transracial adoption: 6 ways to make friends with adults of your child's race

Transracial adoption is becoming more common. While interracial adoptions can cross races in lots of ways (black parents adopting white children, Asian parents adopting black or white kids, etc.) we most often see white parents adopting children of color (black, Hispanic, Asian, etc.) Research has found that these children and families are thriving, but transracial parenting must be intentional parenting. And one of the intentions is to have people of  your child’s race in your life and in your child’s life.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—your adopted child should not be the only person of her race or ethnicity in your life.

Rhonda Roorda, adult transracial adoptee and author of In Their Voices: Black Americans on Transracial Adoption says: It is important that you have African American friends and acquaintances who share your socioeconomic background because they will offer your child of color familiar and comfortable role models; the results will be that your child will see that he can achieve good and noble things. If such role models simply are not available in your neighborhood, consider moving into a predominately black or multicultural neighborhood.

Making friends outside of your race may not be as easy, and may feel awkward and forced at times. So be it. Your child is worth it.

6 “Easy” Make Friends with Adults of Your Child’s Race

In order to create tangible connections to your child’s racial/ethnic community:

  1. Find a pediatrician and/or dentist of your child’s race for your family.
  2. Attend a church that is predominantly of your child’s race. Don’t just attend–become active. Go to a Sunday School class, volunteer to serve and clean up at the church-wide meals, help out at youth group. In addition to making friends, the experience of being in the minority will give you insight to what your child experiences every day.
  3. Frequent black, Asian, and other minority owned businesses.
  4. Make a point of noticing adults of your child’s race when you go about your everyday life. Strike up a conversation, and if you have something in common go out of your way to form a friendship. Remember, all friendships take effort and time.
  5. Rather than caring for your child’s hair yourself, even though you are perfectly capable, take him to a hair stylist or barber of his race.
  6. Roorba suggest that you “use your privileges to open doors of opportunity for people of color in your work pace and elsewhere. Speak up against racial injustices that occur within your sphere of influence.”

Other Creating a Family resources you will enjoy:

How have you found friends of your child’s race? Share your tips.

Image credit: Melinda