I came across an interesting article in the Boston Globe today about embracing birth culture with adoptees. I thought some of the adoptive parents who read our blog would find it interesting.
The article is written by a Taiwanese adoptee who warns parents not to go too far with celebrating or idealizing their child's native culture or it may have damaging effects. Back when international adoption started to become more common in the 70s and 80s adoptive parents were told to bring their children up as "American" and not to confuse them with their birth culture.
When these adoptees became adults social workers realized that not teaching adoptees about their birth culture was damaging to adoptees. Some adoptees felt that because of the way they looked they did not really fit into American culture and they also did not fit it with their native culture because they know nothing about it.
So adoption experts switched gears and social workers now stress (as ours did) the importance of birth culture in our children's lives. The author of the article warns adoptive parents not to just focus on the fun parts of birth culture like food and music. But to also to discuss the more difficult topics like racial stereotypes and bullying.
Overall though the author advises adoptive parents to just "relax". Find a happy middle ground and give your kids the space when they need it. Grace is a bit young to start with any real birth culture type stuff but is nice to have articles like this to refer to for later on. If you are interested in the article it is linked below.