Adoptive Families Blog

Encouraging Your Child’s Heritage in Transracial Adoption

Posted by Lifetime Adoption on October 14, 2016

caucasian_parents_african_american_child.jpgTo help your adopted child become proud of who they are, adoptive parents need to celebrate their culture and heritage. Learning about his or her heritage makes it possible for them to understand where they came from, and to build a positive self-esteem.

How can you effectively combine your child’s culture into your family’s after a biracial adoption? Here are Lifetime’s tips on how encourage your child’s heritage in a transracial adoption:

Associating With Others
A culture camp, playgroup, sport, or a dance class are places that’ll help your child connect with other children. These activities can assist in bringing your child together with others who share the same experience of being adopted.

It helps children to see kids who are facing the same challenges as them, and whose families look like theirs. Finding a place where they feel like they fit in can be difficult for children adopted transracially. So, meeting up on a regular basis with other adopted children can help them in finding a place where they belong.

Practice Multi-Culturalism Every Day
Activities that recognize your child’s heritage should occur every day, not just on special events or holidays. You can practice multiculturalism regularly in simple ways: maybe it’s cooking some traditional meals each week, or maybe it’s watching shows and movies that have characters from your child’s background.

Focus on Your Child’s Preferences
Many couples who became parents through transracial adoption seem to continue their focus on traditional foods or dress. But what’ll make this celebration of culture special to your child is to tailor it to him or her.

Think about your child’s personal interests when you plan cultural activities. If your son or daughter is artistic, you might take him to an art gallery showcasing work from an artist who shares their heritage. If they’re into movies, take your child to a show that represents their race in a positive way. One adoptive mother, Hayley, shares, “Our daughter loves going to her weekly ballet class! So, we recently took her to see a Misty Copeland performance.”

Balance Is Key
Even though it’s great to incorporate all this cultural education, some adoptive parents get a little too intense about making sure that their child learns about his or her heritage. Take a step back if your child’s calendar is totally booked with cultural activities. Remember to tailor things to your child’s interests and needs.

Topics: African American adoption, Trans-Racial Adoptions, transracial adoption, bi-racial adoption