What to know before considering transracial adoption

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What to know before considering transracial adoption

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Before bringing home a baby, I would like to focus on self-inventory because the baby is not here yet. So what are we going to think about. Often we are thinking, I am sure I can love this child and that is great, love matters a lot, but it is not everything. So I asked parents to focus on four things: One is personality, are you the kind of person who likes to be out there? To be visible all the time. Do you like to talk a lot. If you do, you were probably be very well suited to transracial adoption. Because you are going to get a lot of questions and a lot of attention. If you aren't, you are going to think about how are you going to handle that if you are still going to go forward with this. So, we want to look at these hard wired things about ourselves, personality and how well do they suit transracial adoption. We also want to look at our attitude, do we fundamentally believe that people with one race is better than another? Do we fundamentally believe that families that are built by birth or genetics are better than those of the adoption? If we do, we probably need to push ourselves a little on some of those attitudes and think about how are they going to impact our child. Number three, we want to think about lifestyle. Where do we live, who do we know?Think about it, almost every one of us has had an experience where we are the only of something in a group of people. If your child of color is going to be the only in their whole life. Do you think if that is going to work, will that work for anybody? It doesn't really work, we need to think about who we know, where we live and how we live and and how is that going to work with child of color. And forth, we want to think about knowledge, what do we know so that we can make sure we are not just teaching, my African-American child about pop culture and hip-hop, I am also teaching them about other legacies of the black community that are really important to them, because we don't learn that from school we learn Euroccentric history. So we want to make sure we expand our knowledge. Those four things are what you can do the work you can do before hand and if you do, you will be more ready to have that child coming to your family.

View Beth Hall's video on What to know before considering transracial adoption...

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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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