World Trust

Transracial Adoption & Silence

Posted by Lisa Abbott on January 22, 2014

Melissa Harris-Perry’s public apology for her comic piece on the Romney family has brought transracial adoption into the news.  The Huffington Post article, “Kieran Romney and the Paradox of Transracial Adoption” goes as far to say “most whites are paralyzed by the thought of being labeled “racist” to the point that some clumsily and disingenuously invoke statements like “some of my best friends are Black” to appear as though they are not racist.”  For white people looking to create a loving environment for their family members and communities, the conversation on race is necessary.   However, we still don’t have healthy ways of talking about race—so we avoid it.

What is the impact of this silence?

In our film Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible 15 white social justice advocates discuss their progression from ignorance to social justice advocacy.  In support of Melissa Harris-Perry and promoting deep, honest conversation we are sharing this clip of Jenelle Peterson and her experience with transracial adoption.  The story in this video speaks to the painful effect silence can have on transracial adoptees and their families.