Transracial

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Mom, Mexico, and me

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

An adult adoptee, Chantal De Brouwer, explains what keeping a connection with her birth country and culture has meant to her.

When I was about three days old, I was left on a transit bus in Mexico City. No one knows how long I’d been there, but the driver brought me to the hospital in the middle of the night. I weighed three pounds.

Voices of Transracial Adoptees

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A compelling new DVD from AFABC gives voice to local transracial adoptees—essential viewing for all parents and professionals. Yvonne Devitt, AFABC’s Education and Cross-Cultural Coordinator, spoke to Focus on Adoption about the DVD.

Why make this film?

AFABC initiated the production of this film because we felt it valuable to create something with a current and local, BC perspective. There aren’t many films that give voice to transracial adoptees and those that do exist are either American or somewhat dated.

Family matters: Race and beauty

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

I am the mom of a 13-year-old girl adopted from the US. She is African-American, we are Caucasian. Some of her friends (it’s a predominantly “white” school) are attracting the interest of boys. My daughter says nobody seems interested in her, and she thinks it’s because of her colour. How do we respond to this in a way that helps?

Surely you will want her to feel valuable, attractive, and wanted. It may be more difficult for your daughter as peer-relationships, womanhood, racial identity, and self-esteem are likely involved in this for her.

Racial identity: Hair is an adoption issue

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

For white parents of black children (full or biracial), doing your child’s hair is totally different from doing your own. It’s something most white people never had an opportunity to learn about.

It is essential to your children’s sense of identity and self-esteem that they are given the opportunity to look like they are well-cared for and groomed; this is particularly true for transracial families already subjected to unusual social scrutiny by others who aren’t quite sure you are really a family. How your children look can shape the conclusions outsiders draw.

China dolls and violin virtuosos

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

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. 

My child wants to look like me

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Question

I recently found my seven-year-old African-Canadian daughter scrubbing her skin with a nail brush. She told me she wanted to be white like me. We have read books that portray people from other races in a positive light, and I have always talked very positively about her colour. She also has black friends at school. I am upset by her desire to change colour and I am not sure how to deal with this. Can you advise me?

When Visible Minorities Become Invisible

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

This morning, I had a talk with a neighbour in my office building about why she is leaving her job. As a black woman, she feels the presence of a glass ceiling and feels that within that company she can never achieve her potential.

As white people, do we dismiss these stories as isolated incidents?  Do we discount the cumulative effects that racism has on people of colour? We do not see the daily slights that people of colour live with, and then we do not understand when someone blows up at that “final straw.”

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