A lot of hopeful parents desire to adopt a child that is of the same or a similar ethnic background as they are. This should come as no surprise: parenting a child that looks like us is easier, both for the parents and for the child, who would need to answer fewer questions, especially if they can “pass” for their parent’s biological offspring.
So why do some families opt for transracial adoption? The answers may vary from lower adoption fees to shorter wait to a desire for a low-risk closed adoption.
There are instances when it becomes unlikely or even impossible to match with a child of the same ethnic background as the adoptive parents. There may be a disparity between the number of hopeful parents and children of the same ethnic background, resulting in one or the other having to wait, sometimes for an indefinite amount of time.
At other times, it is less expensive to adopt a child of a different racial background. Some adoption agencies offer specialized programs that place minority children, generally African-American and biracial children, for a program fee that is less expensive than their “main” program.
Equally unfortunate is the fact that many minority children are removed from their original homes and placed into foster care, at times due to cultural misunderstandings, and the parents may be less equipped to jump through the necessary hoops in order to regain custody of their children. If low fees and a short wait are important to an adoptive family, adopting a minority child from foster care may be very alluring.
Finally, the lack of risk and the “clean break” without lingering contact with a child’s first family leads many families to opt for international adoption of a child who is often of a different racial or ethnic background than them.
Many people do not go into adoption intending to adopt a child of a different race; it just ends up that way. Therefore, it’s a good idea to consider if this option may be a good choice for your family. However, be aware that additional training would be prudent. Love is blind, indeed, but racism is real, and parents must be equipped to prepare their children for what to expect as an adult.