Third Place Books welcomes author Melissa Guida-Richards, creator of the Adoptee Thoughts podcast, for a presentation on her new book, What White Parents Should Know about Transracial Adoption: An Adoptee's Perspective on Its History, Nuances, and Practices. She will be joined in conversation by our very own Kalani Kapahua, General Manager at Third Place Books Ravenna.
This event is co-sponsored by the Northwest Adoption Exchange. Since 1976, Northwest Adoption Exchange has connected youth in foster care with their potential adoptive families. Learn more at https://www.nwae.org/.
The White Fragility for transracial adoption—practical tools for nurturing identity, unlearning white saviorism, and fixing the mistakes you don’t even know you’re making.
If you’re the white parent of a transracially or internationally adopted child, you may have been told that if you try your best and work your hardest, good intentions and a whole lot of love will be enough to give your child the security, attachment, and nurturing family life they need to thrive.
The only problem? It’s not true. What White Parents Need to Know About Transracial Adoption breaks down the dynamics that frequently fly under the radar of the whitewashed, happily-ever-after adoption stories we hear so often.
Written by Melissa Guida-Richards—a transracial, transnational, and late-discovery adoptee—this book unpacks the mistakes you don’t even know you’re making and gives you the real-life tools to be the best parent you can be, to the child you love more than anything.
From original research, personal stories, and interviews with parents and adoptees, you’ll learn:
• What parents wish they’d known before they adopted—and what kids wish their adoptive parents had done differently
• What white privilege, white saviorism, and toxic positivity are…and how they show up, even when you don’t mean it
• How your child might feel and experience the world differently than you
• All about microaggressions, labeling, and implicit bias
• How to help your child connect with their cultural heritage through language, food, music, and clothing
• The 5 stages of grief for adoptive parents
• How to start tough conversations, work with defensiveness, and process guilt
“Melissa Guida-Richards lays bare a painful truth: That loss is central to adoption. For those who are adopted transracially and transnationally, the disappearance of culture, familiarity, and language carry added complexity. With grace and sensitivity, Guida-Richards offers clear, insightful guidance for adoptive parents to help their sons and daughters navigate the isolation, racism, and longing they inevitably feel.”
—Gabrielle Glaser, author of American Baby
“Guida-Richards provides a powerful and honest look at some of the most important topics in transracial adoption—topics that have historically all too often been avoided in conversations not only between adoptive parents, but between adoptive parents and their transracially adopted child: white saviorism, white privilege, racial identity, and much more. This should be on the mandatory reading and education list for ALL prospective adoptive parents.”
—Christine Heimann, founder of Adoptee Bridge, a nonprofit providing post-adoption support for transracial adoptees and their families
Melissa Guida-Richards is an author, adoptee, and advocate based in Pennsylvania. She was adopted in 1993 from Colombia to a family in the USA. She created the Adoptee Thoughts Instagram and Podcast to help elevate adoptee voices and educate adoptive parents on the nuances and complexity of adoption. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, Zora, The Independent, ElectricLit, and more. She has also been on podcasts such as NPR’s Code Switch, BBC Radio 4, and Do the Work, and has appeared on panels such as We the Experts: Adoptee Speaker Series. Guida-Richards is also a contributing writer for The Everymom.
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