Saturday, July 18, 2015



What would it be like to go out for a fun day with your child and end up having to explain to “authorities” that you were truly parent and child?

Single and couple of all races and nationalities are adopting. Some adopt children of similar backgrounds. Others cross racial and ethnic lines to start or enlarge their families. While many look at the demographics of the area from which they will adopt and read about the birth culture and heritage, many do not fully explore the ramifications of creating or enlarging a multi-cultural family.

What will your family and future generations look like?
Are you prepared for people to stare at you?
What will you do when asked questions?
How will you handle derogatory comments?
What if they question your relationship to your child?

These are daily occurrences for families who adopt children who do not look like them.

As a parent, you will be modeling responses and behaviors in front of your child. You may be educating people on adoption, defending your position as a parent, arguing your right to adopt or helping your child understand what was said or implied. How you respond is critical to your child’s understanding how they and your family are viewed by others.

In this day and age with so many multi-cultural families formed by marriage, blended families and adoption – you’d think this would be less of an issue.  But, we also live in an era of child abductions and baby selling. People are on guard and are more apt to question and/or call the “authorities” to check the legitimacy of the relationship.

Do you need to walk around with copies of your child’s birth certificate, family photos, a letter from the adoption agency, the adoption papers themselves?

A family formed by adoption has the same legal rights as any other family.

Until a time that society recognizes families come in all shapes, sizes and colors, those of multi-cultural and multi-racial composition will need to be ever vigilant of how others view them.

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. She has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled adoptive parents and parents-to-be, and has trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program from March 1992 to March 2015. She was on the Advisory Board for POV's Adoption Series and featured as the adoption expert on The Newlyweds series on Bravo. She is Head Writer for, on the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood and has a private practice in New York City. She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001, Follow or reach her at ADOPTION MAVEN BLOG or EMAIL.