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Transracial Adoption, Identity, and Racism in the United States

Between Two Worlds

By Kyrai E. Antares

Transracial Adoption, Identity, and Racism in the United States: Between Two Worlds places racial literacy and anti-racism at the center of the transracial adoption debate. The author argues that transracial adoption stems from systemic issues of racial injustice, and that those problems will not be solved quickly, for they are still being realized. While the work to raise awareness of and correct the disproportionate number of Black children in foster care is done, transracial adoption will continue to occur. In the meantime, the author suggests an intentional examination of the narratives of Black transracial adoptees' experiences of race to learn about the racial socialization in transracial adoptive households during childhood, teen years, and into adulthood. Adoptees share what they learned about race in White families, what they needed in terms of racial socialization that they didn't get, the myriad feelings they have toward their families, and how they make sense of race in their lives as young adults in the United States. The stories told by adoptees in this book are centered to inspire a change in how transracial adoption is approached by White parents, adoption professionals, social workers, researchers, and counseling psychologists.


Antares has heard and magnified the voices of transracially adopted young adults, in relation to their racial identity, and sense of belongingness in a family of mostly White folks. The need for greater racial socialization, and increased depth of understanding of the US caste system and how their Black children will experience and navigate this is a critical demand on their White parents—one which is not always recognized or embraced, as evidenced by the experiences reflected in the text. Any White parents raising Black children would benefit from the great insights shared by the TRA, especially around one chapter’s theme of having to teach family about living as a Black person in a White family in the US. This work is very readable, deeply engaging, troubling, and redeeming.


— Hope Haslam Straughan, co-author of Parenting in Transracial Adoption: Real Questions, Real Answers


Kyrai E. Antares’ brilliantly written book aptly reveals the lesser-known cultural conflicts with Blacks raised in White culture. She perfectly describes how trans-racial Blacks quickly discover they cannot identify with their own socially expected racial roots. Growing up as a Black emerging adult myself, I concur and acknowledge that this book accurately portrays the social hardships and challenges of trans-racial emerging adults in America.

— Kevin L. White, author of Growing Up White: An Oreo’s Guide to Fitting In


Dr. Antares’ book on transracial adoption is an important, even critical read for couples and individuals thinking about adopting a child. As a counseling psychologist and transracial adoptive parent herself, Dr. Antares draws from her own experience and that of other transracial adoptive parents and children to illustrate the intrusive questions, conflicts, stares, stresses, slights, and enigmas that these families experience. Same-race adoptions are simply scarce for many parents resulting in parents adopting a child of a different race or ancestry. Black or other minority children are disproportionately available for adoption within the United States at the same time that most parents wishing to adopt a child are White and adoption of children from abroad has dropped dramatically over the past two decades, making this book an important read on transracial adoption in our society that remains racially conscious.



— Cardell Jacobson, author of White Parents, Black Children: Experiencing Transracial Adoption

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