August 26, 2010

Embryo and Transracial Adoption

Transracial adoption is an issue to be addressed in any adoption and can force a couple to consider a new and very different comfort zone.

happyafricanamericanbabyMost families do not consider a transracial adoption of embryos because they will be experiencing a pregnancy and giving birth to a child.
This experience is as close to having biological children as any adoption can be. The initial reaction of most is that the children we give birth to should look like us or at least be the same race or combination thereof as the parents. Embryo adoption is unusual enough, and to ask families to consider a transracial adoption may cause a pause. A very long pause. A family's capacity could be stretched; yet, for some, transracial adoption could be the very right decision.

First, embryo adoption as with all adoptions is not to create children for couples. As with all adoption, it is a means to allow children to grow in a loving family. Second, some embryos, as with some orphans, wait longer for a family because of their race/ethnicity. Unlike other children, they are faceless and nameless. Their cute little faces do not have the chance to say, "Yes, I look different from you, but I sure am adorable." These embryos, like all orphans, need a family to love them.

Even for families who more than eagerly would adopt across racial lines, the idea of delivering a baby outside of their race would cause too much concern of what the experience would be like and the reaction of others. Imagine the faces of the hospital staff, quite surprised that a woman is delivering a child outside the race of her and her husband. Fortunately, this experience will last for only about two days while in the hospital. If you have great confidence and a sense of humor, you will be like any other transracial adoptive family -- conspicuous and expressing yourselves as a multi-racial family.

Even if you do not adopt transracially, in an embryo adoption, as with nearly any other adoption, your child may not look like you. He may eventually tower over you; he may have brown eyes, when both you and your spouse have blue eyes. His hair may be dark and curly while yours is straight and blond. But he will be your child regardless.

All children give us an opportunity to grow. They give us a chance to express God's love and character. Adopting an embryo is a strong statement as to how you feel about pre-born life. Adopting outside of your race could be a further indication of the strength and courage you have within and how you choose to express it in word and deed.

Here is what one adoptive mother said regarding her and her husband's transracial adoption:

Our openness to adopting a child of a different ethnicity than our own really began years ago, when we knew God was putting Japan on our hearts. At the time, we didn't realize that this growing interest in Japanese culture and love for Japanese people would have anything to do with adoption, let alone embryo adoption. Years later, as we prayed about whether God wanted us to adopt, we also prayed about who God would have us adopt. We felt led to consider the possibility of adopting from a family with Japanese heritage.

The idea of adopting a child with a different ethnicity was exciting, but also raised some inevitable questions. Would our child wish we shared the same ethnic background? Would ethnic differences only add to the potentially complex feelings faced by the child?

Confirmation came to both of us in different ways, through scripture verses and a sermon. We both felt God saying that when He puts a family together, ethnicity isn't a hindrance. In a beautiful photo - from a sermon PowerPoint - of babies of all different ethnicities sitting together, God seemed to clearly speak to our hearts that He sees each one as His child, and He has a home for each child. We felt completely at peace from that point forward. God had answered our biggest questions and shown us His heart for adoption.

We were so thrilled when there was a genetic family with Japanese heritage that was interested in us! We loved reading about them and knew right away that they were the ones for us.

During the pregnancy and with the birth of our daughter, we have felt such a strong bond of love with her -- a bond that would be no stronger had she been our genetic daughter. We are both so proud to be her parents. We are grateful to God for how He has put our family together, and every day we enjoy the blessing of our precious daughter.

Here is the response of one mother of why she placed her embryos for adoption to a family of another race:

The honest reason was God. He sees our hearts so we looked at the hearts of each profile we saw. We know we made the right decision because we are blessed with each and every email we receive from the family.

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