Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2015-03-29 20:26Z by Steven

Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World

Paradigm Publishers
June 2015
192 pages
Trim size: 6″ x 9″
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-61205-848-1

Sharon H. Chang

Research continues to uncover early childhood as a crucial time when we set the stage for who we will become. In the last decade, we have also seen a sudden massive shift in America’s racial makeup with the majority of the current under-5 age population being children of color. Asian and multiracial are the fastest growing self-identified groups in the United States. More than 2 million people indicated being mixed race Asian on the 2010 Census. Yet, young multiracial Asian children are vastly underrepresented in the literature on racial identity. Why? And what are these children learning about themselves in an era that tries to be ahistorical, believes the race problem has been “solved,” and that mixed race people are proof of it? This book is drawn from extensive research and interviews with sixty-eight parents of multiracial children. It is the first to examine the complex task of supporting our youngest around being “two or more races” and Asian while living amongst “post-racial” ideologies.

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I’m a White Mom With Biracial Children, and What I Do With Their Hair Is No One’s Business

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-25 20:58Z by Steven

I’m a White Mom With Biracial Children, and What I Do With Their Hair Is No One’s Business

The Root
2015-03-24

Maria Guido, Associate Editor
Mommyish

Being the mother of two biracial children, I’m noticing that both races feel a sense of community when offering boundary-invading, unsolicited hair-care advice.

Maybe I’m just not the type of parent who likes unsolicited advice or people getting in my personal space, but one of the things that I’ve noticed about parenting a mixed-race child is that the general public seems to have no boundaries.

When you become a mother, you notice that the boundaries people usually have when dealing with others start to chip away. It begins in pregnancy when you may start to hear an onslaught of unsolicited advice from strangers, about everything from your diet to the probable sex of the child you’re carrying. Not to mention the complete strangers who come up and put their hands on, around and under your pregnant belly.

Then you have the child, and you become used to the “how cute” comments. Not a big deal. It’s not uncommon for people to comment when they see what looks to be a “brand-new” baby in front of them.

I understand that all parents experience this kind of attention, and it’s not necessarily negative. But after your child begins to grow, that attention usually wanes. As a mother of mixed-race children, I have yet to experience this “waning.” Maybe people have no boundaries when it comes to kids in general, but in my experience, having mixed-race children turns it up a notch…

Read the entire article here.

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“What Are You?” That’s None of Your Business

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-20 19:25Z by Steven

“What Are You?” That’s None of Your Business

Multiracial Asian Families
2015-03-20

Sharon H. Chang

A couple months ago I got cornered big time by a stranger and their “What are you?” mind-meld. The unsolicited probing went on for a while. Honestly something I’m used to. But this time was crazy multidimensional and unique in a way I don’t know I’ve ever experienced. It involved not only me, but my child, and then HER mixed children by comparison. This stranger just couldn’t resist wanting to know my and my son’s specific mixes, explained her husband was “American,” then wondered out loud if her son would one day look like my son and if her daughter would one day look like me. I was declared white-looking while my son was judged Asian-looking. A picture of her own children was then shown proudly with seeming expectation for praise (which I uncomfortably indulged). There was also some lecturing/instruction on how I should feel about my particular Asian heritage (which she shares) and why I should be able to afford visiting my paternal homeland (which I actually can’t). Finally, because she felt this exchange had laid the groundwork for connectivity, she asked to exchange info and wanted to set up a play date.

First let’s be clear. I don’t doubt the well-meaning and friendly intention of this stranger. I understand that my son and I were visually assessed as having something in common with her which could potentially be the beginning of shared interest. I understand this stranger probably felt her comments were sincere, genuine, even complimentary, and that we would receive them as kind, welcoming and affirming. But here is an important racial truth — there’s a big difference between intention versus impact in inter-race relations. Much of what was said in this exchange was actually incredibly egocentric, driven centrally by one person’s self-interested compulsion (I-need-to-know-I-have-to-know) and seemingly little to no consideration for how my son and I might feel like zoo animals…

Read the entire artricle here.

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This Passover Choose Judaism

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2015-03-16 01:53Z by Steven

This Passover Choose Judaism

My Jewish Learning
Be’chol Lashon
2015-03-10

Alex Barnett

My wife and I are an interracial couple. I am a White, Ashkenazi Jewish man from New York. She is a Black woman from Detroit, raised in the Lutheran faith, who converted (to Jewish, not to White. She’s still Black). Our 3 year old Biracial son is Jewish.

When I talk about my wife’s conversion, rather than saying she converted I like to say that she’s Jewish by choice. I do this because conversion sounds like the process by which a sofa becomes an uncomfortable bed. Or it sounds like something that happens by magic. I wave my magic wand and “poof” you’re Jewish. Whereas being a Jewish person by choice requires a conscious affirmative decision.

And make no mistake, being Jewish is a choice, whether you were born into our Tribe or whether you joined us midway through the show…

Read the entire article here.

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What was it like raising three biracial children?

Posted in Articles, Audio, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-12 01:45Z by Steven

What was it like raising three biracial children?

WBEZ 91.5
Chicago, Illinois
2015-03-06

Bill Healy

Rosa Ramirez was in basic training in the Army, when she came across a girl in her barracks with red hair and blue eyes. “What kind of blood do you have?” Ramirez asked her. “Do you see the world blue?”

Ramirez had gone to high school in Texas and spent time picking fruit in the fields of California. But when it came to race, she was clueless.

Ramirez tells her daughter, Judy, in this week’s StoryCorps, “In my hometown, it was Mexicans and whites. We didn’t have any idea about blacks or Germans or Italians.”

Rosa Ramirez served four years in the military before moving to Virginia, where she met her future husband. Her daughter asked what it was like when Rosa told her parents she wanted to marry a black man?…

Read the entire article here.

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Don’t Ask “What” My Child Is

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2015-02-28 03:30Z by Steven

Don’t Ask “What” My Child Is

Dame
2015-02-11

Elizabeth Dougherty

The writer is White. Her husband is Black. And there are many people who feel entitled to accost the couple with unsolicited opinions about their biracial son.

“Mommy, I’m almond, you’re white chocolate, and Daddy’s dark chocolate.” Talking about sunblock with my 6-year-old son, Carter, had turned into a discussion about skin color, and I guessed correctly that his kindergarten class was talking about it, too.

I’m White, and by husband is African American. Before Carter was even conceived, I started reading books about raising biracial children I fully expected a child of ours would look more like Jeff. I braced myself for people mistaking me for an adoptive mom or a nanny.

Then I had a nearly ten-pound baby boy with pale skin, a head full of silky black curls, and my dark-blue eyes down to the same golden streak in the left one. It had never occurred to me that the opposite would happen: People would mistake Jeff’s White friend as Carter’s dad.

Carter’s striking eyes and soft curls get lots of random attention. Without asking, strangers often touch his hair. (As a toddler, one day, he got so tired of saying “Thank-you” to people who complimented his curls, he simply said, “I know.”)…

Read the entire article here.

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Poster Session C: C117: WHAT I REALLY THINK ABOUT MY BIRACIAL DAUGHTER! SOCIALIZATION IN BLENDED MULTIRACIAL FAMILIES

Posted in Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2015-02-28 02:44Z by Steven

Poster Session C: C117: WHAT I REALLY THINK ABOUT MY BIRACIAL DAUGHTER! SOCIALIZATION IN BLENDED MULTIRACIAL FAMILIES

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology
16th Annual Convention
Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center
Long Beach, California
2015-02-26 through 2015-02-28

Friday, 2015-02-27, 12:30-14:00 PST (Local Time)
Hall B

Yolanda Mitchell
University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Roudi N. Roy
California State University, Long Beach

Race can have a direct impact on how mixed-race children are seen by others as well as how they understand and encounter the world around them. Although identity development among biracial children is not a novel area of research the aim of this study was to explore how multiracial children are socialized when they are raised in blended families with monoracial parents. Given the sensitive nature of this topic we applied a qualitative methodology blending both a heuristic perspective and interviews with parents from two separate families. Themes related to racial profiling, parental perception of the mixed race child’s personality, level of respect, and parenting were identified through the five-step analyses process. This study highlights relevant socialization aspects in the lives of mixed-race children. More importantly it identifies ways in which the biological parent perceived their child’s racial identity differently than the stepparent.

For more information, click here and go to page 260.

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Baby Gammy and the Sexual Politics of Mixed Race Asians

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Law, Media Archive on 2015-02-28 02:29Z by Steven

Baby Gammy and the Sexual Politics of Mixed Race Asians

Multiracial Asian Families: thinking about race, families, children, and the intersection of mixed ID/Asian
2015-02-25

Sharon H. Chang

A couple years ago young Thai mother Pattaramon Chanbua agreed to be a surrogate for Australian couple David and Wendy Farnell. It was a disaster.

Last week Thailand legally banned commercial surrogacy, which is now a criminal offense.

The law comes after many abusive surrogacy arrangements exploiting Thai women over the years. But the Chanbua-Farnell surrogacy in particular expedited legislation after snowballing into an international scandal that garnered the attention of the world and spotlighted inescapably the controversial ethics and regulation (or lack thereof) of global surrogacy. Chanbua’s 2013 fertility treatment in Thailand was successful and she carried mixed race Asian/white twins Gammy and Pipah to delivery for the Farnells by the end of the year. But while Pipah was born healthy and typically developing, Gammy was born with Down’s Syndrome and severe health challenges. Shortly thereafter he was left behind with Chanbua when his Australian parents took his sister back to Australia without him. Gammy’s story was internationally publicized summer 2014 when Chanbua, aided by fundraisers, worked to crowdsource financing for his expensive medical care online. The tragic story coupled with a plethora of images of surrogate mom and left-behind infant living with disability exploded across the media, touching the shocked hearts of millions…

…Consider also, very importantly, that “who gets left with the consequences” is not just Asian diasporic women but a vulnerable population arising from the exploitation of Asian diasporic women — mixed race Asian diasporic children. It is of natural consequence that multiracial offspring would result from western dominance over Asian female bodies. Such children have historically often been the carnage left behind, “the casualties of war,” an afterthought quickly unremembered, swept under the rug and discarded. What is happening to Baby Gammy has happened before and keeps happening because global systems of sexual-political dominance are still in place. As I just wrote about last week thousands of Asian/white children have been abandoned throughout time by their white fathers; left impoverished, homeless, sick, sometimes crippled, susceptible to discrimination…

Read the entire article here.

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In France, a Baby Switch and a Test of a Mother’s Love

Posted in Articles, Europe, Family/Parenting, Media Archive on 2015-02-24 22:48Z by Steven

In France, a Baby Switch and a Test of a Mother’s Love

The New York Times
2015-02-24

Maïa de la Baume

GRASSE, France — When Sophie Serrano finally held her daughter, Manon, in her arms after the newborn, suffering from jaundice, had been placed under artificial light, she was taken aback by the baby’s thick tufts of hair.

“I hadn’t noticed it before and it surprised me,” Ms. Serrano said in an interview at her home here in southern France, not far from the Côte d’Azur.

Ms. Serrano, now 39, was baffled again a year later, when she noticed that her baby’s hair had grown frizzy and that her skin color was darker than hers or her partner’s.

But her love for the child trumped any doubts. Even as her relationship unraveled, in part, she said, over her partner’s suspicions, she painstakingly looked after the baby until a paternity test more than 10 years later showed that neither she nor her partner were Manon’s biological parents. Ms. Serrano later found out that a nurse had accidentally switched babies and given them to the wrong mothers…

…Ms. Serrano’s love for Manon, she said, grew stronger after she learned that the girl was not her biological daughter. She also said that, after meeting the girl she had given birth to, she felt no particular connection with her.

“It is not the blood that makes a family,” Ms. Serrano said. “What makes a family is what we build together, what we tell each other. And I have created a wonderful bond with my nonbiological daughter.”…

Read the entire article here.

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An Open Letter to the White Fathers of Black Daughters

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, United States, Women on 2015-02-23 19:33Z by Steven

An Open Letter to the White Fathers of Black Daughters

bluestockings magazine
2015-02-23

Kelsey Henry

I have been drafting this letter since I was ten. I am twenty and tonight is the first night I will write these words outside of me. I don’t know what they will look like here. Honestly, I am scared to see them uncoiled and still damp from the sweaty palms that have enclosed them for a decade. I am so accustomed to holding fistfuls of aching, rambunctious words around you, Dad. More than anything, I wish you would ask me to open my hands, and actually listen to what you see, what I say, what you hear.

But that is not how we work, is it? I give you the words you don’t know how to ask for. We know all our scripted prompts for loving cautiously. We are used to trafficking in glass blown conversations. I will not, I cannot, do this with you anymore. I love you too much for this, so listen.

Dad, you are a white man. I know this might come as a shock because people do not tell you this too often. You are not approached on the street, in the movies, at the workplace, and ordered to explain your race so strangers can “read” you properly and treat you accordingly. You have both the privilege and the curse of living in the unmarked, white blind spot of the American racial imaginary. If you have enjoyed living there, departing only to return comfortably home to White every night, I’m afraid you have a problem.

Me. I am your problem…

…Dad, since then you have flickered. You are swallowed by whiteness and become racially inaccessible to me the moment my race comes to the fore. When I become Black Girl you become White Man and we are not each other’s anymore…

Read the entire article here.

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