WHAT IS TRANSRACIAL ADOPTION?
Transracial adoption is adopting any child outside of your racial background. Many international adoptions are transracial adoptions because most of the world's children who are available for adoption are from China. Indeed, most transracial adoptions involving Asian children are international. Since only 15 percent of Asian births in this country take place out of wedlock, this chapter is primarily about Caucasian parents adopting biracial or African-American children born in the United States or Asian children born in another country. Many of the studies cited and issues discussed about white parents adopting black children could also apply to those adopting Asian and other international children. However, in the United States the experience of being an Asian raised by white parents can be very different from being black and having white parents. Historically, overall race relations between Asians and Caucasians have been more positive than those between blacks and whites. Asians and whites also tend not to segregate socially as much as whites and blacks. For example, Asians are less likely to live in racially distinct neighborhoods, except in very large cities.
Also, the adoptive couple's extended family members may initially be more accepting of an Asian child than a black child. Perhaps this is because interracial marriages between Asians and Caucasians have been historically more acceptable. In addition, many may feel that only African-Americans should adopt black children, a view regrettably shared by some social workers.
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.