While once rare in the US, parents adopting children of a different race to their own is now common.
Some 73 percent of non-white children who are adopted are done so by white parents. Overall, more than 40 percent of adoptions in the US are transracial, a significant increase from 28 percent in 2004.
A number of adults who were adopted by parents of a different race have come forward to say they faced isolation and identity crises growing up, with the impact proving life-lasting. Other transracial adoptees report no major issues.
In the UK, the question has proven controversial with a debate centered on whether white parents can raise non-white children with a strong sense of ethnic identity and whether they are equipped to prepare them for racism they may face as adults.
British MPs in 2014 repealed a requirement that adoption agencies give “due consideration” to a child’s race when matching them with parents. The change was made partly because it was leading to non-white children waiting longer for adoption. Despite the change, the debate continues in the UK
In this episode of The Stream, we meet a panel of experts to learn more about this complex issue and ask how the challenge of identity can be reconciled with the need to find children loving homes.
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