Transracial Adoption and Fostering: Understanding Race & Racial Identity

Creating a Family: Talk about Adoption & Foster Care

Nov 16 2022 • 53 mins

Are you a transracial adoptive or foster parent? Have you wondered how you can help your child form a healthy racial identity. Does racial identity formation change depending on the race of the child? Today we talk about all this and more with Dr. Gina Miranda Samuels, a professor at the University of Chicago and Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture. She is a transracial adoptee and co-author of the book Multiracial Cultural Attunement.

In this episode, we cover:

  • How do children in the US come to understand race at different ages and developmental stages?
  • How early do children develop a racial bias? How early do children associate certain characteristics to race and show a preference towards a person of a certain race?
  • How does transracial adoption or fostering or kinship care impact a child’s understanding of race?
  • How does transracial or transcultural adoption or fostering or kinship care impact children?
    • Racial identity formation: How does being adopted transracially impact the adoptee’s racial identity formation?
    • Coping with racism
  • In your research and in your experience, do you see a difference in the experience of race is perceived by both transracial adoptees or adoptive or foster parents depending on the race of the child? Asian, Latinx, Black, Bi-racial?
  • Why is taking the colorblind approach to parenting not helpful?
  • “It’s About More Than Hair”
  • Transracial parenting requires the family to be fluent in “race talk” – socialization is not a conversation, it is a daily, incremental, and developmental family process.
  • As our kids age, what is it like for our tweens, teens, and young adults to have parents of a different race?
  • How does transracial adoption or fostering impact siblings in the family who are the same race as the parents?
  • How does transracial adoption or fostering affect extended family members, such as grandparents and aunts and uncles?
  • Practical tips for parents raising a child of a different race or ethnicity.

Additional Resources:

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