Racism, prejudice, and discrimination is a systemic problem that touches all aspects of our lives, including adoption. Spence-Chapin staff held an event, originally titled “Race and Racism,” which created a space for adoptive parents to talk about race and racism after the murder of George Floyd last year. After our first event in June 2020, we wanted to continue the conversation about race, racism, prejudice, and discrimination with adoptive families, whether they were hoping to adopt or already parenting and created a reoccurring group. Adult adoptees voices were critical in this discussion, and we are grateful to those who volunteered their time to share their stories, suggestions, and experiences with the groups. Over the last year, we have covered numerous topics, including anti-Asian hate, racism in the Latinx community, colorism, going back to school, talking to your extended family about race, identity development, hair care, sibling relationships, and anti-racism and activism. Parents of various backgrounds, nationalities, races, ethnicities, and personal and adoption stories came together to discuss racism’s impact on them as individuals and their families. We learned from one another, shared tips, and fostered a supportive, adoption community.
As the year progressed, the series was renamed, “Parenting Across Race,” to encompass all adoptive families who may be parenting a child of a different race, ethnicity, or cultural background than themselves and to share their experiences, joys, and challenges. The group has garnered much feedback and we tailor each topic based on attendee comments and suggestions. Many families have expressed how much they have learned and one shared, “This was FABULOUS! Thank you all so very much. What a great turn out and so many resources were shared. We loved it!”
Discussions about race, racism, and identity are ongoing conversations that will continue to shift and change with society, current events, and as families go through their own personal development and experiences. We invite you to join us in Fall 2021 as we continue these important discussions.