Race and Adoption

For follower of Christ, the imago dei formed in every human is infinitely more significant than one’s birthplace or skin color.  This is why Jesus shattered his culture’s ethnic bounds—from his conversation with the Samaritan woman to honoring the faith of the Roman centurion to making a “Good Samaritan” his paragon of real love.  So it is that Paul could write to the Colossians, “Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.”

This is also why Christian families often choose cross-racial adoption so readily.  They recognize that a child’s heart and all that we share, including the need for a family, is far more important than race or ethnicity.

And yet, we also recognize that these elements are indeed important aspects of the human experience.  There are special challenges and burdens many have faced because of their culture, ethnicity, or background.  Just as important, there is special beauty in the multiplicity of forms that represent the human race—from skin tone and eye shape to cultural expressions of music, humor and narrative.

With this in mind, the Alliance desires to help Christians touched by cross-racial adoption to approach these issues with thoughtful intentionality.   As a “cross-racial” adoptive Dad myself, I know that love transcends race, but doesn’t erase it.  Nor would we want that.  Rather, thoughtful engagement with issues of race and ethnicity helps us to see more of the wonder of God’s world and also to love others well.

 This month’s Alliance webinar will focus onTransracial Adoption – Becoming a Multiracial/ Multicultural Family.  It will be held Wednesday, August 31 at 2:00 PM Eastern.  Register HERE at no charge.  The webinar will highlight both rewards and challenges of expanding a family through trans-racial adoption—including social understandings of race, ethnicity, nationality and culture.  We will explore both positive and difficult issues related to the life-long consequences of adoption, and offer tangible suggestions to help a church community embrace and support multi-racial families.

If interested, you can also order an MP3 or CD of the well-received sessions on this topic from Summit VIII.  “Becoming a Multi-Cultural/Multi-Racial Family” sessions I and II are both available for order HERE.

NCFA’s most recent Adoption Advocate titled “Race and Identity in Transracial Adoption: Suggestions for Adoptive Parents” addresses these issues thoughtfully as well.  The article incorporates interviews with transracial adoptees, adoptive parents, and adoption experts, and includes practical suggestions for prospective adoptive families as well as those already parenting transracially adopted children.