transracial adoption resources

Transracial Adoption Resources
for Adoptees and Families

Anti-Racism, Social Justice, and Related Topics

Identity as it relates to race, especially in transracial and international adoption, has been a central theme in our post adoption therapeutic practice since BPAR's earliest days began in 2012. Our team of therapists believes in honoring a child's beginnings, encouraging open family conversations, supporting children when they encounter bias and insensitive questions at school, and providing white parents with resources to educate themselves and to fortify them to become activists, in the hope that they will enlighten other adults in their children's lives, including teachers, coaches, and other parents.

For the adult adoptees we serve, we routinely provide support around racial identity, racism, birth parent search, and other critical topics in our clinical practice and in the free resources we post on our website.

This page highlights some of the resources for transracial adoptees that we have created or curated.

What Is Transracial Adoption?

Transracial adoption "means placing a child who is of one race or ethnic group with adoptive parents of another race or ethnic group."
—Child Welfare Information Gateway

BPAR's Ebook on Transracial Adoption

This introduction to topics important for parenting a transracial adoptee, illustrated by first-hand accounts of the transracial adoption experience from over 26 adoptees or adoptive parents, spotlights the value of listening to unique voices on the path to building empathy and access to resources. Voices in Transracial Adoption: Insights from Adoptees, Parents & Professionals was written and published by BPAR and can be downloaded for free.

Voices in Transracial Adoption: Insights from Adoptees, Parents & Professionals>>

Other Resources on Transracial Adoption,
Anti-Racism and Social Justice

Whenever possible, a BPAR team member has read or listened to the resources below. In some cases, we include resource ideas based on recommendations from people we trust.

For Families


Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice – Marianne Celano
I, Too, Am America – Langston Hughes
It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way – Kyo Maclear
Where Are You From? - Yamile Saied Mendez
The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family - Ibtihai Muhammad
Suluwe – Lupita Nyong’o
The Day You Begin – Jacqueline Woodson
Black Girls Like Me – Mariama Lockington
Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners (book list) (book list) (book list) (list of picture books for young activists)

On the Topic of Transracial Adoption

5 Things I Wish My White Parents Knew -
Talking to Children After Racial Incidents - UPenn
When Is Love Not Enough? - Psychology Today

On the Topic of Race
Talking to Children About Race - UC Berkeley
Talking with Children About Racism, Police Brutality and Protests -
Teaching about Race, Racism and Police Violence -
An illustrated guide for parents teaching tolerance -
Parent Guide to Teaching Tolerance
This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action and Do the Work (workbook for parents)

Tips for White Parents Raising Black Children - Project Parenthood

For Adult Adoptees


All You Can Ever Know - Nicole Chung (read BPAR’s review)
Adopted From Asia: How It Feels to Grow Up in America - Frances M. Koh
The Book of Sarahs - Catherine E. McKinley
The Harris Narratives: An Introspective Study of a Transracial Adoptee - Susan Harris O’Connor
Voices from Another Place - edited by Susan Soon-Keum Cox
In Their Voices: Black Americans on Transracial Adoption - Ronda M. Roorda
Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption - edited by Jane Jeong Trenka


White-Washing Race: The Myth of a Color-Blind Society - Michael K. Brown,
Between the World and Me – Ta Nehisi Coates
When they Call You a Terrorist, black lives matter memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race – Beverly Daniel Tatum
So You Want to Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo
On the Plains of Snakes, A Mexican Journey -  Paul Theroux
Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption - edited by Jane Jeong Trenka


White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism -  Robin Diangelo
Waking Up White – Debbie Irving
Education of a White Parent: Wrestling with Race and Opportunity in the Boston Public Schools – Susan Naimark
Me and White Supremacy – Layla F. Saad

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack – Peggy McIntosh
An Adoptive Mom to Adoptees: I’m Sorry – Red Thread Broken blog
The Empathy Crisis of White America -
Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person -
The Injustice of this Moment is not an Aberration - NY Times
Resources for White People to Learn and Talk about Race and Racism -


Self-Care Tips for Black People -
Filling our Cups: 4 Ways People of Color Can Foster Mental Health and Practice Restorative Healing -


Black or White (adoption theme; read BPAR's review)
Closure (adoption theme; read BPAR's review)
Off and Running (adoption theme; read BPAR's review)
Just Mercy
The 13th
When They See Us


Born in June Raised in April: What Adoption Can Teach the World
Codeswitch - NPR
A Mother Reflects on Privilege, Adoption and Parenting "Without Perfection" - NPR

How to Overcome our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them - TED Talk by Verna Myers
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race – TED Talk by Jay Smooth
Zumbro River – TED Talk by Kim Van Brunt

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