Interracial Families

An Interracial Family is where one or more people within that family are of another race or ethnicity and can be formed through either marriage or adoption.

An interracial family through adoption is one where the child that was adopted into that family is of another race or ethnicity than that of the adoptive parents.

Adoptive parents of children of another race or ethnicity have a responsibility to help their children feel secure in not only in their interracial family and its own dynamics, but also with their own culture and heritage.

Transracially adopted children rely on their adoptive parents to help them learn about their birth culture. There are several ways to incorporate a child's culture into their lives. Communication is a great tool for learning about transracial issues. Talking to the children about the differences in color, traditions, and the like along with reading books, attending culture camp, and joining play groups also help the children feel more secure in their multicultural lifestyle.

In the case of an interracial family made through adoption, both the child and the parents bring something positive into the family. The child brings with them their heritage. A history of traditions, stories, lifestyles, recipes, and more is brought to the family. Where as the parents bring to the family their culture, their "way of life". Together, life can be more challenging, but also rewarding as the family learns how to live together while representing each others way of life.

Organizations such as the North American Council on Adoptable Children believe that it is important to try to keep adoptable children within the race or ethnicity of their adoptive parents; however, currently there are more Caucasian potential adoptive parents waiting to be matched then those of other races or ethnicities. One of the reasons that placing a child with parents of the same ethnicity or race is that it is much easier to make sure the children are raised within their culture. Even though it may be more of a challenge, it is possible for parents of a different race or ethnicity to instill in their child the pride, culture, and traditions that their child would have received growing up with their birth parent(s) or within their birth family.

Some of the challenges that come from having a transracial family are based of course around racism. Some families find themselves having to deal with their family or their child being teased or left out or bullied by others who don't agree with or understand interracial families. Although it is unlikely that racism will ever disappear, it is possible to help your child have pride in them selves and live a happy life. This can be achieved by keeping the lines of communication open with your child, by building your child's self-esteem and by encouraging them to be happy with their individuality.