Op-ed pick: The challenges of interracial adoption

One of our producers, Meggan Ellingboe, passed along this op-ed from The New York Times and sent me this note:

I found this to be a refreshing op-ed written by an adoptive parent; Frank Ligtvoet surprised me with his self–aware essay about being a supportive parent to his two children who happen to be African-American. Ligtvoet brings to light the struggle people like me–those adopted by parents of another race–consciously or unconsciously navigate around identity.

What does it mean to be raised with expectations to be part one group while society expects you to firmly identify as your physical self? How do you keep track of two identities or reconcile them? Where do you find acceptance?

Here’s an excerpt from Frank Ligtvoet’s column about raising a child of a different race from your own:

Our daughter once threw a tantrum on a crowded street on the way to school, and the only way to move forward involved dragging. It was not a pretty sight, and a black woman who had witnessed the scene came up and, bypassing my partner, who was doing the dragging, addressed our child: “Is this your father? Is this your father?” She was claiming our daughter as part of the black community.

You can read the whole op-ed here.