Growing Up Black in White Family: Transracial Adoptees Speak

Dawn Davenport


7f0e35e6-c87c-4161-96f0-22edb3720d5fYou’ve heard me say over and over that the true expert on adoption are adopted people. So who better to give today’s parents raising transracially adopted kids a view into their child’s experience than adoptees in their early to mid 20’s. They are old enough to have processed some of their experience, but not too old to have forgotten the feelings, and they have lived in a similar time in our country’s racial evolution. They are in many ways the perfect guides for today’s transracial adoptive parents.

We gathered a panel of young adult black adoptees (domestic and international, male and female, adopted as infants and toddlers) to share their experience with growing up brown in a white family, racism, and standing out in the crowd. Some of what they said surprised me, and much of what they said reassured me. If you are a transracial adoptive parent and you can only listen to one Creating a Family show this year, make it this one. I simply can’t recommend it enough.




“It’s Kind of Cool”

I was impressed with the ability of our panelist to see the whole of transracial adoption?the disadvantages and the advantages. Yes, they had the hassle of standing out and having to explain their story, but for the most part they didn’t see this as a big deal.

One panelist said she went through a period in her teens where she didn’t feel like she fit into either the white world or black world. She wasn’t white, but she wasn’t black enough to fit into the black world. She chose to attend an all black college, which made her differences stand out all the more. But at some point in college and in her early 20’s she concluded that she “didn’t have to fit into anyone’s box”. She could be “plenty black” and still be who she was. “I can listen to John Mayer, and still be black.”

Another panelist had a different take – he always felt like he fit into both the white and black world.

“It’s kind of cool, actually.

31/10/2014 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Adoption, Adoption Blog, Blog | 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑

Content created by Creating a Family. And remember, there are no guarantees in adoption or infertility treatment. The information provided or referenced on this website should be used only as part of an overall plan to help educate you about the joys and challenges of adopting a child or dealing with infertility. Although the following seems obvious, our attorney insists that we tell you specifically that the information provided on this site may not be appropriate or applicable to you, and despite our best efforts, it may contain errors or important omissions. You should rely only upon the professionals you employ to assist you directly with your individual circumstances. CREATING A FAMILY DOES NOT WARRANT THE INFORMATION OR MATERIALS contained or referenced on this website. CREATING A FAMILY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS LIABILITY FOR ERRORS or omissions in this information and materials and PROVIDES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, implied, express or statutory. IN NO EVENT WILL CREATING A FAMILY BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES, including without limitation direct or indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages, losses or expenses arising out of or in connection with the use of the information or materials, EVEN IF CREATING A FAMILY OR ITS AGENTS ARE NEGLIGENT AND/OR ARE ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.