There is a great controversy over recent pop stars and actors who are traveling around the world to adopt orphans and infants. While the world takes notice, and wonders about the ethics of these adoptions, a group of transracial adoptees speak out and tell their stories about what it was like for them to grow up in America with white parents.
In the book, Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption, transracial adoptees talk about the consequences of being raised by white American parents.
They discuss how the experience is very isolated because their white parents don’t experience racism, or weren’t able to prepare their children for the consequences of racism. They talk about how their parents don’t know how to take proper care of their hair, or disregard their experiences and saying that it wasn’t race related, or just don’t know how to deal with racism, because before they adopted, they didn’t have to. They also raise awareness to their questions of:
o why babies are available for adoption in the first place
o what happens when they grow up and
o how we come up with solutions that are humane and just
In a press release in The New York Times, it states that “the difficulties of transracial adoption go far beyond self-esteem, far beyond cultural literacy, infinitely deeper than individual discomfort.” The children of these white parents don’t have role models who look like them, don’t have guidance about how to deal with racism, and often times don’t feel as though they belong either with their own race or with white people.
What the authors of “Outsiders Within” hope to accomplish, is to educate the people about what it is that transracial adoptees experience and feel, so that white parents are able to deal with and understand the experiences of the children they have adopted. They hope that by giving their stories, they can learn the skills and history of the children they adopt, and honor them, and be better prepared to help their children with adoption and racism issues.