Transracial adoption (TRA) has a long history of controversy centering around the question of whether White families, regardless of how well-intentioned, can prepare children of color to navigate a racist society. Religiously embedded messages of “we’re all God’s children” can unintentionally promote a “color blindness” that further exacerbates this inability to equip children of color. In this chapter, I will briefly review the history and contradictory research on TRA that has further polarized the debate about the long-term impact of placing children of color in White homes. Through case examples, I will introduce the complicated journey of adoption stories, involving birth families, foster and/or adoptive families, social workers, and other helpers. Interventions will focus on how to (1) counter destructive societal discourses on race, religion, and power; (2) increase parental cultural, spiritual, and racial competence; and (3) support racial, cultural, and spiritual identity development. The goal is to give therapists collaborative tools to recognize and expand upon the hidden strengths and resiliencies intertwined in adoption journeys.
Transracial adoption Christianity Religion TRA Racism Identity Adoption Family therapy
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