Opinion | Family

What to Do When Your Child Is Nothing Like You

The gospel answer to the challenges posed by family differences.

Megan and Michael have a deaf child. After his birth, they met opposition. At one point, a Deaf activist told them, "The best thing would be to give your child to a Deaf family and let them raise him."

Their story, retold by Nathan Heller in a recent New Yorker piece, was immediately familiar to me. As the Caucasian mother of two black children I hear sentiments along these lines frequently.

On the day that we took our second son to court to finalize his adoption in our state, the judge solemnly read through the scripted questions about adoption, signed the legal paperwork, then turned to us and said, "But what will you do about their hair?"

Hair? Really?

The subtext seemed to be that our adoption was legally in order but culturally in question.

For trans-racial families, both dirty looks and sincere reservations are familiar. But Heller's article, reviewing and expanding on a new book by journalist Andrew Solomon, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children ...

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