Confronting your own inner racism when considering adoption

Beth Hall, Director of Pact-An Adoption Alliance, shares advice for people considering adoption on confronting your own inner racism when deciding
Adoption Advice | Confronting Your Own Inner Racism When Adopting
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Confronting your own inner racism when considering adoption

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When white parents are considering trans-racial adoption, often they are thinking about what race child should I adopt. And very often, they think they can adopt one race child and not another. So we know, for instance, that many white people think that Asian children will be easier to parent. Or that African Americans will be harder to parent. Really, what those people are reflecting is a racial hierarchy that exists in society. We have stereotypes about people of color that go along racial lines, so we often are fearful of African Americans. We think that Asian people are smart or play the piano well. We think that Latinos are in gangs, or maybe we think that they are very versatile with languages. Or whatever we might think. The reality is, whether it is a positive stereotype or a negative stereotype, the people who are the target of those stereotypes are not ok with it. It doesn't feel ok to be told that you are defined by something you can't control, like your race. So it's important for parents who are considering this to really be honest with themselves about whether or not this is a reflection on their own internalized racism, why it is they think those things, and what messages they might be delivering to their kids.

Beth Hall, Director of Pact-An Adoption Alliance, shares advice for people considering adoption on confronting your own inner racism when deciding

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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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