What Adopting Two Children Has Taught Me About Race And Racism

This guest post is by Paige Knipfer, an adoptive mother and adoption consultant.

For 29 years, I lived in a blissfully comfortable color-blind bubble of ignorance and denial. I knew racism existed in this country but never around me. Not in my family or my friends. Not in my community. 

I was wrong on so many levels.

When we adopted our daughter the first question I was asked by some family members was “What color or race is she?” 

I was devastated. I wondered why it mattered. I knew and worried that my child wouldn’t feel a part of the family.

Whenever I talked about my daughter or mentioned she was adopted I would show a photo. Most people were shocked to find that she is white.

When society hears the word “adoption,” they think of a child from another country who is stereotypically black. Even now if we mention she is adopted some people seem shocked.

Recently, we adopted again—a son. We know he isn’t white, but we’re not sure yet what his racial identity is because some of his birth history is still in question.

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