Transracial Adoption in Different Countries

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“The Western perspective of transracial adoption greatly differs from that of African American psychology. Currently, there has been a steady increase in the number of African American children adopted by White families in the United States. The Western perspective on this issue seems to embrace this behavior as it deviates from the ‘traditional’ family structure and indicates acceptance of other races and ethnicities. In Western culture, transracial adoption is viewed as a solution to the overrepresentation of Black children in the foster care system. The results from studies that examine transracial adoption are often equivocal, but there is supporting evidence to show that many transracial adoptees have positive experiences with their White families. For example, Simon & Roorda (2000) conducted a study on Korean children who were adopted by White families, finding that 95% of the adoptive parents said they “would do it again,” and more than 85% of the adoptees said they considered themselves either “very close” or “fairly close” with their adoptive mothers and fathers (Simon & Roorda, 2000).

On the other hand, African American psychology tends to disagree with the procedure of transracial adoption. As mentioned previously, there are common beliefs held by people who are opposed to transracial adoptions; these people believe that White families cannot teach minorities how to cope and survive in society and that African American children raised in a predominantly White culture will be culturally deficient, resulting in severe identity problems. African American psychology focuses on the African American experience in the United States, meaning that it aims to address the disparities, inequalities, and oppression that Black Americans face in their daily lives (Belgrave & Allison, 2019). In 1972, the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) asserted their opposition of the placement of African American children with White families, stating that children who were transracially adopted were “maladjusted, [had] poor racial identity, the inability to cope with racism and discrimination, and [that] ‘cultural genocide’ [was] the likely outcome of transracial adoptive placements” (Simon & Altstein, 1996).

Evidently, African American children are highly overrepresented in the United States foster care system compared to White children. Prior to my research, I was unaware that each perspective, both Western and African American psychology, have their own definition regarding a child’s ‘well-being’ when it comes to transracial adoption. Western psychology emphasizes individualism in the separation of social and cultural influences. I have always been a supporter of transracial adoption, but I was always under the impression that adoption itself will give any child without a family a second chance for a better life, however, that is not always the case. I ignored the substantial impact that race has on a child and the child’s adolescent development. After analyzing the arguments for both sides of the issue, I now realize that there is a need to recognize the importance of race and ethnicity regarding the child’s well-being during the adoption process under the African American Psychological perspective. Unfortunately, everyone has faced and will continue to face different obstacles and experiences based on the color of their skin. As a future law school student, I am well aware of the racial disparities in both the juvenile and criminal justice systems. This field will provide me with the opportunity to form relationships with people of all different races and ethnicities. Sometimes, attorneys are necessary in the transracial adoption process. Although there are logical arguments that support and oppose transracial adoption, my extended research on this procedure will allow me to inform my clients on the importance of a child’s racial identity and its effect on their development as a child of color.

Ultimately, the underlying issue surrounding the controversy of transracial adoption is the element of cultural diversity. The adoption process has potential advantages, but there is an extreme concern that White parents may not be able to help Black children develop the identity and skills that are needed to survive in a society that is overwhelmingly racist. A healthy racial identity is crucial for children of color to develop, and transracial adoption may prevent that development. Conversely, there are people who are aware of the disadvantages that many African Americans face; being able to address those difficulties early on in a child’s life will better help the child understand and react appropriately in any unique situation the child may face. While the Western psychology’s approach to understanding human beings is through social domination, the African American Psychological perspective highlights the importance of self-realization through cultural and racial identity. Overall, the child’s well-being should be the greatest deciding factor when considering transracial adoption, and the healthy development of a child’s racial identity must be recognized as a critical part of his or her future happiness and success.”

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Transracial Adoption in Different Countries. (2021, Apr 10). Retrieved from

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