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Adoption and Child Separation at the Border

On June 1, 2018 Rebekah Henson published an important thread on Twitter critiquing the hashtags #FamiliesBelongTogether and #Ke...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Sight Unseen: Navigating Adoption Spaces as an Adoptee of Color

A question was asked at the American Adoption Congress Conference this weekend. “What is the most challenging thing about being transracially adopted.” To me, the most challenging thing about being a transracial adoptee is being hyper-visible and invisible at the same time. 

Being the black daughter of white lesbian moms, is basically like having ADOPTED written on your forehead. The constant, curious stares of strangers on the sidewalk, the probing questions of the perplexed person in the checkout line and even the “jokes” from friends and family, served to remind me that my family was always on display. My identity as a transracial adoptee was hyper-visible.  Ironically, as a child, invisibility robbed me of families like mine in the media or popular culture. As I entered my teenage years into adulthood, I noticed a new type of invisibility. Where were the transracial adult adoptees’ voices in conversations about adoption and within the adoption community?

I quickly learned however, it was not a LACK of voices; it was a lack of listening to said voices. Decisions like NPR’s when producing a segment on transracial adoption where despite interviewing an ADULT adoptee, the segment aired with only the voice of a white adoptive parent with young children.