Children interracially adopted loose the opportunity to learn about their heritage. Heritage, what is it and how important is it? Can children adopted by people of a different race other than their own learn about their own heritage? Is heritage more important than adoption? Is a child better served staying in foster care with those of his own race or being adopted by those outside his race? These are some of the questions I will explore in this report. I will compare a same race adopted adult with an interracially adopted adult.
First let’s explore what heritage is. Is it the kind of hair you have or the color of your skin? As defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, in 1983 edition, heritage is: “Something passed down from proceeding generations; tradition.” Heritage includes your culture that your ancestors associated with. It includes traditions of the land where your ancestors came from; this could be language, foods, dances, customs, religion and many others. Some people take great pride in where they came from and others do not care. How important heritage is to a person depends of the individual. The more you learn about your own heritage, the more enlightened you are to others. Some families celebrate their heritage by cooking certain types of food, with recipes handed down from generation to generation. Others celebrate holidays differently or not at all.
America is known as the “melting pot,” where people of different backgrounds live together. People with different background marry and start their own traditions. These differences are not visible, but skin color and hair texture are visible. In Ivor Gaber’s article, He writes how a Christian single mum adopted an olive skinned Muslim, because both are black. Their heritage is different but the skin color is the same. Does this make a child learn his/her heritage from its parents? My point is that heritage is not skin color.

In a predominately white community, a black person may feel inferior to a white person. This happens because of the skin tone difference, not because of a person’s heritage. The feeling of inferiority occurs because the person has far less people to associate their difference with. People tend not to recognize differences as positive. This is proved in most high schools. To prove this statement I have to provide the background information. If the popular trend is to wear your shirt with one sleeve cut off., and everyone came to school with one sleeve cut off the trend would be positive. If only two people came to school with one sleeve cut off the trend would be negative. The more people you have that share a commonality, the more likely you will feel positive. Being that having one sleeve cut off shirts are a noticeable difference; you can try to relate this to a person’s skin color or hair texture. There are only two kids in high school that has a different hair texture. The kids must now look at the positively portal of individuality. They have to try to assimilate their hairstyles to be accepted positively. It would be nice to say everyone accepts a person based on their individuality and not on the popular norms. Some people just do not accept differences and that is where I think racism and inferiority occur. A strong knowledge of one heritage can lead to a strong individual. An individual goes through stages of identifying with themselves, such as a female or male, black or white, and other such issues as heritage.
An interracial adoption occurs and the child has to deal with the difference in skin tone. The child must then identify all difference as positive. A child can have a hard time dealing with the differences, but a family’s love can help them. Being placed into a secure and loving home is more important to the child growing up, than if the parents are the same color as them. The child can not learn about his/ her own heritage from their parents. The child has to watch movies, or read historical resources, to learn about the differences in heritage. The parents can influence the child to do so by positively encouraging them to acknowledge their heritage.
Historically, it was not until the 1960’s that trans-racial adoptions were legal.