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For those who are Caucasian and are considering adopting a biracial child of white and black heritage, there are some considerations that need to be explored. According to Beth Hall of Pact, An Adoption Alliance, Inc., which places children of African, Asian, and Latino heritage, children are identified by the racial background that they most resemble. Most biracial children appear to be black and will therefore be identified by others as black. In our culture, which is very race conscious, to be identified as black is a very different experience from being identified as white.

Hall asks prospective adoptive parents to explore their reasons for wanting to adopt a biracial child, as opposed to one who is fully black. She says perhaps it is because a white couple has difficulty accepting the "blackness" of that child. If a family has difficulty with the "black" part of the child, that message is going to be sent to the child in some form.

Hall's organization does not permit couples to select a birth mother who will deliver a biracial child instead of a black child. She believes that to accept a biracial child is to accept his black and white background equally, meaning that parents should feel comfortable adopting either racial background. Some biracial children, after all, look fully black. A white couple needs to be willing to accept the biracial child regardless of what she looks like.


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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