Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past

By Betsy Keefer; Jayne E. Schooler et al. | Go to book overview
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Understand that you are not a white family with some members of other races. You are now a family of color. Remember that as you make choices about neighborhoods, schools, churches, etc.
It might be preferable, if adopting/fostering across racial lines, to adopt or foster more than one child of color.
Don't isolate yourself. You need to socialize and interact with other foster/adoptive families, preferably those with racially mixed families. It is extremely helpful to have other parents to talk with about the issues of raising a child of color to have a positive self-esteem and racial identity.

QUESTIONS
1. In what ways does your family differ culturally from your child's birth family?
2. Do you see your family as a minority family? If yes, how has that affected your entire family?
3. At what stage of racial identity formation is my child? Why?
4. Has your child experienced critical incidents? How has he been affected? How have you been affected?
5. What kinds of discrimination might your child experience? Do you feel comfortable assisting your child in coping effectively with discrimination? Where can you find help?
6. Do you need to seek assistance from your child's birth culture to learn ways to enhance your child's self-esteem and positive racial identity? Where might you find that kind of assistance?

NOTES
1.
Denise Goodman and Daniel Houston, "Cultural Issues in Permanency Planning," Tier II Adoption Assessor Curriculum, Ohio Child Welfare Training Program, Columbus, Ohio, 1998, 10.
2.
Ibid.
3.
U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and U.S. Department of State. Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, www.adoptioninstitute.org.
4.
Ibid.
5.
Goodman and Houston.
7.
William Cross, Boys No More ( Beverly Hills: Glencoe Press, 1971).
8.
Quoted in Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall, An Insider's Guide to Transracial Adoption, ( San Francisco: Pact Press, 1998), 28.
9.
Goodman and Houston, 30.
10.
Steinberg and Hall, 52.

-151-

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