Resources for Transracial Adoption

Last month on the ACFB blog, we discussed the importance of acknowledging race and ethnicity in adoption. If you missed it, check out the post here. We shared how it is crucial for parents in transracial adoptions to create an inclusive, supportive environment for their child to grow up in. This goes far beyond simply having books and toys that represent the child’s background. Parents must be willing to put in the work to educate themselves and the people around them about what it is like for child to grow up in a family that does not look like them.

In today’s post, we are sharing some of our favorite resources on transracial adoption. These books, articles, podcasts, and trainings are a great starting point for understanding the impact of transracial adoption and how to best support the adoptee.

Adoptee Stories

  • Growing Up Black In White by Kevin D. Hofmann. Author and transracial adoptee Kevin Hofmann shares his experiences growing up as a black child in a white family and the struggles he faced as he tried to find his own identity.
  • In Their Own Voice by Rita Simon and Rhonda Roorda. The authors present the personal stories of dozens of transracial adoptees who were raised by white parents. They explore the impact that transracial adoption has had on all aspects of their lives.

Parenting Through Transracial Adoption

  • Transracial Parenting Project: Self-Awareness Tool by the North American Council on Adoptable Children. NACAC offers a comprehensive manual that includes articles on parenting, thought-provoking questions, and insights from children, parents, and experts to help adopting families determine if they are prepared to adopt transracially.
  • “The Realities of Raising a Kid of a Different Race by Karen Valby for TIME magazine. In this article, Karen Valby, writer and parent through transracial adoption, addresses the important realities of parenting when your child is of a different race by drawing on research and real-life stories.
  • Transracial Adoption: It Will Change Your Family Forever” by Carolyn Berger. Carolyn Berger, a licensed clinical social worker, breaks down the misconceptions of what it means to adopt transracially and provides advice for families who are considering adopting a child of a different race.
  • In Their Parents’ Voices: Reflections on Raising Trans-racial Adoptees by Rita Simon and Rhonda Roorda. The authors explore the subject of raising children across racial and cultural lines from the perspective of adoptive parents.
  • An Insider’s Guide to Transracial Adoption by Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall. The authors, adoptive parents of mixed-race children, have two goals in writing this book: to help adoptive parents take a deeper look at the role of race in the lives of children being raised across races and to provide a source to find answers to predictable challenges.
  • “Raising a Child of Another Race” by Jana Wolf. In this article, author and mother Jana Wolf shares her personal experience with parenting through transracial adoption.
  • Weaving a Family: Untangling Race and Adoption by Barbara Katz. Drawing from her own experience as a white mother of a black child, noted sociologist Barbara Katz offers an understanding of how race and family are shaped in America today.
  • A Practical Guide to Transracial Adoption by Isaac Etter. Author, activist, and transracial adoptee Isaac Etter provides adoptive parents with tools for navigating transracial adoption and advice on how to help their child thrive.
  • Styles 4 Kidz Salon This organization teaches multiracial, transracial adoptive and foster families how to properly care for their child’s textured hair. They have a salon in Oak Park, Illinois and they offer virtual and in-person workshops.

Children’s Books

  • Real Sisters Pretend by Megan Dowd Lambert. This warm, engaging story, which unfolds entirely through the conversation of two adopted sisters, was inspired by the author’s own daughters, whom she overheard talking about how adoption made them “real sisters” even though they have different birth parents and do not look alike.
  • And That’s Why She’s My Mama by Tiarra Nazario. This children’s story explores how mamas come in all different shapes, colors, and ages, but they all have one thing in common – they love you!
  • I Don’t Have Your Eyes by Carrie A. Kitze. In transracial adoption, celebrating the differences and similarities within families is the foundation for belonging. In this children’s story, author Carrie Kitze introduces how your child’s similarities and differences make them perfectly unique.

Trainings for Adoptive Families

  • From Black Boys to Black Men and the Fear that Brings In this webinar, the Cradle’s Our Children Initiative brings together a panel of Generation Z and Millennial males to discuss their transition from a young boy to a young man and the fear that brings to many people. The panelists share experiences from then they first realized that they were viewed differently than their White counterparts. They share their fears and the things that Black boys and young men must be mindful of as they go through life at school or hanging out with friends.
  • Conspicuous Families Adopting a child of a different race or ethnicity presents challenges families may not expect. Sharing the wisdom and collective experiences of adopted persons and adoptive parents with transracial families, this course will help parents considering adopting a child of a different race or ethnicity than their own.
  • Braids, Curls, Twists, & Twirls: A How-To for Natural Black Hair Care As parents of black children, you may be struggling with how to care for and style your child’s hair. Unsuccessful attempts and advice from others may affect your confidence as a parent. Tending to your child’s hair and skin properly can boost not only a parent’s self-esteem, but also a child’s can help connect the family to the child’s heritage and culture. Learn basic techniques and styles from an expert stylist. How-to videos are easy to follow and offer great advice for all hair types.