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.
25 Helpful Resources for Transracial Adoptive Families
American’s Adoption Agency (2017)
Compiles a list of resources to help prospective and current transracial adoption families prepare for the possible challenges and realities throughout the adoption process.
The Adopted Life Videos
The Adopted Life
Features a web series comprising conversations between transracially adopted youth and the series creator, Angela Tucker. Discussions include various topics centered on adoption.
Helping Your Adopted Child Maintain A Cultural Connection
Offers ideas on how adoptive parents can help their child learn about their culture, such as seeking out events and reading books that celebrate your child’s ancestry.
Preserving the Culture of Your Adopted Child
Adoption Choices of Nevada
Provides information on how parents can help promote and bring positive attention to the birth culture of their adopted child.
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 Multiracial Family - Transracial Adoption Story [Video]
Presents a family’s account of the challenges they encountered as a multiracial 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.
North American Council on Adoptable Children (2017)
Shares blogs, videos, books, and websites by transracial adoptees.