Culture Plays a Major Role in Child Development

The arguments against transracial adoption seem to be mainly about preserving a specific culture rather than about the genetic make up of the child and the prospective parents. Those who argue against it say that by placing a child in a family of a different race, the adoptive child loses his connection with his racial group and heritage, and that group's culture is eroded by this loss.

It is important that you think about the ramifications of this type of adoption. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is my attitude toward the culture of my child's biological family?

  • How will my extended family respond to a child who is different than they are?

  • How will my neighborhood and town react to a child of a particular race?

  • What steps will I take to promote attachment and cohesiveness within my family?

  • What can I do to help my child feel connected to her cultural and racial background?

  • As you answer these questions, keep in mind that, according to Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall, experts in the field of transracial adoptions, children adopted by parents from a different race live with two racial realities — one from their family of origin and one from the family they are adopted into. These children can't choose between their families and their race without experiencing serious psychological harm. As an adoptive parent, it's your job to make sure your child never has to choose, and that she can accept and live with both realities.

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