Acknowledging white privilege in interracial adoption

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Acknowledging white privilege in interracial adoption

White privilege is something we use to describe unearned benefits that people who are white get simply because they're white. For many of us who are white, we don't notice. What does white privilege look like? It looks like when I walk into a store or a restaurant, I expect to be treated with respect, and generally I am. I expect to be given the best available table, and generally I am. I expect to go to the mall and not be harassed or followed in a store if I'm just browsing and not buying, as if I'm stealing something. That's not always true for people of color. Therefore, white privilege. It's important to think about white privilege as a white parent parenting a child of color, because fundamentally my experience of life is different than my children's. And that has everything to do with how I'm going to be a good parent to them. If I don't get that first important piece, I'm going to have trouble understanding what's happening to them, what they're feeling, what they're experiencing, and how they might respond to it. If I understand what it is and name it, just like we do with kids. We have to name things for ourselves too.

See Beth Hall's video on Acknowledging white privilege in interracial 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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