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.