What is it like to be black and raised by white parents? What is the experience of transracial adoption from the perspective of the adoptee? Host Dawn Davenport interviewed four black adoptees in their 20s who were raised by white parents about their experience with transracial adoption.
- When did you first realize that your family was composed of different races?
- At what age were you aware that your family stood out in public and that people stared? Did it bother you?
- Were you ever embarrassed that your parents were a different race?
- What did your parents do that made it easier for you to be in a mixed-race adoptive family?
- Did you live in a diverse neighborhood?
- Did your family purposely include multiple races and cultures in your lives? Were their other people of color in your life?
- Did you experience racism as a child and do you experience it now?
- Did your parents prepare you for racism? Did they help you cope with it?
- I hear a lot of parents of adopted African American boys in particular that worry about how to raise a black son and prepare him to be a proud, black, and safe man in America. No doubt exacerbated by the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown shootings. How can parent prepare their sons?
- Did you talk about race within your family? The right amount? not enough? too much?
- Parents want their kids to have a healthy sense of their racial identity. Did you always think of yourself as fully black (or Haitian American or African American), or were you confused about your racial identity?
- Did you ever wish you were white?
- What advice would you give to transracial adoptive parents currently raising children of color?
- Were there any resources or books that you remember being helpful?
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Image credit: Michigan Municipal League
Show originally aired in 2014.