Adoption through foster care

Beth Hall, Director of Pact - An Adoptive Alliance, shares advice for parents on how to help develop a positive racial identity in your child
Develop A Positive Racial Identity In Transracial Adopted Kids
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Adoption through foster care

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What we know about positive racial identity among people of color is that it's different than the way white kids develop positive racial identity. By the way, white people have a racial identity too. We just don't pay attention to it in this country because we are white-centric or euro-centric in this country. What that mean is, when you are part of a targeted group, you need some extra things to feel good about yourself. It begins with noticing. Many people of color, if you interview them, "Do you remember when you first noticed race?" Often, when they first noticed race is, unfortunately, a painful and negative experience of realizing that someone was targeting them. It is a racism experience. Children internalize these things and realize that they are not as good as their white counterpart. The way that is counteracted is by knowing, recognizing and affirming the truth, that it's a positive to be a person of color. They are not going to learn that in school. We don't learn that in school. They learn that from other adults that are going to pass it along. In a same race family, they are probably getting that from elders in their family, maybe in their faith community or family gatherings. If they are not in a same race family, we have to be proactive to make sure that it's happening for them. They are interacting with adults that can teach them the positives of their racial identity. By the way, they are going to teach us, too. Our lives are enriched, as much as our children's.

Beth Hall, Director of Pact - An Adoptive Alliance, shares advice for parents on how to help develop a positive racial identity in your child

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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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