Supporting Transracial and Transcultural Adoptive Families
Some families may be subject to more public scrutiny if family members differ from "traditional" families or when adopted people are of a different race, culture, or ethnicity than one or both of their adoptive parents. These families may face some unique challenges as children, youth, and young adults search their identity. Find information in this section on supporting transracial and transcultural adoptive families, including State and local examples.
Information Packet: Domestic Transracial Adoption (PDF - 98 KB)
National Resource Center for Foster Care and Permanency Planning (2002)
Includes information on the challenges children face when they are adopted transracially and offers strategies for supporting families who have adopted children from different races or ethnic backgrounds.
Provides educational resources and ongoing support to all those whose lives are influenced by adoption.
Adoptment (Adoption Mentoring)
Fostering Change for Children
Supports foster youth by providing advocacy and enrichment from caring adults who have a personal connection to adoption and/or foster care through a specialized mentoring program.
Beyond Culture Camp: Promoting Healthy Identity Formation in Adoption
McGinnis, Smith, Ryan, & Howard (2009)
Presents findings from a study of identity development in adopted adults in the United States from the perspective of adult adopted people.
Cultural Socialization in Families With Internationally Adopted Children
Lee, Grotevant, Hellerstedt, & Gunnar
Journal of Family Psychology, 20(4), 2006
Examines cultural socialization attitudes, beliefs, and parenting behaviors in families with internationally adopted children. The article makes recommendations for changes to adoption policy and practice based on the findings.
Mixed Roots Foundation
Seeks to support organizations that serve as a resource to the adoptee community, create more awareness of the adoption experience, and inspire the next generation of adoptees to become leaders in the community.
Transracial Adoption and Foster Care
Provides guidelines to child welfare professionals for serving transracial adoptive and foster care families.
Transracial/Transcultural: Voices of Professionals
New York State Citizens' Coalition for Children
Provides articles and essays by adoption professionals on raising children in multiracial and multicultural families.
WISE UP Powerbook
Center for Adoption Support and Education (2008)
Designed for adopted children, this workbook presents the W.I.S.E. Up technique for responding to questions or comments about adoption. The strategy outlines four different options for responding to adoption queries: Walk away or Ignore what is said or heard; say it's private and don't answer; Share something about the adoption story; and Educate others about adoption in general. The Center for Adoption Support and Education also provides train the trainer workshops on how to use the WISE-UP model with families.
State and local examples
Benefits of Pact Camp
Explains the benefits of attending Pact Camp for adopted children of color and their families.
Pact, An Adoption Alliance
Brings together families with adopted children of color to share their experiences, learn from experts and each other, and enjoy each other's company. Parents hear from speakers and have conversations about parenting, adoption, and race; kids have opportunities to find other kids who are like them in significant ways.
Rice Paddy to Kung Fool Mask: Race and Cultural Awareness in International and Transracial Adoption Communities
Family Practice: Innovations & Challenges, 9(1), 2004
Outlines examples of the tensions related to transracial adoption, demonstrates the advantages of connecting a transracial adoptive community with a community of color, and discusses the responsibilities of adoption professionals in helping adoptive parents develop cultural competency as well as a deeper understanding of the complexities of race, ethnicity, and culture.
Transracial Parenting in Foster Care and Adoption: Strengthening Your Bicultural Family (PDF - 510 KB)
Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association (2008)
Provides tips in a guidebook format to help parents and children in transracial families learn how to thrive in and celebrate their bicultural family; children to gain a strong sense of racial identity and cultural connections.
Child Welfare Information Gateway encourages States and localities to submit information on their postadoption initiatives for inclusion in the Information Gateway library and website to share with their peers across the country. Send information to email@example.com.