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Transracial Adoption: It's Complicated

Transracial Adoption: It's Complicated

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Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt with two of their adopted kids, Zahara and Maddox. Source: Sevastian D'Souza/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Source: Sevastian D'Souza/AFP/Getty Images

In the interest of getting as many minority kids out of foster care and into loving homes as possible, the Multiethnic Placement Act promotes a color-blind approach to adoptions... In other words, it's legally prohibited "the delay or denial of any adoption or placement in foster care due to the race, color, or national origin of the child or of the foster or adoptive parents." On the face, it sounds good — more kids in solid, intact families instead of the ups and downs of foster care. Like most things, though, it's more complicated than that.

According to a new report from the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and endorsed by a multitude of others, the act has caused agencies to shy away from discussions of race at all, leaving adoptive parents unprepared to help their new children through the challenges of growing up in a family of a different race. Have you adopted children of another race, or did you grow up in a family where your parents didn't look like you? What sorts of resources could have made the process easier?