Racism and your child

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Focus on Adoption magazine

When kids experience racism, what can their parents do? Here are some resources and tips from an experienced adoptive parent.

Editor’s note: Some of these tips are aimed specifically at white parents. AFABC recognizes that adoptive families are incredibly diverse, and that transracial adoptive families include parents from all backgrounds, heritages, and experiences, including parents of colour who have firsthand experience with racism.

Educational resources

Racism in the community or school

Most police departments have a hate crime task force, and the use of racial slurs should be investigated.

  • Visit hatecrimebc.ca to learn more about hate crimes, and how to report them.

It is your child’s right to attend school, work, or activities free from discrimination. If they are not, this is a violation of their human rights as set out in the Human Rights Code and in the Ministry of Education’s requirements for all schools’ codes of conduct.

Hate speech

Hate speech has to cross a threshold to become criminal and there are only a few offences in the Criminal Code that are specific to hate. Each case has to be investigated based on its own merit. Unfortunately, sometimes people can use vulgar language or make racist statements without any criminal consequences.

Often police can handle situations with an education and preventative mindset. They can do presentations in schools, letting teachers and parents know the laws and at what point hate speech becomes criminal or a violation of the Human Rights Code.

How white parents can be allies

There are lots of resources online on how white people can be effective in the fight against racism. Here are a few options:

How does your family deal with racism? We’d love to hear from you at editor@bcadoption.com. We’d especially love to hear from Black, Indigenous, and POC parents—your voices matter.