The real experts on adoption are the people who have lived the experience—adoptees. What do young adult transracial adoptees say are the most important things white parents must teach their black kids to keep them safe in this racial world we live in?
Whenever we hear a case such as the killing of Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown (or the local cases of police violence against young black men that never make the national news) every parent of a black son wonders what they can do to make certain that their child doesn’t become a statistic. White parents of African American children have the added disadvantage of teaching their children about a situation they likely haven’t experienced.
For example, on a recent Creating a Family radio show on Interracial Adoptive Parenting: White Parents with Brown Children, the guest said many black parents know that in order to get their driver’s license their children, especially their sons, must not only know the basics of how to drive a car, change a tire, and avoid other crazy drivers, they must also understand what it means to DWB (Drive While Black). As parents they have the added responsibility of making sure their sons can control their temper and stay respectful and safe even in situations that seem/are very unfair.
On a Creating a Family show with a panel of young adult African American and Haitian American adoptees, I asked what their parents did to prepare them to live safely in today’s world and what they would recommend for this current generation of transracial adoptive parents and children. They gave the following five suggestions.