A Birth Mother’s Guide to Open Transracial Adoptions

Choosing which type of adoption you want is one of the first and most difficult steps for a birth mother going through the adoption process in Florida. Each of the three types of adoption all allow for a different level of communication between the adoption triad, so it’s up to you to determine what you think is in the best interest of your child. Once you choose which type of adoption you want, you’ll more than likely be asked to create an adoption plan and review potential adoptive families for your child. 

As you flip through the profiles of possible adoptive families for your child, you may come across one or two families who are of a different racial, ethnic and/or cultural background than yourself and your child. At first, this might surprise or even confuse you, especially if you hadn’t considered transracial adoption before. But don’t let your concerns about transracial adoption prevent you from choosing it — transracial adoption is truly one of the most beautiful kinds of adoption! Below, Adoption Choices of Florida talks about education and communication, two of the most important aspects of a successful open, transracial adoption, so you can determine if transracial adoption is the right choice for you! 

The Key to a Successful Open, Transracial Adoption

  1. Education

Education is perhaps the most important ingredient in a successful open, transracial adoption. In transracial adoptions, not only is it important to learn about adoption, but also to learn about the race, ethnicity and culture of the family that’s adopting your child. Likewise, your child’s adoptive family should be doing their part to learn as much about you and your child’s racial, ethnic and cultural background as you do about theirs! 

An adoptee’s race, ethnicity and culture are often a huge part of their identity — especially in transracial adoptions. If you’ve opted for an open adoption as well as a transracial adoption, you as the birth mother can play a major role in your child’s journey to learn more about their racial, ethnic and cultural background. Since you’ve chosen an adoption path that allows for more communication between the adoption triad, you may very well have the chance to watch your child grow up more closely and answer questions when they’re curious about who they are and where they come from.

It’s not uncommon for a birth mother to not know every single thing about her and her child’s racial, ethnic and cultural background, and that’s OK. History about these things goes back many, many years, so no one’s going to judge you if you don’t know every single detail! This only means that you’ll probably have to educate yourself more on your own racial, ethnic and cultural background, which could be fun! In an open, transracial adoption, gathering more of this kind of information may be helpful to you as you communicate with your child’s adoptive family. The adoptive family may not know much about your background — or even their own! — so you may be able to help them out by teaching them a little bit more about your — and your child’s —  racial, ethnic and cultural history.

That said, don’t let yourself become the only resource for your child’s adoptive parents on your child’s racial, ethnic and cultural background and history. The adoptive parents should do their own research and should want to do their own research. Anyone who opts for a transracial adoption must know that education — particularly, educating yourself on your own — comes with the territory of choosing it. If you’re still struggling to find resources to educate yourself on transracial adoption, Adoption Choices of Florida may be able to help. Feel free to reach out and get in touch with one of our adoption professionals, who will be more than willing to provide you with resources on transracial adoption, as well as on other topics related to race, ethnicity and culture. 

  1. Communication

Communication is key to the success of any type of adoption, but when it comes to an adoption that is both open and transracial, it becomes even more important. For the birth mothers out there who don’t know, there are three types of adoption — open, semi-open, and closed. Open adoption allows for the most communication between the adoption triad, which consists of yourself, your child, and your child’s adoptive family. Communication between the adoption triad in an open adoption can include but isn’t limited to in-person visits, phone calls, text messages, emails, and/or letters and photos.

Particularly in open, transracial adoptions, communication is important because you and your child’s adoptive family need to have an understanding, not only of what types of communication are OK and what types are not, but also of each other’s unique racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds and histories. As already discussed, education in and of itself is an important part of open, transracial adoptions. But educating yourself is also going to play an important role in the communication aspect of your open, transracial adoption. Be honest with each about your knowledge — or lack thereof — of the other’s background and history, but also be open to learning more! Remember, if you opt for a transracial adoption, a huge part of doing so is educating yourself about each other’s racial, ethnic and cultural background, but also of other topics related to race, ethnicity and culture.

A Few Last Tips Regarding Open, Transracial Adoptions…

As you learn more about transracial adoption, keep in mind that learning about race and adoption separately are difficult tasks. In transracial adoptions, you’re essentially learning about both at the same time, which can be quite overwhelming. Don’t give up and be patient with yourself, but don’t be afraid to take a step away from time to time to give yourself a break! 

Just like with any other type of adoption, it’s important for birth and adoptive parents alike to establish strong systems of support in open, transracial adoptions. Birth mothers in particular are often viewed negatively for placing their child for adoption, which means that surrounding yourself with people who truly love, care for and support you is absolutely crucial to the success of your adoption journey. 

When you choose open, transracial adoption, it’s important to understand that it’s going to be an uphill battle every step of the way. There’s a lot of negative stigma attached to talking about race and to talking about adoption. Choosing an open, transracial adoption means becoming an advocate for both of those things — combating the stigma attached to both race and adoption is the only way to help educate others about the beauty of both!

For more information on open adoption, please visit our website’s blog on tips for a successful open adoption. Also, for more information on transracial adoption, check out our blogs on the benefits of transracial adoption and 5 advantages of transracial adoption.     

If you are a pregnant woman in Florida considering adoption, and have any questions or concerns about the adoption process, please don’t hesitate to reach out. For more information on adoption, visit us at Adoption Choices of Florida or call us at: (833) 352-3678