Foster care adoption

Beth Hall, Director of PACT - An Adoption Alliance, explains the challenges that can often come with transracial adoption and how to overcome those challenges
Transracial Adoption Challenges and Issues
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Foster care adoption

Transracial adoption means that adults of one race adopt a child of the different race. Usually transracial adoption means that white adults adopt children with color but not always, and it does not have to be that way. So it could be Korean-American adopting an African-American child or African- American adult adopting a Caucasian child. But most of the time we are talking about white people adopting children of colors as I said. Now, there is a couple of interesting things that come up when people adopt Transracially. One is, this is a very visible family right? We don't look like family the way that people think a family is going to look, we don't match. And that means that suddenly this family and particularly this child is receiving questions about something that's actually quite personal from total strangers, at the grocery store, on the street and they have to learn how to manage that. And that means their parents have to learn how to manage that because we can't put this on the backs of children, we have to teach children. That means, we as adults have to step up to the plate. The other things that is complicated at transracial adoption is it is about race. And guess what folks, we don't do well with race in America. We get nervous when we talked about it especially if we are white. And we are worried that we might be perceived as racist. So, it is very complicated for children to in a family where race is a prominent part of their identity because it is being called out in that feasible way that we talked about all the time.

Beth Hall, Director of PACT - An Adoption Alliance, explains the challenges that can often come with transracial adoption and how to overcome those challenges


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Beth Hall

Director, Pact - An Adoption Alliance

Beth Hall is an adoption educator who co-founded Pact, An Adoption Alliance, which is a multicultural adoption organization dedicated to addressing essential issues affecting adopted children of color. Pact offers lifelong support and placement services for birth and adoptive families with adopted kids of color. A national speaker, she is also the author of numerous articles and a book, Inside Transracial Adoption, which is filled with personal stories, practical suggestions, and theory, and delivers the message that race matters; racism is alive; and families built transracially can develop strong and binding ties. In 2010 she received the Outstanding Practitioner in Adoption Award, from the Adoption Initiative at St. John's University. She currently serves as a contributing author and advisory board member for “Adoption Clubhouse,” a project promoting positive identity in transracially adopted children for the Evan B. Donaldson Institute for Adoption and as an Advisory Board Member for the On Your Feet Foundation, dedicated to supporting birth mothers of adopted children.Commitment to family is a way of life for Beth. She is the white adoptive mom of two young adults: Sofia, a Latina, and James, an African American. Beth grew up a member of an adoptive family—her sister, Barbara, was adopted. She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and sometimes her adult children, when they are home.

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