Trans-racial Adoption

Growing Up ‘White,’ Transracial Adoptee Learned To Be Black

by NPR STAFF

January 26, 201410:57 AM
Chad Goller-Sojourner, center, and his family.

Chad Goller-Sojourner, center, and his family.

Courtesy Chad Goller-Sojourner

A couple weeks ago, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin spoke to Rachel Garlinghouse, a white adoptive mother of three African-American children. Our conversation on transracial adoption drew a lot of responses, so we decided to follow up with another perspective.

Chad Goller-Sojourner is African-American. In 1972, when he was 13 months old, he was adopted by white parents in Tacoma, Wash. He and his siblings are all different races than their parents.

They were raised in a white suburb, but worked hard to expose them to other people who looked like him, and checked out every library book with a black author they could find. They even sent them to a more diverse school in a different neighborhood.

But Goller-Sojourner, now a writer and solo performer based in Seattle, says there was a limit to what his parents could provide.

“One of the things I think was hardest for me is I didn’t have any independent relationships with black people, especially adult black people, till I was an adult,” he says. “I was 25 before I saw a black doctor.”

As a child, he experienced racism before he had the language to understand it, he says.

“For instance, shopping: I learned pretty early on that when people knew I was with this white lady, that they treated me differently,” he says.

Read More:  http://www.npr.org/2014/01/26/266434175/growing-up-white-transracial-adoptee-learned-to-be-black

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