Written by Angela Jackson, Director of Adoption Operations and Quality Assurance

It is important for the healthy development of your adopted child that the family makes concerted efforts to incorporate and maintain aspects of their child’s cultural heritage in their family. The customs and practices of their country of origin are part of their cultural makeup. By embracing your child’s culture, you help your child develop a strong sense of identity and develop into healthy adults. What are some ways that parents can maintain their child’s cultural identity?

1. Make the child’s culture a part of your regular routine and family traditions as much as possible. Prepare meals that are from your child’s country of origin or incorporate some of the country’s holidays and celebrations into your family’s celebrations and traditions.
2. Locate support groups locally that are comprised of families who have adopted from the same country as you have. These groups provide opportunities for your child to interact with other children from the same area of the world they are from.
3. Look for special events related to your child’s country of origin that you can attend such as festivals or even special events at local museums that feature artwork, etc from your child’s country
4. Learn the language. It is important especially before you travel to the country to complete your international adoption that you learn some of your child’s basic language. It helps the child know that you cared enough about him/her that you learned some basic phrases in their native language and continue to learn as they learn and assimilate English.