November is National Adoption Month, and to celebrate all the beautiful adoptive families out there, BTSF will be featuring several posts discussing race, faith, and adoption. Today, we will get an overview of some of the considerations for transracial adoption, and later in the month hear form some families with first-hand experience. We welcome other thoughts, knowing that there is much to learn.
Adoption is a beautiful manifestation of God’s love for us. In the same way that God welcomes us into His family, we have the opportunity to reflect His love in a powerful way by bringing a child in need into our home. God “predestined us to be adopted as His children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” and He has a similar plan to bring families together here on earth.
Transracial adoption further reflects the beauty of God’s Kingdom by joining in unity the diversity of God’s creation. It is a unique opportunity to become intimately bound with one another, and to bear with each others’ burdens. Joining together across race to form a family offers white folks in particular a plethora of insights that they might not otherwise have. It is an opportunity for education that is wholly transformative, molding colorblind ‘not racists’ into active allies for justice.
It is important for all children to have a solid foundational understanding of the contributions of POCs to our modern society, yet this education is severely lacking in schools. Parents that are under-prepared in their own education are ill-equipped to provide such a grounding for their children. White parents adopting transracially must be vigilant in their own education for the sake of their children. They must be sure to instill in their children a self confidence, knowledge of their history, and love of their race that will serve as a foundation against the constant barrage of marginalization that comes in life.
Understandably, white parents often want to live into our hopes for the world. But without an understanding of the realities around us, this practice sets children up for a rude awakening when they inevitably encounter the racialized world. Then, when that reality hits, children are unprepared, and isolated from the support to process through it. Parents who think that racism largely consists of overt acts of hate, will be unprepared to advise/relate to (or even believe!) the daily smog of microaggressions that their child faces.
Finally, there is a historic baggage of white folk’s systematically removing Black, Asian, and Native American children from their ‘savage’ parents to raise them as ‘civilized’ white people. It is even still happening today (See: South Dakota Foster Care and Deportation Adoption). We must understand that these events effect how we approach transracial adoption (with respect and sensitivity).
I’d love to hear from our readers on this topic. There’s is a lot to delve into!