You Should be Grateful: Stories of Race, Identity & Transracial Adoption

Join us to talk with Angela Tucker about her new book You Should Be Grateful: Stories of Race Identity, and Transracial Adoption. Angela is a black woman adopted from foster care to white parents. She was the subject of Closure, a documentary that chronicles her search for her biological parents. Angela has consulted with NBC’s “This Is Us,” supported the lead actor of the Broadway musical “Jagged Little Pill,” has over 15 years of experience working within adoption and foster care agencies, and has mentored over 200 adoptees, leading her to found the Adoptee Mentoring Society.

In this episode, we cover:

  • The Adoptee Manifesto
  • What adoptee centrism. What do you mean by that?
  • The complexities of loving your adoptive parents and wishing you weren’t adopted.
  • Why is the spoken or unspoken “you should be grateful” so hard on adopted people?
  • How to share the hard parts of our child’s story?
  • What is the Ghost Kingdom that adoptees create about their birth family?
  • The adoptee as the Plan B child because their parents didn’t get their Plan A child.
  • Colin Kaepernick: “Since the day I was born, I’ve never been anyone’s first choice.”
  • What happens when adoptees can’t talk about their feelings of loss and their feelings of longing for their birth families?
  • Race:
    • Feeling like a racial fraud.
    • Comfort in white spaces.
    • Color-evasiveness vs. color blindness.
  • Susan Harris O’Connor, a biracial person adopted by white parents says that transracial adoptees have 5 dimensions to their racial identity: genetic, imposed, cognitive, visual, and feeling. 
  • White privilege by osmosis.
  • Have you received flack for marrying a white man? And is this common for transracial adoptees?
  • Search:
    • The fear of searching or even talking about birth family because adoptees don’t want to hurt their adoptive parents. And conversely, the fear of some adoptive parents that they will be replaced once their child finds their first parents.
    • Focus on birth mothers over birth fathers.
    • Things adoptive parents should know about the search.
  • Red Table Talk –Facebook Watch show with Jada Pinkett Smith, her mother, and her daughter. What were your feelings then and how do you feel about that appearance now.

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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth