5 Ways to Support Transracial Families in Adoption

Transracial families face unique challenges. How can you help?

Shelley Skuster September 27, 2015
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Transracial families face unique challenges.

Parents may find themselves grappling with how to best raise their child in a culture different than their child’s birth culture.

That’s why they need support from others along the way.

Here are five ways to support transracial families:

1. Talk to your own children about race.

Be open to talking about race and cultural differences with your own children. Remaining silent about race may teach your children it’s not OK to talk about it at all. Teach your children tolerance and the courage to stand up against intolerance. Create a safe space for them to ask questions about race. Allowing your children to feel comfortable asking questions may help prevent them from developing negative stereotypes as they get older.

2. Implement diversity into your family’s life.

Ensure people of color are well represented in your home. Be inclusive and welcoming to diverse characters in books, movies, toys, music, artwork, etc. Be intentional with your relationships in and outside the home; show your children you embrace diversity through your example.

3. Be conscious about word choices.

Think before you speak. Some phrases or slang you grew up around may be hurtful to your friends who are a transracial family. Additionally, if you hear someone tossing around derogatory remarks, speak up. People are watching and learning from you. Be willing to plant seeds of hope for acceptance, tolerance and equality.

4. Be aware of your own prejudices. 

No doubt about it, our life experiences play an important role in shaping who we are today. Be aware of your own prejudices. Examine how things like the media, your community, and your upbringing have influenced your belief systems. Acknowledge your learned prejudices and make an effort to grow from them.

5. Connect them with other transracial families.

It’s important for kids to see other families who look like their own. If you think your friends may hit it off with another transracial family from your work, introduce them to each other. Connecting with other transracial families can be refreshing.

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Shelley Skuster

Shelley is a former award-winning television journalist who traded in suit coats and red lipstick for a messy bun and yoga pants. She's a freelance writer who stays at home with her three daughters who are all ((gasp)) under the age of three and came to her via adoption and birth. She's the woman behind the blog Shelley Writes, and she can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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