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    • November 2015
    • 9780231172219
  • 352 Pages

  • Paperback
  • $27.95
  • / £19.95

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    • November 2015
    • 9780231172202
  • 352 Pages

  • Hardcover
  • $85.00
  • / £63.00

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    • November 2015
    • 9780231540483
  • 352 Pages

  • E-book
  • $26.99
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In Their Voices

Black Americans on Transracial Adoption

Rhonda M. Roorda

While many proponents of transracial adoption claim that American society is increasingly becoming "color-blind," a growing body of research reveals that for transracial adoptees of all backgrounds, racial identity does matter. Rhonda M. Roorda elaborates significantly on that finding, specifically studying the effects of the adoption of black and biracial children by white parents. She incorporates diverse perspectives on transracial adoption by concerned black Americans of various ages, including those who lived through Jim Crow and the Civil Rights era. All her interviewees have been involved either personally or professionally in the lives of transracial adoptees, and they offer strategies for navigating systemic racial inequalities while affirming the importance of black communities in the lives of transracial adoptive families.

In Their Voices is for parents, child-welfare providers, social workers, psychologists, educators, therapists, and adoptees from all backgrounds who seek clarity about this phenomenon. The author examines how social attitudes and federal policies concerning transracial adoption have changed over the last several decades. She also includes suggestions on how to revise transracial adoption policy to better reflect the needs of transracial adoptive families.

Perhaps most important, In Their Voices is packed with advice for parents who are invested in nurturing a positive self-image in their adopted children of color and the crucial perspectives those parents should consider when raising their children. It offers adoptees of color encouragement in overcoming discrimination and explains why a "race-neutral" environment, maintained by so many white parents, is not ideal for adoptees or their families.

About the Author

Rhonda M. Roorda, M.A., was adopted into a white family and raised with two nonadopted siblings. She is a national speaker on transracial adoption and a recipient of the Judge John P. Steketee Adoption Hero Award from the Adoptive Family Support Network (MI). With Rita J. Simon, she coauthored a landmark trilogy of books on transracial adoption (In Their Own Voices, In Their Parents' Voices, and In Their Siblings' Voices). She works as a fund administrator at an educational advocacy organization in Lansing, Michigan.

"In Their Voices is a historical lesson in transracial adoption that adoptive parents shouldn't miss. It also provides a deep look at the policy and practices currently in place in the child welfare and domestic adoption system – these issues should also be deeply considered by the social workers, agencies, and others working in the adoption community." — Kim Phagan-Hansel, Adoption Today

"A deft interviewer." — Adoptive Families

"Roorda's newest text on transracial adoption comes at a timely and proitious moment.... Highly recommended." — Choice

"A straight-forward statement on the problem of developing positive racial identity for transracial adoptees. It provides a clear context for the problem, and a creative response through sixteen interviews with persons who have credibility to speak to the issue." — Betsy Vonk, School of Social Work at University of Georgia

"In the fourth installment of In Their Voices, Rhonda M. Roorda delivers the missing voices of black and biracial nonadopted adults on the topic of race, family, identity, and adoption. The transcribed interviews, laid bare without analysis, convey the keen insights of her participants, as well as pieces of her own story. In journeying through the reflections of persons who grew up during the Jim Crow era, the civil rights era, and the post–civil rights era, readers will come to realize that the identity work for any person who is racialized in our society is complex, context-tied, and a lifetime process. This book is not preachy or overly academic, and it is unique for its historically situated organizing of the interviews by generation. Thanks, Rhonda, for keeping the conversation of racial socialization and identity going within and beyond the adoption community!" — Gina M. Samuels, University of Chicago

"An important and frank book that deepens the conversation around transracial adoption. Roorda examines the history of transracial adoption in America and the challenges black adoptees face in white households, broaching topics that few dare talk about but many think about. Every transracial adoptive family should have this on their bookshelf." — Julia Scheeres, author of Jesus Land: A Memoir

"Roorda has made a major contribution to the study of transracial adoption by introducing into the scholarly discussion the impressions and memories of adoptees and others intimately associated with this important, albeit neglected, facet of American race relations. While forthrightly sharing her own views, she displays an impressive ability to elicit and document a wide array of beliefs and sentiments that have played important roles in shaping the contours of interracial adoption policy. In Their Voices is a fascinating and intelligently edited compilation, one that should receive a broad readership." — Randall Kennedy, Harvard University

"At a time when a postracial society remains an elusive fantasy, In Their Voices is indispensable. This book represents the dinner party I wish my parents had thrown—full of interesting African Americans whose wisdom I now know reflects my own experience. Whether formed through adoption or marriage, multiracial families looking for tools to raise healthy children of color will find Roorda's latest book to be a valuable resource." — Phil Bertelsen, Producer and director, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

About the Author

Rhonda M. Roorda, M.A., was adopted into a white family and raised with two nonadopted siblings. She is a national speaker on transracial adoption and a recipient of the Judge John P. Steketee Adoption Hero Award from the Adoptive Family Support Network (MI). With Rita J. Simon, she coauthored a landmark trilogy of books on transracial adoption (In Their Own Voices, In Their Parents' Voices, and In Their Siblings' Voices). She works as a fund administrator at an educational advocacy organization in Lansing, Michigan.

Foreword, by Leon W. Chestang
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Moving Beyond the Controversy of the Transracial Adoption of Black and Biracial Children
Part I. Jim Crow Era (1877–1954)
Evelyn Rhodes, great grandmother and matriarch
W. Wilson Goode Sr., first black mayor of Philadelphia (1984–92)
Cyril C. Pinder, mentor and former National Football League player
Part II. Civil Rights Era (1955–72)
Arthur E. McFarlane II, great grandson of W. E. B. Du Bois and advocate for the preservation of cultural heritage
Lora Kay (pseudonym), principal of a charter school in Washington, D.C.
Chester Jackson, professional adoption worker and adoptive father
Henry Allen, professor of sociology
Part III. Post–Civil Rights Era (1973–Present)
Vershawn A. Young, author and scholar
Michelle M. Hughes, adoption attorney and adoptive mother
Mahisha Dellinger, CEO and founder of Curls
Deneta Howland Sells, physician and civil rights advocate
Tabitha, child welfare bureau chief
Bryan Post, CEO of the Post Institute for Family-Centered Therapy and adoptee
Shilease Hofmann, spouse of a transracial adoptee
Chelsey Hines, foster care alumna and transracial adoptee
Demetrius Walker, entrepreneur and cofounder of the dN|BE Apparel
Conclusion
Afterword
Appendix: Multicultural Adoption Plan
Notes
References

About the Author

Rhonda M. Roorda, M.A., was adopted into a white family and raised with two nonadopted siblings. She is a national speaker on transracial adoption and a recipient of the Judge John P. Steketee Adoption Hero Award from the Adoptive Family Support Network (MI). With Rita J. Simon, she coauthored a landmark trilogy of books on transracial adoption (In Their Own Voices, In Their Parents' Voices, and In Their Siblings' Voices). She works as a fund administrator at an educational advocacy organization in Lansing, Michigan.

Read the preface to In Their Voices:

About the Author

Rhonda M. Roorda, M.A., was adopted into a white family and raised with two nonadopted siblings. She is a national speaker on transracial adoption and a recipient of the Judge John P. Steketee Adoption Hero Award from the Adoptive Family Support Network (MI). With Rita J. Simon, she coauthored a landmark trilogy of books on transracial adoption (In Their Own Voices, In Their Parents' Voices, and In Their Siblings' Voices). She works as a fund administrator at an educational advocacy organization in Lansing, Michigan.

About the Author

Rhonda M. Roorda, M.A., was adopted into a white family and raised with two nonadopted siblings. She is a national speaker on transracial adoption and a recipient of the Judge John P. Steketee Adoption Hero Award from the Adoptive Family Support Network (MI). With Rita J. Simon, she coauthored a landmark trilogy of books on transracial adoption (In Their Own Voices, In Their Parents' Voices, and In Their Siblings' Voices). She works as a fund administrator at an educational advocacy organization in Lansing, Michigan.

About the Author

Rhonda M. Roorda, M.A., was adopted into a white family and raised with two nonadopted siblings. She is a national speaker on transracial adoption and a recipient of the Judge John P. Steketee Adoption Hero Award from the Adoptive Family Support Network (MI). With Rita J. Simon, she coauthored a landmark trilogy of books on transracial adoption (In Their Own Voices, In Their Parents' Voices, and In Their Siblings' Voices). She works as a fund administrator at an educational advocacy organization in Lansing, Michigan.