One of the great things that make our country so unique is our cultural diversity. Without it, we would not be who we are as Americans. Nowhere is our legacy of blending race and culture, more evident than in Trans-racial adoptive families. These families highlight our nation’s ability to overcome religious and racial differences and not just peacefully coexist, but too thrive.
Whether families adopt domestically or internationally, most trans-racial adoptive families consist of Caucasian parents who adopt a child of a different race. Adoptive parent’s opinions, attitudes, and perception will build the foundation for positive cultural identity in their child. Acknowledge differences in the two cultures, adding too, rather than taking away from one to give to another.
The celebration and acknowledgment of cultural differences will help enhance and empower your child as an individual. Learning specific skills such as language, important holidays, or childhood rites of passage are less likely to be beneficial to your child than the overall day to day, attitude towards people who are of the same race as your child.
Adoptive parents must nurture their child’s cultural heritage and recognize the importance of their family history or birth country. For children adopted internationally, who have no birthparent history this is especially important, even if the adopted child is not of a different race. The Birth country becomes in a sense a “surrogate” birthmother.
Just as you can not change race, your child can not become Caucasian. It is important for children’s adjustment and personal identity to identify with both cultures. Cultural competency is almost impossible without your child being was raised within the environment, but you can raise her with a strong personal identity, who possesses knowledge of her heritage, beliefs and values.
Ways to support your child’s
- Help him connect with other children, who are
of the same race.
- Look at the demographics and diversity of your
- Start or join an adoption support
- Find a role model for your child, teacher
coach, family friend.
- Incorporate it into day to day life.
- Make learning the language a game.
- Don’t force it; follow your child’s
- Keep it balanced. Too much, too fast may not
be a good thing.
- Keep it in perspective.
- Do related arts and crafts.
- Listen to folk music or ethnic.
- Start a new family tradition, incorporating
the best of both worlds.
- Take a homeland trip.
- Play dress up with costumes.
- Learn hair care and style techniques.
- Attend a cultural festival
- Find a Pen Pal
Labels: adjusting, Adoption 101, Cultural Identity, Fourth of July, Heritage, Holidays, Parenting, Parenting Teens, Positive Words