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Tips for handling the challenges of transcultural adoptions

Raising a family is a rewarding and beautiful experience. But it can also be very challenging.

Transcultural families-i.e. families with adopted children from other cultures-are no different in this regard. However, some of the challenges that transcultural families face are unique to their situation.

Identity and transcultural children

While all adopted children may experience issues around self-identity, children of transcultural adoptions in particular may struggle with self-identification.

Depending on the age of the child at the time of adoption, they may face significant language and cultural barriers. This, in turn, can make it harder for the child to healthily create their self-identity.

Tips for transcultural parents

Every parent wants to make sure their child grows up as healthy and well-adjusted as possible. As a transcultural parent, this process may include extra steps to help your child connect with their birth culture while forging their identity in a new environment.

Parents of transcultural families can accomplish this in many ways. These methods can include:

  • Cooking traditional foods of the child's culture
  • Learning the child's birth language and encouraging the child to learn/maintain their birth language
  • Celebrating holidays and cultural events
  • Visiting multiracial centers
  • Traveling to the child's birth country

These activities give your child the opportunity to connect with their birth culture. Practicing a commitment to incorporating your child's birth culture in the family life can bridge any gap that they may feel between these two parts of their identity.

Rewards of transcultural families

While transcultural families may face unique challenges, they also have unique opportunities to grow closer with one another through their multi-cultural family life.

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