Issues faced by transracial families

Therapist & Adoptive Mother Maureen Donley, MA, MFT, explains what the most common problems that transracial families often face and how to overcome those issues
Common Issues Faced By Transracial Families
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Issues faced by transracial families

The most common issue for a transracial family is race and finding a way to authentically engage the impact of it on your family. When you are Chinese American or Guatemalan American or Ethiopian American or African American and your child is with you as a Caucasian parent, they can be more or less grandfathered into your social status and racial class. But when they are not with you and they are by themselves, they will be engaged by everyone else as a minority. And it is up to you to provide your child with the tools and the resources to integrate their racial identity and to be able to meet people and to navigate the world as a minority American.

Therapist & Adoptive Mother Maureen Donley, MA, MFT, explains what the most common problems that transracial families often face and how to overcome those issues


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Maureen Donley, MA, MFT

Adoptive Mom & Therapist

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Maureen's practice spans all ages and holds a focus in creative professionals, adoption and trauma work.  She earned her MA in Clinical Psychology with a Child Studies specialization from Antioch University in Los Angeles. She has also worked as a Counselor in both K-8 and high school settings and is finishing her third year as a Counselor at the Southern California Counseling Center working with individuals, families and couples. She completed the Family Training Program Certification there, and will hold both TRM and EMDR trauma certifications in July 2013. In addition, she is working with Jeanette Yoffe in a monthly adoption support group on the Westside, as part of her new non-profit, The Celia Foundation, dedicated to all members of the adoption constellation. Maureen also facilitates both parenting and adolescent groups at Dr. Bonnie Goldstein’s Center for Psychological Services on the Westside. 

Before joining the psychology field, Maureen's first love was the arts.  As a producer and studio exec, she was part of the Feature Animation team at Disney during the Renaissance years of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Toy Story. Maureen subsequently had a production deal at Fox under which the animated feature Anastasia was released. Prior to moving to Los Angeles to join the Mermaid team, she was based in New York City.  While there, she was on the faculty at The Juilliard School (Drama Division), and was a visiting professional for the Yale School of Drama. Maureen worked on many theatrical productions as a stage manager including the Broadway production of The Glass Menagerie with Jessica Tandy, the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Pump Boys and Dinettes and the 1st and 2nd National Tours of Cats in Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles. She says, "being part of telling timeless tales was great preparation for helping people discover the true stories of their own lives."


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