In Their Voices: Black Americans on Transracial Adoption

Rhonda M. Roorda. Columbia Univ., $85 (352p) ISBN 978-0-231-17220-2
Who better than Roorda, “proud of being both African American and the product of a white family,” to traverse the sometimes rocky terrain of transracial adoption? Roorda, whose three previous books (most recently, In Their Siblings’ Voices) centered on interviews with transracial adoptees and their family members, here speaks to 16 black Americans whose lives illuminate the practice in the eras of Jim Crow, civil rights, and the present day. The interviewees have varied roles: non-adoptees interviewed include a sociologist, a social worker, one adoptee’s great-grandmother, another adoptee’s wife, and adoptive parents, while the adoptees include a former NFL player, an entrepreneur, a charter school principal, and a former mayor of Philadelphia. They are of many ages, locations, and levels of education and income. The interviews are addressed especially to white adoptive parents of black and biracial children, but they are also relevant to non-adopted siblings, social workers, adoption agents, and therapists. Roorda’s expressed goal, “to prepare white adoptive parents to raise culturally aware, self-confident, and centered children of color,” is admirably served by the book’s diverse viewpoints. An introduction briefly critiques previous research, and an appendix lays out specific and practical guidelines for transcultural and transracial adoption. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/14/2015
Release date: 11/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-231-17221-9
Ebook - 978-0-231-54048-3
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