Many potential adoptive parents have a certain connection to a particular culture or race. They may feel connected due to personal experiences, travel, or military service spent outside of the United State. Other people just feel the need to help children in need no matter where they may be from. There are a large variety of reasons as to why many people choose to adopt transculturally or transracially.
Also, during the recent years in the United States, fewer and fewer young caucasian children have been available for adoption. Not only are there less caucasian children, some adoption agencies have far more stringent rules, such as not accepting singles or not accepting applicants over the age of 40.
When it comes to these areas of adoption, adoption experts have different opinions. Some experts suggest that a child should be placed within a family where at least one parent is the same race, or has the same culture as the child. In doing so, this can help the child develop a stronger cultural or racial identity. These experts state that the adoption agencies who are more flexible in their procedures and have a commitment to helping families of color are very successful in helping bring families of the same race together.
While these experts have their views, there are other experts with their own opinions on this matter. These other experts say that race should not be taken into consideration when placing a child with a family. To these experts, meeting the needs of the child, and providing a loving family and home is all that matters. Even with all of this being said, there are some who suggest that an agency should place the child with a loving family despite the race or culture after a certain amount of time has passed.
Be Sure of Your Own Attitudes and Beliefs
Before contacting an adoption attorney to help you with the process of adopting a child of another culture or race, it is important to think about your beliefs. You may believe you know your family and yourself well when it comes to different races and cultures, but it is best to perform a little introspection. Try to remember if you have made any assumptions about people due to their race or ethnic groups in the past. It is important to be sure that this adoption is going to be right for you and your family, and be prepared to be considered “different”.
With this type of adoption it is not only the child who is seen differently, but your entire family will become “different” in many peoples’ eyes. Do not let this deter you. There will always be people like family members, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers who will always be by your side for support. Many people are comfortable with this difference and to these people, difference is beautiful. It is interesting, wonderful, and special.
There will always be people who are not comfortable with your “different” family, and are scared of it. Some might have negative comments, or you might even notice strangers staring depending on where you live. You should really take the time to think about how you will react to those who may not agree with your choices prior to adoption. It is a good idea to think about positive ways to react to help your child feel good about who they are, and how they are loved by their family despite those who may not agree.
It is important to remember that heart-to-heart talks and extra hugs can help your child through a difficult or awkward situation. Even with the heart-to-hearts and hugs, your child, you, and your family will need to learn more specific coping skills when dealing with racial bias issues you all may face together. Ask your self over and over if you are prepared to fully understand the very real issues you and your family may face with whatever happens. Your Fort Myers family law or Fort Myers adoption lawyer might even be able to suggest counseling resources to you to help you face these issues if needed.
Double Check Your Lifestyle
When children of color are adopted by caucasian parents, it is important for both to be around other adults and children of different ethnic groups to help see the adult roles models who are of the same ethnic group or race. These people can help teach heritage, and can become friends. They can help the families understand what to expect as they mature in the community. Are you willing and able to make these relationships available to your child?
Consider Adopting Siblings
Siblings are often looking to be adopted together, and this is no different when it comes to transracial or transcultural adoptions. When siblings are adopted together, they have a sense of security with having another person who looks like them in the family. These children are able to carry more history over into their new adoptive family, and it may help them adjust better. Sibling adoptions also help with children being able to hold on easier to their native languages when it comes to international adoption. Keeping a part of their heritage is important, and encouraging this will build more trust and bonds.
If you are looking to adopt a child in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, or anywhere else in Florida, Family Law attorney Mary Elizabeth Fletcher wants to help. Rest assured that The Law Offices of Mary Elizabeth Fletcher is here to help you through the adoption process however we can, simply give us a call at (239) 677-7685 or send us a message online.