In 1983, Peggy MacIntosh, a white university professor, wrote a now famous essay on some of the hidden privileges that, as a white person, she enjoys. Here’s just a sample:
Do adoptive parents' conceptions of race and racial identity change after adoption?
Raising a child of a different race than yours probably means that you’ve discussed comeback lines for all those unwanted grocery store comments with other adoptive parents.
If you’re like us, you’ve probably felt at a loss for words at times and worried how some of these misconceptions and misguided views might affect your children who are often standing next to you.
In 2002, I had the opportunity to spend an incredible week with a wonderful friend, also an adoptive mother,visiting the country of our daughter’s birth.
by Joanne Thalken
The Oregonian newspaper recently ran a story entitled “Sending Black Babies North.” Gabrielle Glaser, a journalist who visited BC recently, and who has shown great interest in Canadian adoptions of African-American children, is the author.
Once we decided that we’d create our family through adoption, we were overwhelmed with the many avenues we could pursue. It was after seeing a Christmas picture of the ACAN group, that we finally decided to adopt internationally, with the Open Door Agency in Georgia. The journey that led us to become a multiracial family had begun.
Once the process was underway, we read books to familiarize ourselves with the issues of white parents raising children of African heritage.
Transracial adoption means that your family becomes “public” because your differences are readily apparent to others. Do you feel sick at the thought of the lady in the grocery store who asks inappropriate questions about your child, or do you relish the thought of learning how to help your child develop the strength and capacity to cope with racial bias? As a parent, you will be “on display.” You will need to seek help from adult mentors of colour who understand firsthand your children’s experiences in ways that you can’t.
Tell me about your family.
After 10 years of infertility, my partner and I decided to adopt a child. The race of the child was not an issue for us, we simply wanted to be parents. Looking back on it, I admit that we were naive.
The Decision to Adopt
Kathy and Rick Miller already had four birth children between the ages of nine and 16, when they decided to add a sibling group of two to their family. "We enjoy children a lot," said Kathy, who has a degree in Child and Youth Care. "We have lots of parenting experience, and we felt we had a lot to offer as a family." She and Rick, who is a teacher, wanted more children, but felt that it was better "to expand our family by adding children who genuinely needed a home, rather than biologically."