The Top 5 Things Transracial Adoptees Need From Their Parents

By Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker

As a parent, how often do you wish you could read your child’s mind? What would you give if you could understand their thoughts and feelings? What would it mean for you to know what they really need from you?

If you are a white adoptive parent to a child of color, it may seem difficult to relate to your child’s needs. If you have not experienced life as an adoptee or a person of color or if you are not trained in the psychology of racial identity development, then as the saying goes: “You can’t know what you don’t know.” Luckily, there is a plethora of resources to learn “what you don’t know” as a transracially adoptive parent, so the narrative can shift to: “When you know better, you can do better” (abbreviated quote from Maya Angelou).

As a psychologist who specializes in transracial adoption, as a transracial adult adoptee, and as a transracially adoptive parent, I’m here to provide you with insight on how you can “do better” for your child. Here are the top five things I believe every transracial adoptee needs from their parents, based on my professional and personal experiences:

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