Critical and Creative Thinking in Transracial Adoption

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Delores B. Gallo


The standard profile of the American family has undergone a dramatic change within the last few decades, with an increase in single parent households, teen parents, inter-religious and inter-ethnic relationships, and the emergence of same-sex parents. Included in this vast array of familial definitions is the multiracial family. Often these families arise through interracial marriage; however, they are steadily escalating through interracial adoptions. Transracial adoptions, the focus of this paper, have increased for various reasons. One is that the number of children available for adoption exceeds the same-race people who are waiting to adopt. Another reason is the option to adopt infants from overseas. For whatever reason(s), transracial adoptions have been scrutinized. They not only alter the visual image of the American family, but they accentuate one of society's major blemishes: racism. As a result, opposing fronts have gathered, for or against transracial adoption. This paper begins with an historical overview of the controversy surrounding transracial adoption. It offers an analysis of the conceptual debate and the responses of an important professional organization, the National Association of Black Social Workers. Following a selective review of relevant empirical studies, the paper explains the usefulness of critical and creative thinking techniques to develop coping strategies among family members and describes a series of workshops addressing this goal.


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