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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, , , , ,

I like to read books where the main character has the same name as me? What you don’t??

Such blogging slackers we are–on my!!

My post actually has to do with a website update. I work at a bookstore and the other day as one of my co-workers and I were talking about the latest books we’d read she starting gushing about the new (crazy popular!) young adult title Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan (author of the Last Olympian series as well). I tend to steer clear of that genre myself, but what grabbed me the description of the main two characters. The fast paced plot follows two biracial children on this crazy magical quest.

So first I’m like awesome—the main characters are biracial.

Double score was the fact that as a twist of fate, each child looks only like the race of one of their parents. RING ANY BELLS HERE?? Immediately I’m like hey that reminds me of the article I wrote here about biracial twins born favoring only one parent in skin tone. I note to myself, put this on the topical book list asap!!

Doing that, then reminded me that here at BiFactor we’ve really slacked on getting our topical books put up. So I really wanted all of us to really get cracking on that. We’re been a bit off on it because we really want a variety of books. Not just like self help style books—but books of all styles and formats. I know when I read I am super drawn to what I like for particular reasons. I’m a budding journalist and I love reading mystery books about other women pursuing reporting positions as well. I’m a girly girl, and my heroines half the time are too. I like stories where the character has the same name as me, and if I’m lucky—also lives in Los Angeles, or Florida (my favorite vacation destination!) we like what we like right?! Now mind you I’m quite a huge time reader who simply loves written word, so granted that’s not all I read you get what I mean right? Who doesn’t like reading about something they can personally relate to?

I read this recently on a biracial themed blog, and I couldn’t agree more:

Recently, a reader asked me if I had any recommendations for books with biracial children as the characters.  I’ve always had trouble finding books like that, and it is also why long ago I decided that I would write a series of children’s books with my little Moriah as the main character–from board book to chapter book, then adding her little brother as he comes along (he’ll also have his own books).  The reader’s question confirmed the notion that there is a market for these books, and that I am not the only person having trouble finding books that are based on interracial families. Typically, most books are related to adoption, or have animals as the characters. These books also tend to focus on an issue (e.g. hair or skin color), rather than just being a “normal” children’s story with a character/family that is biracial/interracial. I think its best not to make race the central theme.

Scouring online data bases, lists, and recommendations we’ve all compiled starter lists of books I hope you will enjoy. Fiction books with bipolar protagonists, complex romances that explore the dynamics of bisexual relationships, and plenty of memoirs, and biographies to boot as well. So please refer to the right side of your screen folks, because each sub-category has a topical books link, where I hope you’ll find something enjoyable to read. More to come! We welcome additional titles you know of as well!!

–Posted by Maggie Barnes

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

How many census race boxes did you check?

Today I learned two things about President Obama.

Breaking news clued me into the fact that the President is currently in Los Angeles (where I live), to assist in a fundraising dinner for Barbara Boxer. With tickets for couples costing upwards of $35,000 to attend this fancy dinner, I can’t help but think—you know if he could just stay in town for like a week and have lots of these fancy meals with rich people, California could fix this budget mess we’re in! HA! But since that isn’t gonna happen, let’s talk about what else was brought to my attention today.

With the pricey promotional campaign currently in progress, no school age American can honestly say they haven’t heard about the 2010 Census The once every ten year census report findings provide critical data to many programs, organizations, and more. Look up at a billboard near you and you get the idea that it’s a big deal. One of the few simple questions regards race.

In the 2000 census 784,764 U.S. of the populace described their race as white and black.  (Just black and white alone, I don’t even have the stats on the other combinations!) The 2000 census was the first time an allowance was provided for more than one racial marking.

That year roughly 7 million people, or 2.4 percent of the U.S. population, chose that option.

We are a melting pot of racial heritages, many within our own personal lineage. I agree with statements that people are allowed to identify how they choose to represent themselves, but I also live by this logic: (source Washington examiner article)

“The logic is simple for Ryan Graham, the brown-skinned son of a white-black marriage who defines himself as multiracial.

“Say you’re wearing a black-and-white shirt. Somebody asks, ‘What color is your shirt?’ It’s black and white. There you go. People ask me, ‘What race are you?’ I say I’m black and white. It’s that simple,” said Graham, a 25-year-old sales consultant from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.”

Others don’t see it that way because of personal life experiences.

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

who do you think you are??

Long before the new NBC show, Who Do You Think You Are, debuted a couple weeks ago, I was already interested in my ancestry. Every Thanksgiving, heck every time I bought a can of sweet corn, I jokingly referred to my Native American background. Both sides of my parents have stated we have a lineage that includes the Cherokee tribe—but that’s about as much as they know. The corn thing is from the movie Pocahontas, because that’s pretty much all I know.

There has always been a lack of knowledge or desire for knowledge; and nothing has ever been provided or easily accessible to me. I’ve planned to actively trace those before me, but until I put more action then setting up a username and password on ancestry.com, I’ve committed to at least learn some simple basics about this ethnic group.

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

He was surprised that he liked me??

It’s Valentine’s Day and I’m single. I’m doing my best to mingle! Presently I’m venturing the online dating route with feeble success rate. A handful of men caught my attention. I bring this up today because A. it’s national couple day today and I am in pursuit of coupledom, and B. these recent gentlemen instant message/emailers are not members of my race—therefore if we are to date, we would be an interracial or biracial couple. (Me black, him white)

Everything has been going along well with one particular online man-whom we’ll refer to as Ray (not really his name). I date a lot outside of my race (white, Latino, recently Asian, but my own black as well) because I date by personality not by ethnicity, and I was encouraged by the fact that this man who initiated contact with me had revealed a prior relationship with an Asian woman. So he’s open right?

Perhaps I was naive in my assumption with his comfort level regarding interracial dating. (But let me remind you—he started flirting with ME!! Not the other way around)

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

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