Importance of Finding Cultural Heritage
Irrespective of adoption and finding biological parents, adoptive parents of foreign-born children should try to communicate the need for all people to find out what cultural and societal elements made them what they are today.
In engaging in a genealogical search or even a historical study of a child’s people, adoptive parents might want to make this into a bonding experience and try to find out more about their own people and family tree. They may also use this activity as an educative session to reinforce the idea that racial concepts of “black” and “white” are not very descriptive qualifiers.
Confronting the concepts of race, culture and nationality during a search for biological parents, adoptive parents may also take the opportunity to touch upon how discovery of one’s own cultural heritage may also involve discovery of less savory implications of attention to our differences. In particular, parents may wish to (delicately and age-appropriately) discuss social problems like racism and discrimination, and in accord with their beliefs, may wish to talk with their child about the good in accepting people for who they are.
As important as finding cultural heritage and finding biological parents are, though, it is just as essential that parents help older children after the adoption preserve their cultural knowledge. To help ease children into a new life in a new country, adoptive parents may choose to cook traditional foods from that child’s country, learn some of their first language, or construct games and other activities around cultural symbols familiar to the children.