When Andy and I started working with our agency one of the forms we had to complete was a list of criteria we had for an adoption we would consider. On this form were things such as race, drug/alcohol use, physical disability, mental disability, etc. The agency doesn’t want to send your profile to a perspective birth mother if your profile criteria doesn’t match the birth mother’s and risk one or both parties feeling a connection that might not work for a match.
The biggest part of this form is filling out all of the different races you are willing to adopt including going down to the different combinations of bi-racial children as well. After you fill out your profile if you are open to adopting a child that is of a different race you have to complete a trans-racial training course online and read some articles and books on trans-racial adoption. This information is to prepare you for how a trans-racial adoption is different than other adoptions and also to make sure that the adoptive couple is prepared to handle raising a trans-racial child.
One of the biggest things that they stress in everything we have read and gone through is that if you adopt a trans-racial child then you should have role models of the same race of the child in your life. This is so that they can see you interacting with an adult of their race and also to give them a positive reference of other people of the same race. Another thing that they want you to try and incorporate some of the child’s background and culture into your lives. If for instance your child is of Native American race then teach them about the history of their tribe (if you know which tribe they are from) and take them to Native American cultural events in your area.
We decided from the beginning that no matter what race or gender or anything else really we would love whatever child we adopt. Since we don’t know what race we will adopt at this point or even if it will be trans-racial for sure, I every once in a while do research online about what is offered around Atlanta for cultural events. Our community is not very culturally diverse where we live ourselves but with Atlanta being so close by there are chances to interact and learn about many different cultures. We hope that if we adopt trans-racially that we will have a birth mother and birth father that are willing to help us learn about their culture and teach our child about where they come from, but if not then we will do as much as we can to learn ourselves.