It is vital for families adopting a child of a different race to learn about the history and current realities of their child’s race and ethnicity, so they can prepare their child for when they encounter racism. We encourage all families have adopted or are adopting transracially to read/watch/utilize the resources relevant to their child’s identity from the list below. For families currently in the adoption process, to receive credit towards your Continuing Education Hours, complete the Continuing Ed form from your training packet (if you cannot find this, contact your case worker and they will share with you!).
November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and who better to share about adoption than adoptees? We’ve gathered a variety of resources from adoptee voices below, and encourage adoptive families to check some of them out, whether you’re in process for your first adoption or have been home with your children for years! Even when an adoptee is not from the same country as your child or of the same race, they will likely share some of the same experiences and feelings. Some of these voices will challenge you, as adoptees share their sadness and grief around their adoption, but we encourage you to sit with their experience and see what you can learn. These adoptees take the time to share their stories to help the next generation of adoptive families and adoptees.
Red Thread Broken: Grace Newton was born in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, and adopted by an American family when she was three years old. Her site has myriad resources, including blog posts, film and book reviews, and more. Be sure to check out her recent post about using the game Jenga as a conversation starter with your child!
Lost Daughters– “Lost Daughters is an independent collaborative writing project founded in 2011. It is edited and authored exclusively by adult women who were adopted as children… Our authors come from a variety of walks of life, world views, religions, political stances, types of adoption, countries of origin, and countries of residence. Our ages span from early 20’s to late 60’s. Although we cannot possibly cover every experience and perspective of adoptees on our blog, we try our best to provide insight on what it is like to live adoption from the adoptee perspective.”
Dear Adoption– Founded by Reshma McClintock, a transracial, intercountry adoptee from India, Dear Adoption accepts submissions from adoptees of all views and backgrounds to share their experience.
Only Black Girl– Rebekah was adopted domestically; she’s Black, her adoptive family is white. She writes about her experiences being the only Black person in her town, and shares the stories and experiences of transracial adoptees.
Therapy Redeemed– Cam Lee Small was trans-racially adopted from Korea. He holds a Master’s in Counseling Psychology and is a licensed clinical counselor, focusing specifically on adoptees and adoptive families. He offers many resources online in addition to his counseling services, including workshops, and shares essays on a variety of topics.
Found– After DNA tests reveal them to be cousins, three girls adopted by different American families travel to China in hopes of meeting their birth parents.
Closure– Angela Tucker is a Black woman, adopted by a white couple at one year old and raised in a large, multiracial family. Her adoption was closed, and this documentary follows Angela for two years as she searches for her birth family.
Side-by-Side– 100 short films, each interviewing one Korean man or woman who was either adopted internationally, or who aged out of orphanage care.
Somewhere Between– Filmmaker Linda Goldstein Knowles adopted her daughter from China, and made this documentary to learn more about the experience of older adoptees. It follows four teenagers adopted from China to the US as children, as they journey back to China and attempt to understand their own identities and stories.
Lion– Based on the book (listed below) by Saroo Brierley, detailing his experience getting accidentally separated from his family in India at five years old, before being trans-racially adopted to Australia. Twenty-five years later he begins to search for his birth family.
Calcutta is My Mother– This documentary by Reshma McClintock tells her story of being transracially adopted by a family in the US, and many years later returning to the city of her birth, to try to connect to her roots and culture that she feels so distant from.
Lucky Girl by Mei-Ling Hopgood– In a true story of family ties, journalist Mei-Ling Hopgood, one of the first wave of Asian adoptees to arrive in America, comes face to face with her past when her Taiwanese-Chinese birth family suddenly requests a reunion after more than two decades.
All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung– Nicole is a Korean-American, adopted domestically by a white family. As an adult pregnant with her first child, she becomes more curious than ever about her birth family and begins to search for them.