Supporting transracially adopted teens

Adoption expert Beth Hall analyzes the best ways to be supporting transracially adopted kids in your household, especially those in their teenager years who might also be struggling with other issues.
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Supporting transracially adopted teens

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So pre-teens and teens are exciting and wonderful, and they kind of scare us as parents. There's a lot of going on for this age group. What is our job when we are teens? Our job is to figure out who we are, oh that little job right, big deal. So let us think about it in a context of all the things that our particular kids are going to be dealing with. They are dealing with the reality that they came from another family, that they were born to and got moved in to our family, that's called adoption. They are dealing with the reality that they are race that maybe targeted in stereo type in certain ways and they have to figure out how they are going to navigate that in the world. And oh by the way, they are dealing with every human deals with just who am I, what do I want to be, what do I want to do, what do I want to act like. Teen years tend to be volatile, and the truth is they probably need to be. And for these kids, our kids, transracially adopted kids we can expect extra volatility, because guess what they have some extra work to do. So, that can mean a couple of things, it may take a little longer for them to come to their own answers and that's the goal every time. Never to be a dent by be force by the world to take on an identity that isn't actually theirs but to find their own. But we need to give them room to explore that and understand that they are vulnerable and they are going to need to try on different things and that may include, moments of anger, moment of a little craziness, moments of uncertainty for them and for us. So part of being a parent to a teen is holding on and once again saying no matter where you go, no matter what you do, we are with you all the way, and we'll get through this and together we'll get through this, nothing will scare us off.

Adoption expert Beth Hall analyzes the best ways to be supporting transracially adopted kids in your household, especially those in their teenager years who might also be struggling with other issues.

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Beth Hall

Director, Pact - An Adoption Alliance

Beth Hall is an adoption educator who co-founded Pact, An Adoption Alliance, which is a multicultural adoption organization dedicated to addressing essential issues affecting adopted children of color. Pact offers lifelong support and placement services for birth and adoptive families with adopted kids of color. A national speaker, she is also the author of numerous articles and a book, Inside Transracial Adoption, which is filled with personal stories, practical suggestions, and theory, and delivers the message that race matters; racism is alive; and families built transracially can develop strong and binding ties. In 2010 she received the Outstanding Practitioner in Adoption Award, from the Adoption Initiative at St. John's University. She currently serves as a contributing author and advisory board member for “Adoption Clubhouse,” a project promoting positive identity in transracially adopted children for the Evan B. Donaldson Institute for Adoption and as an Advisory Board Member for the On Your Feet Foundation, dedicated to supporting birth mothers of adopted children.Commitment to family is a way of life for Beth. She is the white adoptive mom of two young adults: Sofia, a Latina, and James, an African American. Beth grew up a member of an adoptive family—her sister, Barbara, was adopted. She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and sometimes her adult children, when they are home.

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