Can a White Family Raise My Black Child?
Most expectant mothers come to our agency with one goal in mind for their child: to find a family who will love her baby as much as she does. When they choose from the profiles we present to them of families of different racial backgrounds all over the country waiting to be parents, they are reminded that love knows no color. However, many African American women who come to us may wonder if love is enough for a white family to raise their child. At A Guardian Angel Adoptions and as parents of children of a different race, we don’t believe that love is enough when it comes to a white family raising a black child in this day and age. Love will not protect them from a world that may discount, oppress and incarcerate them. As white parents of black children we know we have to be and do more than pour our love into them. The very lives, freedom, happiness and the peace of our children depend on us moving beyond that. Education is needed to be prepared to raise a child with different hair and skin care, a messy history and the discrimination that is still present in the world today. We help families understand that when a birth mother chooses them to be the parents of their child, especially one of a different race, they are also adopting this child’s culture and rich history and we want them to be prepared to celebrate and support every part of who that child is.
We want expectant mothers to feel confident in their choice of family and rest assured that the family they choose will be able to support and have the resources needed to meet all of their child’s needs along with offering all of their love. Adopting a child of a different race or ethnicity presents challenges families may not expect. Our adoptive families are required to take a course that teaches from the collective experiences of adopted persons and adoptive parents with transracial families, this course will help parents considering adopting a child of a different race or ethnicity than their own. In this course families will learn the following:
- Learn new skills for responding to hurtful and insensitive comments
- Understand how your reactions and answers impact and teach your child
- Examine the diversity in their life and learn strategies to expand it
- Share in the wisdom and collective experiences of adopted persons and adoptive parents with transracial families
Parents of black children find that learning how to care for and style their child’s hair is more difficult than they imagined. We know that tending to your child’s hair and skin properly can boost not only a parent’s self esteem, but also a child’s and can help connect the family to the child’s heritage and culture. Our adoptive families also learn basic techniques and styles from an expert stylist. From video tutorials to great advice for taking care of all hair types they learn the following:
- The impact hair and skin care has on self esteem and cultural identity
- Learn basic techniques such as shampooing, conditioning and hair styling for different types of black hair
- Understand the myths versus the realities of caring for natural hair
- Learn important tips on scalp and skin care, paying special attention to cleansing, moisturizing and sun protection, in particular.
Along with these required courses, adoptive families have access to many groups, books, websites and social media platforms that will help them provide mirrors and role models to help your child be proud of who they are and where they came from. If you choose an open or semi open adoption your child will also be able to connect to their identity through you and their biological family. Many adoptive mothers call their child’s birth mother for hair and skin advice and are grateful for the expertise they can give. If you are considering placing your child with a white family we hope this information helps you feel confident in your decision. The family you pick for your child will be fully qualified to offer not only their love and support, but also educated on how to care for your child’s needs. At A Guardian Angel Adoptions, we love and celebrate the shades we see in our homes and in others. We want families to be prepared to recognize the value of their child’s differences and culture and be aware of the realities that living with a particular skin color in this world can mean. Transracial adoptive families are so fortunate to be able to peer into the eyes of children who hold no gene of theirs every day and love them with an overwhelming love that makes us want to change the world for them. Loving and learning from our children has changed our world and challenged the stereotypes that still linger in our country. This is why we believe the research that shows that these adoptive families are some of the best allies for bringing change to the world and breaking down walls of bias. Their love for your child will motivate and push them to reach beyond their comfort zones and be more inclusive of the beautiful differences in the world around them. Their lives and your child’s will be blessed by the beauty and diversity they discover there.