Adopters for Adoption is an adoption agency that truly believes in finding the right family for each and every child. We are all passionate that people adopt children that they have a true connection with, cultural differences aside.
Although Local Authorities and Family Finders do try to place children with families that share similar ethnicities and cultures, transracial adoption is also possible.
Many people looking to adopt transracially may say that a child’s ethnic background or culture does not matter to them. Whilst this may be said without any negative intention and said in the sense that they can love any child no matter where they are from, heritage and culture do matter.
Children that are waiting to be adopted have already been through so much in their lives, they have already suffered disruption, separation and loss. It is vitally important that their new adoptive family encourage them to keep a connection to their culture, heritage and religion to develop a feeling of self-belonging. It can help them develop pride in who they are and where they come from.
There are several ways in which you can encourage this connection. These include:
- Looking in to the geography and history of the country or countries the child is from (dual-heritage) and learn any associated languages that are different from your own
- Visiting places related to their religion, race or culture.
- Finding positive mentors and role models from your community that share the child’s cultural heritage. Especially if you yourself do not share their background or culture, involving people in your child’s life that do will allow them to turn to them for guidance and advice
- Researching positive influential people from their cultural history and talking with your child about them
- Including this topic in the ‘life story’ book of your child so that they have something to read through, reflect on and ask questions about. This could even include information on their birth family.
- Looking in to cultural roots through art, literature, music and film
We recommend that you and your family members keep them talking about their heritage and culture. Don’t wait for the child to bring up the subject, be the one to talk about their heritage and culture and demonstrate that it is OK to talk about where they are from and that they should be proud of their roots.
By being prepared and knowing about their culture, you will be ready for them to ask questions. This will help the child to be confident and proud or their heritage and culture.
The idea is to create a positive journey for both you and your child, encourage them to embrace differences between cultures and be comfortable with who they are.
No matter if they are black children, white children or children from any ethnic minority, we encourage to do your research before adopting a child.
First4Adoption have a fantastic library of short courses you can complete online that cover a range of topics, including identity, heritage and life story work. You can look at these courses here.