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March 2016Vol. 17, No. 1Transracial Parenting: Challenges and Tips

Every child deserves a loving family who will cherish them. Of the 415,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, 108,000 children under the age of 18 are currently waiting for adoptive families, according to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). African-American children continue to be overrepresented in foster care when compared to their numbers in the general population. In 2014, African-American children made up approximately 15 percent of all the children in the United States but 24 percent of the children in foster care. Given this disparity, transracial foster and adoptive placements are common.  

The November 2015 issue of Fostering Perspectives provides tips for foster and adoptive parents caring for children facing the challenges that present in transracial placements. Children and youth placed in homes with caregivers of different races and cultures may struggle with feeling different and excluded by family and peers, identity confusion/developing a positive identity, and racial discrimination and learning how to cope with prejudice and racism.

Fostering Perspectives suggestions for parents include:

  • Acknowledge and discuss differences
  • Prepare yourself (parent/caregiver) for prejudice and racism
  • Prepare your child for prejudice and racism
  • Celebrate your child's race and culture
  • Think about where you live and where your child goes to school

To read more about each tip and for additional related information and resources, access the November issue of Fostering Perspectives, sponsored by the North Carolina Division of Social Services and the Family and Children's Resource Program, at


Related Item

When fostering or adopting American Indian or Alaska Native children who have been removed from their home and placed in the care of the State, families must be aware of laws governing the placement and adoption of Native American / Alaska Native children and understand the importance of maintaining children's cultural heritage and unique legal status. AdoptUSKids identifies the relevant legal and cultural considerations. Visit the AdoptUSKids website to learn more at