Adoption – Different Culture, Race, and Ethnicity

One important issue in adoption is whether or not to adopt a child from a different culture, race or ethnicity. Most adoptive parents are clear that they would like to adopt a child from their same background. However there are others who are open to adopting a child from a different culture, race or ethnicity.


In the recent years, Caucasian couples have started adopting Hispanic or African American children while African American families have started adopting Hispanic children. Jewish couples have started adopting children fromColombiaorChina. There are many children from Africa,India,South America,RussiaandKoreawho have been adopted by American parents.

When a child from a foreign country is adopted and brought into theUS, you are essentially bringing a child from a different culture to theUS– a country with its own culture. If the parents and the adopted child share the same physical features, then the adjustment process can be an easy one. But if the physical features are different, it can take time for the child to adopt. It can be a challenge for both the child and the adoptive parents.

Multicultural Families

Most adoptive parents want to adopt children who look like them. Many couples choose to adopt a child because of infertility and adoption is the only way they can have a child. In such cases, the thought of adopting a child from a different culture, race or ethnicity essentially reinforces the reality that they can never have their own biological children.

The adopted children too face a lot of challenges. For example, an African American child adopted by a Caucasian family inNew Englandwill generally be the only child of color in the school. He or she may be taunted by other children for being different. Asian children adopted by Jewish parents often struggle to accept their new faith.

Most experts opine that if you adopt a child from a different culture, race or ethnicity, you should make the child’s birth culture part of his or her new life. This may include attending religious services, joining multi-cultural support groups, incorporating food into your family life, etc. You may consider decorating your home with items that reflect your child’s background. Adoptive parents must also be sensitive and not make the different background of the child an issue in the family.


If you are considering adopting a child, explore the possibility of adopting a child from a different culture, race or ethnicity. Speak to an experienced adoption attorney to know whether it would be good decision to do so.

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