Saturday, April 9, 2011

Colorblind Parenting More Harmful Than Helpful

USAToday article reports on the Council on Contemporary Families, including Adam Pertman's new book and this research on transracial adoption:
Research by Gina Samuels, an associate professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, has focused on identity development among transracial adoptees.

Samuels, a multiracial adoptee who has worked in child welfare, has found that the goal of being "colorblind" that white parents often espouse may not be the best approach for white parents to take with their kids of other races.

"Colorblindness actually creates discordance," she says, because parents set their child up to believe that race doesn't matter — until the kids find that often race is an issue in the real world and they haven't been prepared for it.

Her study of multiracial adoptees, "Being raised by white people: Navigating racial difference among multiracial adopted adults," was published in 2009 in the Journal of Family and Marriage. She found that "colorblind" parenting may actually be more harmful than helpful to kids.
The article reports that about 40% of adoptions in America are transracial; among children from other countries adopted by American parents, 84% are transracial or transethnic.


Reena said...

Only white people make comments about "being colorblind." I think it is a holdover from back in the early day of the civil rights movement.

White people CAN BE colorblind. We can choose to not let the color of one's skin influence our judgement about the person and we are largely not effected by other people's judgement of us based on skin color.

People of color, however, cannot be colorblind because, unfortunately, There are people in the world who will and do make jusgements about a person based upon the color of their skin.

Reena said...

White parents of non-white children only set their children up for a world of hurt and confusion if they teach them to be 'color blind.'