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Embracing Multiculturalism in Adoption

International and transracial adoption is on the rise. The US Department of Health and Human Services states that nearly 50% of adopted children have a parent of a different race. One of the most important conversations around transracial adoption is that of incorporating your child’s culture and heritage into your own family and daily life. Parents must immerse their children in their culture so they can develop their identity and form an authentic connection to who they are and where to come from. 

Starting early is critical. This immersion is not just crucial for your child, it’s vital for you and the rest of the family as well. When a child is adopted into a family of a different race, a multicultural family is created. Your child is not only joining the culture of your family, but you are also joining theirs. Talk about your child’s story openly and often! This is a beautiful thing to share. 

Celebrate all of your differences. Maybe your skin colors are different, or perhaps you pronounce words differently. A robust multicultural family embraces all the elements that make up the family’s diverse identities: food, music, books, art, spirituality, language, holidays, traditions, rituals. Embracing the differences of others, and the unique ways in which people live their lives demonstrates that our cultures are something to be proud of. This is an essential message for children of all backgrounds. 

Seek out events that celebrate your child of your family’s culture. Most cities have festivals that celebrate food, art, dance, and rituals from all different backgrounds. In addition to annual or seasonal festivals, check your local library or community center for other cultural opportunities or events happening. The library is also a beautiful space to explore literature and storytelling that can connect your child to other children who share their cultural background or skin tone. If you’re looking for stories to add to your home library, we love this list of books that embrace diversity across all genres and for all ages. 

By making racial and ethnic diversity a welcome conversation in your home, you are fostering a positive and safe environment where everyone can be themselves. Continuing these conversations outside the home will help other people embrace transracial and international adoptions and create a more normalized environment for your child.