Minority Children and Adolescents in Transracial Foster Care

4 April 2015
A discussion of issues surrounding transracial foster care and adoption.

This paper presents a discussion of issues related to transracial foster care and adoption.The issues outlined here include those of identity and role-modeling, and the ability of parents to understand fully the experiences of their child of a different race. A review of the relevant literature on racial identity is provided.
“A multiracial/cross racial/transracial foster care arrangement can be described as one in which there is a “foster care arrangement for a child who is of a different racial heritage than the individual or individuals who are providing the foster care.” (Kenny)
Closely related to the issue of transracial foster care is transracial adoption. Transracial adoption presents the same kinds of problems as does transracial foster care. Children of ethnic minorities who are adopted by white parents do not have a minority role-model in the immediate family to look up to, and therefore may be more influenced by the wider society’s devaluation of their ethnic identity. Development of a strong ethnic or racial identity will be hampered by not growing up in a home where the parents and siblings are members of that same group. Additionally, white parents will never be able to fully understand discrimination in the way that minority parents can, and therefore, however well intentioned they may be, they will never be able to provide the kind of support and advice regarding societal discrimination that adoptive parents of the same race would be able to provide.”
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