White parents of adopted Black children in an era of racial reckoning: Challenges, tensions, and strategies
Objective: This study explores White middle-class adoptive parents' experiences with parenting Black children (M age = 12.3), attending to how intersections of children's race, gender, and developmental stage informed and nuanced parents' approach to racial socialization. Background: Scholarly debate regarding the adoption of Black children by White parents centers on parents' ability to facilitate positive racial identity development. Limited work has explored how White parents' approach to racial socialization is shaped by Black children's gender and developmental stage, particularly as children grow older and encounter intensified racialized stereotypes. Method: Twenty-five White parents (11 lesbian mothers, seven gay fathers, seven heterosexual mothers) were selected from a larger sample of 128 adoptive families because they adopted Black (including biracial/multiracial) children, and were interviewed as their children entered adolescence. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data. Results: A typology emerged that captured parents' racial awareness and racial socialization approach: Minimizing and Reluctant, Worried and Fumbling, Aware but Cautious, and Reflexive and Purposeful. Additional cross-cutting themes centered on the role of the sociopolitical climate, gender, and developmental stage in racial socialization. Conclusion: Contemporary adoptive parents of Black children are often constrained by their own White racial frame, but some parents, especially those who are younger or have monoracial children, are able to translate awareness of the complexities involved in raising adopted Black children into meaningful action and understanding.
Journal of Marriage and Family
Goldberg, Abbie E.; McCormick, Nora; Kironde, Emma; Virginia, Haylie; and Logan, Maddie, "White parents of adopted Black children in an era of racial reckoning: Challenges, tensions, and strategies" (2022). Psychology. 288.