Dear Mardie, We are white, but open to adopting a child of any race. Do mixed race children have a more difficult time in a single race household?
In today’s society, many adopted children are more than one race. Those children are often placed with loving adoptive parents that may not even have part of their heritage in common. Adoptions today are usually in a home of the birth mother’s choosing, or that of an adoption professional, such as in foster placements. Usually, race is not as important as the other living factors that are taken into account, especially when the birth mother is looking at the life you have to offer her child.
Many children today, adopted or not, do not know their heritage. Sometimes, women have a child and then remarry a man from a different race, or a family member who is not the same race raises a child. Heritage is important and can still be a daily part of life for an adoptive child that is placed in a home with parents of a different race.
Adoptive parents can work to keep the child’s cultural heritage alive as much as possible. Parents can do their own research on the heritage of their adopted child. They can teach their child about the culture of their biological parents and answer questions that come up regarding the child’s cultural history. Often times, adopted children will want to do their own research as soon as they are old enough. Finding out what their heritage is all about can be a fun and adventurous journey.
As the child grows up, they may decide to continue to pursue their heritage or they may decide to adapt the heritage and culture of their adoptive family. Children around the world, no matter what their race, want to be like their family. Adopted children are no different.
Adopted children grow up in a loving and caring home, with traditions and customs that they get accustomed to. Even when the child becomes aware that their biological culture and heritage are different from their adoptive culture, they may not want to change. They have adopted their family’s culture and heritage as their own and that is what feels comfortable to them.
It is important for adoptive parents to understand that children who are of a different race can blend in with your family. All children need a loving and caring home where they can wake up every day and feel like they belong. Belonging to them does not necessarily mean looking the same, it means feeling the same. Your adoptive child wants to feel your love and that will help them feel like they belong.