burden of mixed-race?

Raising multi-racial kids in a color-conscious society

by LYLAH M. ALPHONSE

In spite of having a mixed-race president — or, perhaps, because of it — the issue of race is very much alive in modern America.
In 2000, for the first time the U.S. Census offered people the option of identifying themselves by more than one race. About 6.8 million recorded themselves as being multi-racial; more than half of those who consider themselves multi-racial are younger than 20 years old, which seems to indicate a growing acceptance of interracial relationship and a rise in the number of biracial and multiracial kids.
And yet, when it comes to raising these children, some parents are still facing questions and, at times, criticism.
At Babble, Elizabeth G. Hines shares a friend’s reaction to her donor-assisted pregnancy: Why, the friend wondered, would you choose to create a mixed race child? Why wouldn’t you just stick with one race or the other?
She writes:
“… she asked me what my ideal donor would look like. I answered honestly that I had no pre-set “ideal” in mind, but assumed that my partner and I would pick a donor that reflected the racial background of the one of us who was not biologically related to the child. At the time, I was in an interracial relationship — which meant, she quickly deduced, that I was talking about conceiving a bi-racial child. That, and that alone, was enough to make my fair-minded, thoughtful friend shed her liberal cool and call into question my credibility as a potential parent. Not my identity as a gay woman, mind you, which might have been an easy target. This was about race, and the perceived disadvantage I would be burdening a child with by choosing to create him or her from two different racial gene pools.”
The idea that belonging to more than a single racial group could be a disadvantage or a burden is one that I’ve never understood. I’m multiracial. My kids are, too — even my stepkids. My father is of mixed race. As are his parents. And their parents. And their parents. When it comes to mixed marriages, my family’s been doing it for generations.
So, when it comes to defining my race on a form, I check ‘other’ and, if that’s not an option, I don’t check anything at all. Maybe it’s a matter of privilege, but I’ve never been adversely affected by being multi-racial.

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8 thoughts on “burden of mixed-race?

  1. I’m so proud to be multi-racial. I’ve never considered being so a handicap or a disadvantage. The topic of fertility clinics and choosing to have a bi-racial or multi-racial child is such an interesting topic. Do fertility clinics have policies similar to adoption agencies when it comes to “staying within your own race” for the benefit of the child?

  2. the reality is that those who say biracials are a burden are usually those that either make or help create the problem that would make biracials be a burden in society.

    biracials dont hate being mixed, they hate the society they live in that make it hard being mixed.

    the only burden we cause is, making the race gap as simple as americans want it. we disrupt the racism flow.

  3. i meant, we make it harder for the race gap to be as simple as americans want it.

  4. As a Black lesbian (in Canada) with light skin, my choice to have biracial children was a decision my fiancee and I decided since she was European and I was of Caribbean descent. It seemed natural to us and the sperm donor clinics here are teeming with many high IQ and good-looking donors.
    We faced a lot of silly questions with “which one is the mother?” and “why did you pick a blue eyed blonde haired guy as the father?” I am the carrier and our son PB came out with golden wavy hair and blue eyes, which made everyone think my partner birthed him.
    It’s ridiculous but there should be NO reason why women should think twice of having a biracial baby if she had the chance via artificial insemination (a sperm donor). I mean, there is a catalogue of men who cares if one is from Iceland and one is from Nigeria?
    I think there is no disadvantage to being biracial and I believe biracial people are thought of as intelligent and beautiful. Biracial kids ARE very good-looking, for the most part 🙂 So my fellow women, have some biracial or multi-racial kids! What’s holding you back?

  5. Hi, I found this blog post while was searching for shopping related information on bing and found it very good article, thanks for sharing, best regards and cheers!

  6. i agree. I’m biracial myself and have loved every minute of it. Now my partner and I are wanting to conceive and are looking for a donor. I am english (caucasian) and jamaican and she is african american and native american. I’ve found several donors with similar ethnicities and can’t wait to see how everything turns out. Mixed people are beautiful..lets make some more!

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