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breakdown of the middle ground.

biracial and transracial adoption–the other white meat

A happy family! (photo via flickr)

We look up to our parents for many things. For guidance, support, learning; they are the first role models we ever get. We react to their behavior around others, we hear the words they say, and whether we always like it or not, they’re actions affect us to the core.

When children grow up with parents of two heritages, they are presented with that much more. Wishing to not embrace stereotypes of any kind, but to bluntly put it, black children don’t learn how to be black from hanging out with Asians, and those of Spanish origin won’t get their love your race pride from being in a 100% white surrounding. Plainly speaking your parents or parental figures are going to be the ones that initially in life provide you with your racial identity.  So it’s extra important, when composed of a dual race, that role those same role model ideals are presented for each heritage—wouldn’t you agree?

Pactadopt.org, an adoption alliance organization, says in their experience black children growing up with white parents don’t have the same intimate connection to their black heritage, no big shocker there…  Biracial adoptees have stated that sometimes they believe its okay to forget about the black/Latino/or Asian, part of themselves, and instead focus on the white part—that is “just like” their white adoptive parents. Maybe you’ve heard this before from biracial children and adults who were raised by a single parent, and that’s all they saw. Monkey see, monkey do. (That’s kind of crude sounding I’ll admit, but do you get my point?)

Many factors complicate things. Having a biracial child complicate things; forget about what people may think about you, when you have a kid its all about them. If you don’t do anything else equally in your life, when deciding to have a child, or adopt one, ridiculously careful consideration must be taken, (at least should be in my opinion!), take into account how you’re going to be that role model they need. There are many things we change, forget, don’t agree with, are taught and shown to us by are parents, and even while plastic surgery can change your features, you race is always going to stay the same.

Here’s a question found online poised to Pactadopt.org:

We are looking to adopt transracially. Our first child is biracial (African American and white) and we are both white. We think it would be easier if we adopted another biracial child but our social worker has suggested that we consider a baby who is fully African American. Can you give us insight as we make our decision?

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Filed under: bi-racial, Maggie Barnes, , , , ,

9 Responses

  1. Kevin says:

    I’m confused about post. I am not too sure what your point is. I am a biracial adoptee and have never said it is ok to forget about my black side and just connect with my white side.

    Society perceives me as black and I will never pass for white so to ignore my black heritage will catch up with me. Having a biracial child vs an African American means very little. Both children will be precieved as black. I know of an agency that will not allow parents to adopt biracial children if they are not open to adopting aa children because they both come with the same issues and to think raising a biracial child will be easier than an aa child is naive.

    Both biracial and aa have to be connected to their culture.

  2. maggie.maddie.eliza says:

    First of all–thanks for the comment! Let me see if I can clarify a bit better here…I was aiming to illustrate several points. Regardless of how “society” views you, doesn’t automatically dictate how “connected” you may or may not feel on an emotional level(not even biracial) raised by their natural parents, but in all white communities may grow have the possibility of not feeling connected–or even just comfortable, around their own race–I know people in this situation. One person in fact her friends call her the whitest black girl they know. Even admitting by her behavior that they forget she’s “black” because she doesn’t act “stereotypically” black in their eyes) So my point there is if someone of solely one race can feel more connected to a totally different one, so can someone of a mixed race—regardless of their skin tone. The part I said about adoptees feeling like its okay to forget about their non white race—came from pactadopt.com, their program, and people who’ve been involved with them. This is what various people have admitted to them themselves. (I would never assume to say just say that)

    It’s not the fact of forgetting your race, but eagerly embracing both in all outlets. Clearly a biracial (black and white) person can’t forget they’re black, but they should down play the white either. (Hence why I don’t refer to our President as our first black President, he’s our first biracial President, and that’s the fact)
    I try to highlight as best I can in my posts that biracial doesn’t only refer to only black and white, as most assume (as is they dialogue in a lot of the refer to unfortunately). if you’re two races, you’re biracial. so even if a white/Latino or white/Asian are adopted and they do have more chances of passing for white to society. Still both races should be embraced.

    And when I say “embrace” I mean activity participating in both communities–outside of positive words and actions inside the home. Participation to foster feelings of inclusion in BOTH races. And no matter what race your parents are, it doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of assisting in this, and especially if they’re another race the parent should be ready to activity do this, and I support their decision to except this additional challenge.

  3. la india blanca says:

    The point about being one race doesn’t necessarily mean you identify as such is completely true. I have two half Spanish half Scandinavian friends (both one night stand babies) who funnily enough fully identify with their ever absent fathers’ Spanish culture. If monkey see monkey do is the rule for racial self identification than how come so many dual heritage people I know identify with their absent side up to the point of saying they will only teach their children Spanish (which by the way is learnt from an intensive course and broken while thier Danish is perfect)?

  4. […] biracial and transracial adoption – the other white meat (bifactor.wordpress.com) […]

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  7. Christ says:

    This is wrong wrong wrong in many ways. First of all – get your own picture. I know this picture isn’t yours because it’s my cousin. Second – I know MANY transracial adoptive families and they are very well rounded and teach their children about all people – especially the people they come from. Get real.

  8. DeAnn says:

    That is one way to look at it, but this is America…the melding pot. Children in America should be learning equality, they should be learning to be color blind. Your nonsense here only promotes the idea of segregation. Why should blacks need to learn how to be black…why should Asians learn to be Asian….we can value our cultural differences, we can share traditions, and take pride in who we are as individuals, and appreciate the families, belief systems, and culture that shaped us…..life is NOT black and white. Life is variety, it is a gradient rainbow of one color, concept, belief, culture becoming another. It is only definable based on our perception…learn to look a little deeper than just black vs white…..and by the way, I know this family, and I held this baby the day he was born. I am white….well I am German, Hungarian, Native American, English, Irish, Scottish, and a whole lot more, so I am biracial, But none of that matters, that is not what I stand on for my identity. I am a person, a mother, a friend, and the list could go on. The sooner people stop segregating themselves, the offenses of perceived segregation will trickle out and die. If we all accept and mix…really mix as people…the sooner we will all be truly “one race”. I challenge to define race, than find one person on this planet who is not biracial. Certain traits run strong within groups of people throughout separate regions, bit when you bring them all together, new variations, new possibilities, a bigger picture thanost are able to see begins to form…Don’t pick on people for providing warmth, love, care, and devotion to a child that needs a home. His birth mother choose this couple to have her some raised by, and they do keep him connected to her, and his other 8 siblings, in a cultural rich city. He is a strong amazing little boy that is happy, successful, and full of love and compassion. He is truly color blind, and I am glad that you took their picture, because they are the poster child that makes both your point, and mine. Take an eraser, try to undo the hard line that was drawn in your mind, and be open to the idea that your perception has a little room to grow. Promote love, use your blog to encourage, lift up and inspire. The world has plenty of critics, what we need are resources. How can u become a recorce to these children and families instead of an opinionated finger pointer :). Just a little food for thought.

  9. Dave Gerhart says:

    please remove this image. I own the exclusive rights to this photo.

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