As you consider adoption for your family, you’ve likely come across transracial adoption. Maybe you’ve wondered if it’s right for you — but how do you know?
Transracial adoption is more common today than ever; recent transracial adoption statistics say that 21 percent of private adoptions are transracial. And, with high-profile adoptive parents including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Madonna, interracial adoption is more visible in pop culture, too.
The growing diversity of the United States may make these adoptions a little easier to achieve, but it’s important to know that there are some serious considerations to think about before pursuing interracial adoption in Florida. Before you decide that this is the right path for you, you’ll need to do extensive research about how to prepare for a transracial adoption and what to expect during the process and as your child grows up.
Attorney Bryan McLachlan is always available to answer any questions you have about the transracial adoption process at 727-398-0086. In the meantime, here are some things you need to know about transracial adoption in Florida to make the best choice for your family.
1. What a Transracial Adoption Is
In short, a transracial adoption is any adoption where the race or ethnicity of the adopted child is different from that of their adoptive parents. This kind of adoption can be completed through many processes — a private domestic infant adoption, foster care adoption, international adoption, stepparent adoption and more.
2. The Legal Requirements of a Transracial Adoption
In many ways, the legal process of a transracial adoption in Florida is no different than any other adoption process. However, there are certain additional aspects that may apply to your individual situation.
Most transracial adoptions will require a note in the adoptive parents’ home study that approves them to adopt a child of a certain race. This will be determined by the home study caseworker, who will ask prospective adoptive parents about their preparation for a transracial adoption, how they will raise a child of another race and other questions pertaining to a transracial adoption.
If you plan to adopt a child of another race from a foreign country, there may be additional requirements for a transracial adoption within your child’s native country. It’s best to speak to your international adoption service provider about those requirements.
Finally, if you are interested in adopting a Native American child who has tribe eligibility, you will need to adhere to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). This act governs the adoptive placement of Native American children to preserve Native American culture. Bryan can tell you more about how this act may affect your interracial adoption.
3. People Who Choose Transracial Adoption
As you’re considering adoption for your family, it’s natural that you will want to explore all of your options, including transracial adoption. In trying to decide whether it’s right for you, you might ask: Why do people choose transracial adoption in Florida?
The people who choose transracial adoption are those who are excited about building a family however they can, regardless of race or physical traits. They’re also excited about the opportunity for a multicultural family and the opportunity to learn more about other cultures and make them a part of their own life.
Transracial adoption also usually offers an advantage to prospective adoptive families: the wait time tends to be shorter. Because there are many minority children waiting in foster care and available for private infant adoption, choosing an interracial adoption opens up the number of opportunities that prospective adoptive parents have.
4. How to Prepare for a Transracial Adoption
If you decide that you want to adopt a child of another race, it’s important that you consider the extra steps you will need to take to provide a healthy, open home to them. In addition to all of the challenges you experience with a same-race adoption (talking to them about their adoption, open adoption communication, etc.), you’ll also have to manage the unique challenges that come with raising a child of a different race.
In general, here are the things you’ll need to be ready for if you pursue a transracial adoption:
- Learning about your child’s race and culture so you can integrate those aspects into their everyday life
- Your child’s different physical or health needs (for example, learning how to properly care for African-American hair)
- Explaining racism to your child and talking to your family about how to respond to insensitive comments
- Surrounding your child with diversity of all races and abilities, not just their own ethnicity
- And more
In some ways, a transracial adoption may be more difficult than a same-race adoption, but for the adoptive families who go this path, it’s an even more rewarding way of making a family. As long as you instill a sense of belonging and love in your family from the very beginning, you will be like many adoptive parents who end up seeing far more similarities between them and their child than differences based on race.
To learn more about transracial adoption, it’s recommended that you check out transracial adoption blogs and speak to parents that are currently raising a child of a different race. Here are some good blogs to check out:
It also may be a good idea to speak to an adoption specialist who can answer all of your questions about the emotional and preparatory aspects of a transracial adoption. Bryan’s partners at American Adoptions are available to you at 1-800-ADOPTION.
If you have more questions about transracial adoption, or if you are looking to start your adoption process, please contact Bryan today.