Posts Tagged ‘Adoption changes spur growth in multiracial families’

Adoption in USA Today

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

We’re in San Diego for Spring Break, with plans later to go to the beach and fly our kite. Right now, the kids are still asleep and Tim’s on a bike ride. I’ll take advantage of the time to post a link to this article from USA Today, Adoption changes spur growth in multiracial families. About 130,000 children are adopted in the US every year–that’s a huge number!–with most adoptions occurring from the foster care system:

With 130,000 children adopted each year in the USA, researchers find growing numbers involve kids whose race is different from their parents’.

The latest data show that about 40% of adoptions in America involve such families; among children from other countries adopted by American parents, 84% are transracial or transethnic, says Adam Pertman, executive director of the nonprofit Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a research, policy and education organization.

The most common type of adoption in the United States is from foster care, comprising 68% of adoptions, compared with 17% for infants adopted domestically and 15% from international adoption, Pertman said.

The article concludes by addressing the issue of transracial parenting, an issue with which many readers of this blog are familiar.

Research by Gina Samuels, an associate professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, has focused on identity development among transracial adoptees. Samuels, a multiracial adoptee who has worked in child welfare, has found that the goal of being “colorblind” that white parents often espouse may not be the best approach for white parents to take with their kids of other races.

 ”Colorblindness actually creates discordance,” she says, because parents set their child up to believe that race doesn’t matter — until the kids find that often race is an issue in the real world and they haven’t been prepared for it.

As the adoptive mother of two children born in Guatemala, it didn’t take me long to figure out that many people “see” my children differently from the way they see me. My awareness has been raised. But I can always use a reminder to remain sensitive to my children and their experiences as they interface with the world.