Pact Provides

Transracial Adoption: Breaking the Racial Sound Barrier

Start time/date: Oct  18, 2014 9:30 AM
End time/date: Oct  18, 2014 3:00 PM
Place: Emeryville Location
Details will be emailed, Emeryville CA 94608

Transracial Adoption: Breaking the Racial Sound Barrier

No one can live in an environment “diverse enough” or “friendly enough” or “good enough” to protect children of color from the hurt of racism. Discrimination hurts everyone, but white parents are especially susceptible to being taken aback by racist experiences, because they don’t anticipate them.  To successfully support their children of color, white parents must take an honest look at their own blind spots and biases, in order to become effective anti-racist allies.


We all bring assumptions and unexamined ideas to new situations. You can expect to find that you carry within yourself both negative and positive internalized attitudes about adoption and race. Our society is biased in many ways, and each member of society is a student of the lessons society teaches us.  Acknowledging your own racism and “adoptism” is painful, particularly since it means that we carry prejudices against our own child. Though you may feel yourself free from these biases, it is more likely that you just don’t recognize them fully yet. The more you learn, the more you will realize how much race and adoption matter and how much more you need to understand


How can we know what our children are thinking and feeling about race? Open communication is essential—and the importance of listening mindfully cannot be over-stated. The key is talking with our children, not talking to them. Young children’s feelings usually emerge in their play or preferences for crayon colors (“black is a yucky color”), ice-cream flavors, or skin colors of dolls. As children grow, their understanding of adoption and sensitivity to the role played by race in our society changes. Learn to break the racial sound barrier in your family by modeling the belief that race matters and that as a family it is a topic and experience that can be mastered despite the different racial/ethnic identities between family members.


Beth Hall is the white adoptive mother of a Latina daughter and an African American son (both now young adults), and grew up with an adopted sister. She co-founded Pact in 1991 to combat the discrimination she witnessed against adopted children of color and their birth families. Since that time, she has facilitated the placement of over 1000 infants of color into strong, loving homes. She is the co-author, with Gail Steinberg, of the book Inside Transracial Adoption, as well as numerous articles on adoption and race. She is a nationally known advocate for adopted children of color who regularly lectures and leads workshops on ethical, non-racist adoption practices. In 2010 she received the Outstanding Practitioner in Adoption Award from the Adoption Initiative at St. John's University.

Pricing Description:

 $75.00/ per person

At door registration $100/ per person

There will be a 1 hour lunch break.  There is a nearby café or you may bring a brown bag lunch.  Refreshments will be provided.

Pact members receive a 15% discount to workshop registrations

Please choose carefully when registering for Pact events. Pact is not in a position to refund workshop or event registration fees.