Good News about Transracial Adoption

A study by Rita Simon and Howard Alstein came up with some conclusions that should be very reassuring for you. The adoptive parents who were still in the study after their children were grown were asked, “Thinking back, and with the knowledge of hindsight and the experiences you have accumulated, would you have done what you did — adopt a child of a different race?” Ninety-two percent said “Yes,” 4 percent said “Not sure,” and 4 percent said, “No.” A high percentage of the adoptive parents would have adopted outside their ethnic group again, even knowing the challenges and problems they would face.

Essential

Become aware of specifics about your child's heritage such as how African American parents groom their children's hair. The grooming a parent does for any child demonstrates to the world how loved and special she is, but it's especially significant for a White parent with an African American child.

Adopted adults in the study “Adoption across Borders” were asked if they thought being from a different racial background from their siblings and parents affected their relationships, and almost 90 percent said it didn't matter one way or the other. The researchers also found that the transracially adopted adults were just as likely to turn to their parents or siblings for help and support as the White adoptees or biological children in their families.

A twenty-year study of transracial adoptions (386 black children and the 204 white families who adopted them) by sociologist Rita Simon of American University in Washington, D. C., and Howard Altstein of the University of Maryland indicated that children generally do well with adoptive parents of another race and that “transracial adoption causes no special problems. In fact, it may produce adults who possess superior interpersonal skills and talents.”

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