Myth: You can only adopt a child who is the same race and ethnicity as you.


Reality: Federal law prohibits the delay or denial of an adoptive placement based on the race or ethnicity of a child in U.S. foster care and the prospective parent or parents who are seeking to adopt them. The only exception to this law is the adoption of Native American children where special considerations apply.

The National Resource Center for Adoption, on behalf of the Children’s Bureau and the Office of Civil Rights, has produced videos explaining the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) and the Interethnic Adoption Placement (IEP) provisions that modified MEPA. Families and child welfare professionals will find these videos clear and informative.

In addition, Child Welfare Information Gateway has a list of resources about information on transracial adoption and transcultural families .