Raising Biracial Children

I found this at mymindonpaper and asked the author if I could share it with Honeysmoke readers. Enjoy.

Kevin D. Hofmann

© Kevin D. Hofmann

How do you raise a child who is of another race?

Does race even matter in raising a child?

If I give that child a good loving home why should I worry about race?

What my parents did was pretty extreme according to society.  They adopted a biracial baby and brought me in to their white family.  They not only thought outside the box, they blew it up.

Now that they had me in their home they would have to decide how they would raise me.  It really came down to two decisions.  Should they raise me as their child who happens to be biracial and raise me as if I was no different?  Or do they recognize I am different and raise me accordingly?

If they choose the former there is no need to remain outside the box.  They can move back in to the box and pretend they never blew it up in the first place.

If they choose the latter, they say bon voyage to the box and create a different way of living for a different kind of family.

Thankfully, my parents chose to remain outside the box.  The realization that they were not like any other family was life changing.  Because we were not like any other family meant we could not live life like every other family.  They choose an extreme life and with that life came an extreme lifestyle.  To ignore our differences and live inside the box would have been too confining.

Bringing a child of another race in to your family means you now have to do some extreme things.  If you live in a community where there are few or no children like your child you have to search for extreme ways to find children like you child.

Does that mean going to a side of town you are not comfortable in to find children like your child?

It might.

Does it mean becoming members at a black church?

It could.

To ignore that your child is different in a world that constantly tells them they are different only sets your child up to struggle with who they are and how they fit in.

My parents were extreme.  They moved to a black neighborhood to give me that connection with my culture and it worked.  I gained an appreciation for the black culture, something my parents couldn’t teach me.   I found role models in kids I played with everyday.  I developed a sense of pride in being black and it laid the ground work for the racial identify that I would later develop.   Like I said it was extreme.

Should you move to a black neighborhood?

Maybe.

Extreme actions follow extreme choices.  Transracial adoption is an extreme choice.

What extreme actions are you willing to do?

  • I loved reading this…

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  • Kevin Hofmann

    Detroit is a very unique city in that it really had no diverse neighborhoods and blacks and white were at each others throats then. So the setting itself made it extreme and I also think in a family of 6 with one being black to move the whole family for initially the benefit of one is extreme. Eventually we all benefited but there was a cost my white brothers paid to be the minority.
    Lastly, and this is just my opinion but I don’t think many would have done what they did.

  • As someone who recently moved to a neighborhood with a higher black population, b/c I have a biracial daughter, I would say, it’s probably a good idea for all parents raising children of color. However, I’ll also say that we don’t like this neighborhood, b/c it’s quite boring. So now we’re thinking of moving to a more expensive neighborhood that has a high black population. We miss being able to walk places and we certainly don’t want to pay more for a house, but this seems like a good solve.

    I’m interested that the author says that his parents were extreme for moving to a black neighborhood. Was this a dangerous neighborhood? A black suburb like the one I grew up in? What makes they’re decision so extreme?

  • So interesting, b/c even though I’m black, my husband and I made a conscious decision to move to a more diverse neighborhood after I got pregnant. And we hate it. It’s boring here and there’s nothing to do.

    So now we’re thinking of moving to a neighborhood that isn’t quite as suburby, but still diverse. It will cost a bit more, but it’s something we’ll all be able to live with in the end.

    I find it interesting that moving to a black neighborhood is considered extreme by the author. Was this a dangerous neighborhood? A black suburb like the one I grew up in?

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