Racially and culturally diverse adoption refers to placing a child who is of one race, culture, or ethnic group with adoptive parents of another race, culture, or ethnic group. A study published by the Institute for Family Studies found that 44 percent of the adopted children surveyed were adopted by parents of a different race. Racially and culturally diverse adoption forever changes families and requires a commitment to lifelong learning. Prior to placement and throughout the parenting journey, parents who have adopted a child of another race, culture, or ethnic group must commit to deepening their own understanding of different races, cultures, and ethnicities in order to support their child or youth’s exploration of their own identity. Find resources in this section to help families nurture healthy cultural identity development.
Adopting a Child From a Different Ethnicity
Explores how current and future adopters can help foster children of different ethnicities. The resource discusses topics such as racism & prejudice, and tips on how to best address the needs of the child.
Advice to Parents Adopting a Child of Another Race
Describes a social work professor's transracial adoption experience and her suggestions for supporting a transracially adopted child.
Disproportionality and Race Equity in Child Welfare
National Conference of State Legislatures (2021)
Examines disproportionality and disparities among racial groups and provides recommendations on how to address these in child welfare systems.
The Multiethnic Placement Act 25 Years Later: Trends in Adoption and Transracial Adoption (PDF - 690 KB)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (2020)
Provides a summary of findings upon reviewing the Multiethnic Placement Act and resulting trends for adoption and transracial adoption.
Parenting in Racially and Culturally Diverse Adoptive Families
Promoting Adoptees’ Well-Being in Transracial Adoptive Families (PDF - 516 KB)
The Future of Adoption
Rudd Adoption Research Program, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Discusses the critical responsibilities facing parents of transracially adopted youth. The paper concludes with suggestions for what parents can do to support their adopted child's identity formation.
Racism and Microaggressions in Transracial Adoption
Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York (2020)
Presents a series of resources for foster, kinship, and adoptive parents who do not share the same race as their children and want to learn more about racially and culturally diverse families. The resources cover confronting racism, promoting racial literacy, parenting a child of another race, promoting positive identity formation, and more.
Raising Our Multicultural Family: Transracial Adoption Story [Video]
Shares the challenges one family faced in adopting a child of a different race and raising a multicultural family.
The Realities of Raising a Kid of a Different Race
Explains an adoptive mother’s experience with raising a transracially adopted child.
Seven Suggestions for a Successful Transracial Adoption
Provides a list of suggestions for prospective adoptive parents on things to consider while preparing for a transracial adoption. Suggestions include finding mentors and role models for your child, making new connections in your community, and keeping children talking.
Supporting the Identity of Children Adopted Transracially
Focuses on a training to help families and child welfare professionals address issues related to identity and self-confidence related to transracial adoption.
Things to Consider When Adopting Transracially
VeryWell Family (2021)
Discusses both the positive aspects and things to consider for families who are looking to transracially adopt.