, and participating in African-American cultural events. These activities appear to be associated with being middle class, whether African-American or Caucasian. It is questionable whether a black single parent living in poverty can provide a child with the same positive black cultural background as a white family, though a black middle-class family could probably provide more cultural opportunities and more of the subtle day-to-day experiences distinct to black communities.

 

The materials for this course have been reprinted with permission from the book The Complete Adoption Book, Third Edition, Copyright 2005, 2000, 1997, by Laura Beauvais-Godwin and Raymond W. Godwin. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Media, Inc. Co. All rights reserved. The complete book is available at bookstores on and offline.

 

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