Life as a Mixed Race Family
There was a great article in the New York Times yesterday about being a mixed race family in
America whether by marriage or adoption– In Strangers’ Glances at Family, Tensions Linger. Times they are definitely changing, but folks, we’ve got a long way to go.
Transracial Families Are Not Uncommon But Still Attract Attention
Multiracial families are no longer uncommon. (How’s that for a double negative?!?) One in seven new marriages in the US is between spouses of different races or ethnicities. Multiracial children have increased almost 50 percent, to 4.2 million, since 2000. Multiracial families formed by transracial adoptions are on the rise as well. But regardless how common, people still stare. From my personal experience, I don’t sense any hostility, just curiosity. I seldom experience comments any more perhaps because my children are older. I know my kids get some questions, but so far they haven’t experienced anything more than curiosity. Apparently, according to the NYT’s article, our experience is not universal.
“People confront you, and it’s not once in a while, it’s all the time,” Heather Greenwood, an adult transracial adoptee in a multiracial marriage said. “Each time is like a little paper cut, and you might think, ‘Well, that’s not a big deal.’ But imagine a lifetime of that. It hurts.” But maybe we’re making progress. Her 18 year old multiracial son says barriers are coming down and race is not something he spends a lot of time worrying about.
I loved the comment from 7 year old Sophia Greenwood. She responds confidently when asked what race she is. “Tan!” she says. “Can’t you tell by just looking?”
I’m curious if others have experienced more negative comments than I have. What’s been your experience?
Image credit: moominmolly