Should Race Matter?

When my husband and I made the choice to adopt we were not picky. The questionnaires that you have to complete for the adoption process were very detailed. You have to decide if you want a boy or a girl, Caucasian, Asian, African American, Indian or any of the other ethnicities or races in the world or a child who is mix raced. You also have to consider if you will accept children with disabilities and what ages you would accept. Out of all the questions the race and ethnicity questions were the easiest we just checked YES all the … Continue reading

Book Review: Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture

My last blog wondered about the impact of anti-immigrant feelings, worsened by economic conditions, on international adoptees and their families. In that blog, I quoted from the book Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture. This blog will be a further review of that book. The first thing I should note is, as I said last time, that the word “Orientals” is deliberately used by the author to demonstrate negative stereotypes of Asians as too irreconcilably different by nature to ever fit into American society. Do not use the word “oriental” when referring to people today. Use Asian-American if you need … Continue reading

Month in Review: Adoption Blog, December 2007

I began the month with a book review that tied in to my November series on coping with discrimination and racism. The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate is based on an inspiring true story of how a town in Montana came together when Jewish and African-American families were terrorized. Then I ran Part One and Part Two Part Two of Is It Okay to Be Choosy? regarding the comments adopting parents often get that if they “really wanted to help”, they’d choose the most needy child or the one with the most special needs–and sometimes we lay this … Continue reading

Stages of Birthparents’ Thinking About Adoption

My last two blogs have been based on Beth Hall and Gail Steinberg’s work in their book, Inside Transracial Adoption. I have tried to briefly summarize their explanation of common stages gone through by adoptees and adoptive parents. In this blog I will discuss their interpretation of birthparents’ reactions. Naturally, these ideas represent the authors’ experiences of patterns many members of the adoption triad (child, birthparents, adoptive parents) report feeling. Individuals’ experiences may be different, of course. In the Pre-Conscious Stage, birthparents think that even though it breaks their heart not to be able to raise their baby, the adoption … Continue reading

Adoptive Parents’ Stages of Thinking about Adoption and Race

My last blog talked about the stages of thinking adopted children sometimes go through as conceptualized by Beth Hall and Gail Steinberg in their book Inside Transracial Adoption. In this blog I’ll summarize a few of their thoughts about the stages adoptive parents go through in their thinking. In the Pre-Conscious Stage, parents believe that the people they know will not have biases based on race or adoption. They are excited about adoption, perhaps feeling it is a noble calling, but basically believe their family will be the same as any other—love is all they’ll need. They believe that race … Continue reading

A Child’s Stages of Thinking about What It Means to Be Adopted

In their book Inside Transracial Adoption, Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall (both adoptive parents) look at attitudes toward adoption in general, and then transracial adoption in particular, as going through several stages. Steinberg and Hall name these stages as: Pre-Conscious, Contact, Disintegration, Internalization, Immersion/Emerging. The authors look at what these stages might mean for the adoptee, adoptive parent and birthparent. I will try to give a brief and easy-to-read summary here some of what they say about issues of adopted children, then my next blog will discuss adoptive parents. In the Pre-Conscious Stage, the child knows only his/her own family … Continue reading