A Birth Mother’s Guide to Open Transracial Adoptions

March 22, 2023

By Adoption Choices of Florida

A Birth Mother’s Guide to Open Transracial Adoptions

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

As you flip through profiles of possible adoptive families for your child, you may come across 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 open transracial adoptions before. But don’t let your concerns about transracial adoption prevent you from choosing it. Below, Adoption Choices of Florida talks about education and communication in open and transracial adoptions. Let us help you 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, it is important to learn about the race, ethnicity, and culture of the family that’s adopting your child. Likewise, your child’s adoptive family should learn about you and your child’s racial, ethnic, and cultural background!

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, transracial adoption, you can support your child’s journey to learn more about their background. Since you’ve chosen a path that allows for more communication between the adoption triad, you may have the chance to watch your child grow up more closely. This can allow you to 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 child’s 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 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 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 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 the importance of self-education. If you’re still struggling to find resources to educate yourself on transracial adoption, Adoption Choices of Florida can help. Feel free to get in touch with an adoption agency, who can also provide you with resources on transracial adoption.

  1. Communication

Communication is key to the success of any type of adoption, but it is even more important in open and transracial adoptions. 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. Adoption triads consist of yourself, your child, and your child’s adoptive family. Communication methods can include in-person visits, phone calls, text messages, emails, and/or letters and photos.

Particularly in open, transracial adoptions, communication is important. You and your child’s adoptive family must have an understanding of what types of communication are acceptable. You should also know 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, but be open to learning more! Remember, if you opt for a transracial adoption, you must educate yourself about each other’s racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

A Few More Tips…

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 to give yourself a break! 

Just like with all types of adoption, it’s important for birth and adoptive parents to establish strong systems of support in open, transracial adoptions. Birth mothers are often viewed negatively for placing their children for adoption. So, surrounding yourself with people who truly love and support you is 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. There are a lot of negative stigmas attached to talking about race and adoption. Choosing an open, transracial adoption means becoming an advocate for both of those things. Combating the stigma attached to race and adoption is a great way to educate others about the beauty of both! That being said, adoption agencies are always willing to answer questions and help you in any way possible.

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