“…whoever welcomes a child like this…. welcomes Me.”
History of Transracial Adoption
A Christian family that wants to open their homes and arms to a child does not look at the color of the child’s skin, hair or eyes. Christian families only concern is that they can offer all that child needs to grow and thrive. Indeed, most Christian families probably do not even realize that transracial adoption can be difficult and even controversial.
What is Transracial Adoption?
Transracial Adoption is the act of adopting a child whose race does not match that of the parents. Transracial adoption refers to all instances, whether the child is of African-American, Asian, Native American or European descent. If both parents do not share the same ethnic background, that adoption is considered transracial.
Transracial adoptions have become more common over the years. This is largely due to the vast number of children of minority parents who have been removed from homes and placed with foster or adoptive parents who do not share an exact biological background. Transracial adoptions also sometimes occur when adoptive parents seek international adoptions.
Why is Transracial Adoption Controversial?
Opponents of transracial adoption fear that parents will not be able to provide the care and support that is needed for minority children. It is an unfortunate fact that bias still exists in the United States. There are those that will bully and discriminate a child based on his or her skin color or perceived background. Small-minded individuals who believe the outward appearance of a person is somehow indicative of their character often present a huge barrier. Some fear that an adoptive mother and father who has not experienced this first-hand may not be able to provide the tools needed to combat this. Realistically, helping a child to cope with racism is not a matter of background but a matter of support. A caring home boosts a child’s self esteem, which is one of the best tools that child can have when they move forward in life.
Another controversy surrounding transracial adoption is the perception that the adoptive parents will not teach their child about their biological heritage. While this is a matter that is best left to the family to decide, it can be somewhat addressed with an open adoption. A Christian open adoption allows the birth mom to be a part of that child’s life. Any questions the child has about his or her ethnicity can be answered by both the adoptive parents and the birth mom.
What Steps Can a Christian Family Take?
Adoptive parents should attempt to keep a close, open relationship with the birth family. They may even consider cultivating a relationship between their child and the birth mother’s extended family. The adoptive family should also take the time to study the child’s ethnic history. They could attend cultural events, take classes or even travel to the child’s country of origin. Most of all, when it comes to matters that are as serious as transracial adoption, prayer can lead the way.