Saturday, January 3, 2009

Questions to ask oneself before adopting


I found this on Transracial.Adoptionblogs. com, written by Erin H. Some thoughtful questions that it would be wise to answer before starting this process. I have answered all of them, have you?

Adoption ABCs - Questions to ask
Posted by :
Erin H in Transracial/Transcultural Adoption Blog

In my Transracial Adoption ABCs, the letter "Q" is for questions. There are lots of questions involved in adoption. For the adoptive parents, there are many questions that they should ask (both themselves and others) and there are questions that they are going to be asked. In this post, I will write about the questions that transracial adoptive parents should be asking.Questions to ask - Deciding to adopt transracially is a big deal, and it is not a decision that should be made light-heartedly. It is one that a lot of thought, research and preparation should be put into. There are many questions that adoptive parents should ask as they decide to pursue transracial adoption.In many of these questions below you can follow this links to more questions and information on that topic.General adoption questions:

- What is my motivation to adopt a child?

- Am I prepared for the risks involved with domestic adoption or with international adoption?

- Can I financially afford to adopt and to raise a(nother) child?

- Am I willing to consider an open adoption? Why or why not?

- What age child do I want to adopt?

- Am I open to any special needs?

- Am I open to adopting siblings?

-Would I be supportive of my child is he chooses to search out his birth family later in life?

- Have a put a lot of research into carefully choosing an adoption agency?

- Do I know that the agency and program that I have chosen are ethical?

- Do I understand how children are identified for this adoption program?

- Do I understand the laws, rules and regulations of this adoption program?

Questions specific to transracial adoption:

-Why do I want to adopt transracially?

- Am I prepared to forever be a part of a multiracial family?

- Am I willing and prepared to deal with racism and to prepare and teach my children about racism?

- Do I value culture as an important part of a person's life or do I think it is not a big deal?

- Do I believe in being "color aware" or "color blind"?

- Do I believe that lighter is better?

- Can I handle being a highly visible family that often receives a lot of attention when out in public?

- Am I prepared to incorporate another race/culture into my family and into my life?

- Am I prepared to handle negative reactions from family and friends?

- Do I understand why transracial adoption is a last resort for children?

- Am I willing to fully embrace the blessings and challenges of raising a child of a different race?

There are certainly other questions for adoptive parents to ask. Leave a comment and add to the list!

Wow, these are some tough questions, and great to think about before leaping. I especially like the question about being either "color blind" or "color aware" because I have already heard people saying "love will be enough" and things of that nature, as far as my daughter being the only black face in her family. These comments are usually said by Caucasians. Caucasians who have probably never been the only white face in the middle of a black family, and might not have imagined what that would feel like. White people have the priveledge to not have to deal with racism. They never have to think about these things if they don't want to. Erin writes: "I believe that being "color consious" instead of "color blind" makes for healthier self-esteems in our children. When they can go to bed at night knowing that their mom and dad are proud to have an African American son, or a Vietnamese daughter, that helps them to be proud of who they are too. There is no pressure for them to feel like they should be or need to try to be anything different. To "look past" a child's color, and in effect their heritage, you are taking away the opportunity for them to embrace who they are."

Yes, my family is an amazing group of totally accepting and loving people. I can't think of a better family to be born into, or to join after birth. Honestly, I've never met a family more tightly bonded or caring than mine.

Having said that, I'm also pretty sure there will come a time when my daughter might feel different because she looks different and perhaps (hopefully feel comfortable enough to) ask questions. Because I am educating myself now, I will be prepared to answer them, to listen to her feelings, and to provide friends of her race to make sure she sees people who look like her around her on a frequent basis. I think those of us adopting outside of our race have to be realistic. Ther is still racism in this country. We're going to have to be able to teach our children to be aware of that, to take care of themselves.

I'm also going to start a campaign to get another of my extended family to adopt outside of the family's dominant race so we are more of a rainbow!

(And just as an aside, our new president was raised in a trans racial household and he turned out to be a pretty impressive man! So there are definitely positive role models out there for a bi, tri, or quadruply racial family.)

What are some of your answers to these questions? What are some of your concerns? Staying open to discussion is imperative, I believe, if you are planning on adopting from outside your race, or outside your country.

I think when you adopt from another country, you agree (ethically if not legally) to raise that child knowing his/her culture. The country of origin is counting on you to do that, which is why they ask how you plan on keeping his/her cultural heritage alive in the home. In a way, you are adopting the country of origin as well as a child.




I’m a Black Jamaican woman and, of course, I’m obviously not going to face the challenges of raising a child of another race, but I do believe that culture is an important part of a person's life and I think it’s a BIG deal. That’s why I personally felt that it was important for me to keep my daughter’s Ethiopian birth name. I want my daughter to understand and embrace a multitude of different cultures, including her own. I plan on exposing her to Ethiopia’s rich culture by reading books to her about Ethiopia, attending cultural events, and socializing with other Ethiopian families. I grew up in America from another culture and I realize how important it is to maintain your culture. I want my daughter to be proud of her special heritage, just as I am proud to be a Jamaican. My daughter is going to be a Ethiojamerican = Ethiopian/Jamaican/American.


Single PAP said...

yes, please tell me the name of your agency. i did choose one but haven't sent in any fees... had planned on doing that on monday but VERY curious to know who you are using. please email me and put agency name or this blog name in the heading at lauraligaya at AOL dot com