Adoption Attorney Michelle M. Hughes talks with Faren about the challenges when adopting a child of a different race or culture.

Mark Hagland was born in South Korea where he and his twin brother were adopted in the 1960s during the beginning of mainstream international adoptions in the U.S. He talks about the importance of preparing your adoptive children for racism in America and for helping them understand their birth culture.

Eric Lemme, a Black biracial man is also a transracial adoptee. He tells his story of trying to find information about his birth parents and growing up with biracial friends.

Chicago rapper BossDre stops in for a quick interview. He's playing at The Forget in Joliet, IL at 7:30 pm June 30.

Reporter Tyra DeAhl talks medical marijuana in OTT Health.

Show Timeline (Click the link in parentheses to go directly to that segment)


Michelle M HughesMichelle M. Hughes, Atty.

Click here for full bio.

Mark HaglandMark Hagland

Click here for full bio.

Eric Lemme

Eric LemmeClick here for full bio.

Transcripts are ocassionally provided as a courtesy. There is no guarantee of accuracy. In fact, because the transcriptions are machine generated we can say with confidence there WILL be errors in the transcription.

Yeah, real people real stories. This is what we know well, this is Our-Truth today with Faren D'Abell time to get it
started quick and not just here for gossip and everything from in the politics this for everybody at the gym and working
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Nearly half a million children are in the foster care system in the United States and more than 100,000 adoptions occur
each year.
For children of color three in four are adopted by white families.
I spoke with Michelle Hughes an expert with 25 plus years of experience in transracial adoptions. About what to
expect when adopting a child of A different race or cultural background?
Thanks so much for joining us today on this important topic Michelle. It's my pleasure to be here, Today.  Let's start
What are transracial adoptions transracial adoption means when a family of One race adopts a child or children of another
race the reality is that usually white families adopting kids of color? However recently, you will see an increase in the
number of families of color who are adopting white children or adopting children of color but a different race than what
they are themselves the majority of transracial adoption is white families adopting kids of color. There's a nearly 10- year old study from NYU
that suggested white parents in America gay or straight have a strong preference for white girls. It seems like there's
this idea that black families are few and far between and white families need to step up or we have a society of brown
It's just inaccurate. Actually. I find that there are lots of families of color who wish to adopt but they run up against
obstacles. I see in my courtroom and Cook County. They probably somewhere between 40 and 60% of the adoptions are actually
people of color adopting kids of color. So I have a hard time believing that it's difficult to find foster parents of
color who wish to adopt children.
Are there any kids for whom it may be hard to find a home?
If you're talking to the general public hard-to-place children, never means newborns. I don't care what race the newborn
is what drug exposure the newborn may have even a lot of medical conditions no newborn is actually that difficult to
place. Yes. There are some children that may take a little longer than others. But when were talking a little longer than
others with newborn you're usually talking in a matter of days the children that are truly harder to place our older
children and even with older children, you will find families that prefer older children for a variety of reasons the most
difficult children to place our older children who have experienced lots of trauma and exhibit that trauma and behavioral
way that they are difficult to deal with because they will possibly impact the safety of the household.
And title 4B of the US multi-ethnic placement act requires that states provide for a diligent recruitment of parents that
reflect the race and culture of children awaiting placement.
Does this happen?
Clearly the adoption agencies do not market to communities of color. They don't know how to
Find these families and often these families struggle and connecting with these agencies. And then when they do connect
with agencies, too often, they run into microaggressions sometimes of races on the way more often that subtle racism.
We'll be right back.
You're listening to our truth today with Faren D'Abell on conversations with. Net.  (Commercial) Good morning. Leaving. That's why
would you travel you should make sure your child is in the right seat for their age and size that sounds like gibberish
cat highway traffic safety administration visit us online at our truth. Today and conversations with. Net
And we're back. You're listening to our truth today. I'm Faren D'Abell.
I had a chance to grab some Indian food with Mark haglund a South Korean adoptee.
Mark tell us your adoption story. sure, so I was born in South Korea in October 1960. I was adopted along with my twin brother.
to Milwaukee, Wisconsin
And we came over when we're 8 months old.
We were raised by white parents of Norwegian and German American backgrounds.
So my father knew a Norwegian missionary from Norway.
Was doing missionary work in South Korea after the Korean War and that's how they heard about us. I mean heard it heard
about the possibility of adopting from Korea.
That was the first opportunity.
For most people to adopt internationally and it was always difficult.
how to get a an infant child in the United States
What did your adopted parents do particularly? Well, I think what they did really well was understanding.
That they would have to prepare us to be different.
I don't ever remember a time when I didn't know that I was Asian and Korean.
And adopted a lot of adoptees sadly find out they are of A different race than their parents.
When they enter school or preschool and it's pointed out to them and their parents have that actually not explain race.
So 56 years ago. How did your parents know that they needed to do that?
I don't know.
I really don't but somehow they did you have a child of your own now how has your transracial adoption could impact the
way you raise kids?
Very fundamentally. So my daughter is multiracial. She's
combination of several race
I knew from the very beginning that I would have to prepare her.
Navigating the world.
with a multiracial identity
So I started very very young.
race to her
How is she had different elements in her identity from?
My mother in for myself and then later on I started explain what racism is White Privilege work and she's great. She's a
year away from college and is
I pretty woke for teenager. She gets it.
And you have several?
Which of those kind of?
Impact you the most in your daily life and growing up.
Well, that's a great question. It depends on what day you ask and the context.
I carry my face with me everywhere.
so being a gay man has
a lot of impact on me
Moment-to-moment being a personal color as much more because that's how people see me.
You are the one who is giving back a lot to the community in.
One of the way so you've been doing that is with that because he on Facebook and other areas.
Tell us about some of your support that you offer on Facebook.
Yes, I have co-created and help moderate with others several groups around transracial adoption.
And the purpose of the groups is to support adult transracial adoptees in their Journeys and to help.
Transracial adoptive parents and their attorneys to more effectively parent their children about 5 years altogether.
what is
maybe one
Really big aha moment that you think most parents.
after being in the group, so it was hard to figure out how to respond when white parents would say
You know, my child of color is only 4 years old and I don't want to ruin their innocence.
Play explaining about race.
I wanted to stay innocent and happy.
I say imagine if you had a little daughter named Susie who is 3 years old. And you said
Your friends well.
I am so afraid to traumatize my daughter by explaining to her about traffic safety and that she could be harmed. So I'm
just going to let her run into traffic and be crushed by a car. And then when she's lying in the ICU with all her bones
broken, I'm going to pull up a chair and we'll have a nice conversation about traffic safety.
That's basically what race is Salma Hayek?
It would be far better.
for your child
Got to have the experience I had which is a profoundly traumatizing experience of racism as a first experience without any
preparation and when I tell my traffic safety story.
white parents all set
I spent some time in one of your groups over the last month or so and
ground mustard and lightning
one story can a
truck bed
with a
Jewish woman who
I was asking.
support for having a black child
and then others came in and
paper that information but also
Are giving her some resources on.
Or she might need to consider.
Crazy neglect you and she wasn't interested in that. Do you see that a lot where people get more information than they
bargained for?
We could push back. Sometimes we get resistance.
I fully understand.
That most white people raised white culture find it very difficult process some of the concepts we talked about but the
ones who are willing to sit in discomfort as I like to say for the sake of their children of color will do the best.
And we talked about that a little bit before the interview you were talking about.
Many of the parents who need to be in these groups the most aren't so what happens to those kids whose parents chosen not
better than Adidas
What's really sad to me? Is that here? We are in 2019.
And their children who are having the experiences.
I had any early 1960.
the difference
Between then and now is my parents were very emotionally intelligent people.
I figured a lot out on their own with zero resources.
Now we have books.
Documentaries films people can join these online groups or they can go to conferences or camps.
It's amazing what's available to them? So what's said to me is that there are parents who?
Are potentially making the mistakes that were made 50 years.
They don't have to be.
Hallmark thanks for taking time out for us today.
It's been really wonderful. Thank you for talk.
A parent about you listening to our true today later in the show here advice from Michelle Hughes.
transracial adoption expert
parents who do choose transracial adoption
Can better prepare for their your family.  There are some amazing transracial adopted families out there.
I don't think everybody should be doing it. I have met far too many adult transracial adoptees in my life where their
parents refuse to do the work and they were the ones that were left with the truck.  Our Truth
Medical marijuana seen by many in the health field in my patients with ailments such as cancer and IBS as one of the only
remedies that works.
Auntie brand founder of the KB group wrote the guidelines for health practitioners on palliative care and she also lives
with painful IBS and cancer.
Part of a palliative care plan and should be part of a palliative care plan. Their patients were taking a nap. I would say
I hope most of the people taking medical marijuana actually have a medical problem that is addressed by the marijuana and
it really does help medical professionals are prohibited from giving advice that needs to change Brent said professional
electric chair need to consider the use this part of the care plan. The only people who are advising you to people who
work at a dispensary in California.
I'm kind of deal.
bajrangi bhaijaan
Ballin like I'm Westbrook all are holding on me GCF mg up and coming up artists from Chicago. Welcome. Boss Dre the man,
what's up with?
We're here in a little bit of Ballin like Westbrook. What's that all about?
Ismy finnlight on the MVP like I'm important.
time to eat
Can I eat a whole lot of State whenever you want?
What kind of inspired you to write my life? I didn't feel like it's for me.
I guess my thing.
We got to go with it. How long I've been going on about 14-15.
I really want some out of this I gotta
Loyola to it
About this what I want to do. I can't have to do it. So my friend don't take care of family. You know, I'm saying like
And you're from Chicago some college Chiraq.
when people think of Chicago these days that they don't think of some of the country's best tools or
Where they can see four of the top 10 tallest buildings or home A Chance the Rapper Oprah Obama today, they're thinking
about a corrupt cops gun violence and gangs.
What's what's your Chicago? Like?
Romania is this all that too, but my Chicago like me I just stay out the way. I mean if you mind your business you be good
out here, so I called home.
Yeah, you talk about your son your new dad. How'd that change you?
Time me a lot because my life ain't the same every day. I wake up. I got to do it for my son.
And just do it for me and you got a show tonight, June 30th that people are listening to this as a premiere.
They might still be able to make it.
Check it out on Afton shows at Afton. and search for Boss grade is all one word b o s s d r e
Or visit our site at our troops today for a link. You can hit him up on social media best of luck and thanks for being
with us.
You're listening to our truth today with Baron to Bell on conversation with. Net.  Eric Lemme is a bi-racial man and part
of a transracial adoption.
Raymond Eric
Thanks for joining us.
What are you doing?
You're a biracial black man adopted by a white family in the seventies. Tell us about growing up a little bit strange for
me, but I did have a little bit of a culture of other biracial kids.
Growing up with white families. So I had a little bit of a support system. I don't know what to say, but I wasn't the only
one so and it was a little bit easier.
But still same time at all questions about where my my biological parents were. Why was giving up and for the hardest
thing just
questions admin Evan answers what kind of answers did your adoptive parents give
They're told me that having a big family. My mother was too young and they wouldn't they weren't allowed to keep me. They
really know a lot of information. I guess when they were at the adoption agency lady kind of left a file open in.
Coffee and make it a try to see as much information read as much as I can before she came back. They didn't have a lot of
answers either but they're always supportive of searching and her help me find out those answers what kind of role the
discussions erase play in your upbringing, you know, they're both I believe educated and there wasn't any anything about
race. They've raised me as I did my my white brother. I got everything I could ask for and what did you learn about your
black heritage?
As I Grew Older and learn more about Black Culture it was a bit strange I never really bonded with my Black Culture it was
mostly white or interracial so that was more of a I want to see a negative thing, but it just wasn't normal
I grew up at least part of the time in the same area of the country. I know I experienced several issues of overt racist
actions against me. Did you experience any that growing up in my town so much but going other places in Kentucky things
were serve me with my family. They were very firm on addressing that the people who ignore in enough to say things like
that. That was made it known that I was just ignore people. That's probably the biggest thing is just having that said
into my face, you know, as I would kid for my family. Did you know what I meant?
Six seven years old learn about it on the playground when a couple things your parents did really well.
Show me Logansport.
Give me a well-rounded upbringing of morals and showing love and giving love and looking out for a little guy. What do you
think? They could have done or should have done differently?
Looking back at it. I think they ripped times gave me too much as a as a way to compensate for stealing was who I was and
where I fit in the world and was more detrimental to meet the support of her birth healthy. So your birth mother is white
and your birth father black.
I suppose that makes your experience different than a Monterrey. She'll child adopted by white family.
I don't know.
one half of me or part of me
Channel Street somewhere
Yeah, I guess if I'm not going to be tough, I would definitely be different. If I was just all black. What advice would
you give to transracial adopted parents?
Be strong and so your kids love and support and then I'll be there for him. Just like you would any other kid. It's just
don't eat other aspect of it would be going to be as the black side of it and be supportive if they were interested in
learning that open different be supportive of those two of them getting information and and learning of that side of them.
Lyric, I wish you well, and thanks so much for joining us today.
Thank you.
Our Truth today news entertainment politics health and well-being social justice visit us online at our truth. Today and
conversations with. Net
And next time on R-Truth today with Baron Jebel I talk with Anjali butani a former stage manager for Wicked later a
finance executive and now give me a call up to pursue your passion for psychology.
I am a Borden.
Indian-american mother used to sing on the radio and when she met my father he had come to the United States because he
felt like rich Indian people didn't care about poor Indian people. The only people in India who cared about poor Indian
people wear the white missionaries and my father doesn't sit well with him, so he
attitude trying to catch
A lot of my teachers didn't like me which now that I have a second grader like my second grade teacher. I remember she
really did not like me. I don't even know why there is no real reason. I was a quiet kid, which makes sense if you're not
if you stick out already, you're like, I'm going to take the temperature of this room in the first grade. I remember my
first the first friend I thought was
Who I thought was my friend. I asked her to come over to my house and she said my mom won't let me and I remember not
understanding and I have had two career so far. So I'm starting a third one soon. I was a stage manager in theater for 10
years. And then I work in finance for 11 years. We were living losing a second stage manager at a year was a woman in town
who would already been a sub like new how to call the show new all new everybody. She should get the job of that second
assistant and he decided to hire a guy he worked with before the move from New York to Chicago who didn't know the show
and like I worked with him before it good like and I think I looking back and like
Another instance of like not giving the right person the job, but he wanted somebody was going to like not question him at
all right or troops, but just a reminder that if it was live you could join in our live discussion with some of our guest
on Facebook. Just go to live Our Truth. Today.
That's why I've. Our Truth. Today to be connected to live discussion on Sunday, June 30th from 7 until 8 p.m. Central
Now we're back with Michelle M Hughes attorney and one of the founders of bridge Communications.
Company that works with both individuals and organizations just use the concepts of diversity and inclusion.
Michelle has been working with monoracial and transracial adoption for nearly 30 years.
I've sometimes heard white adoptive parents say I don't see color or I'll love the child. No matter their color.
Part of our identity in this Society is our Race part of our identity in the society is our color is our gender and to
ignore that these things exist and pretend it's all one in the same is to erase part of the identity of the child that's
never a good thing to erase part of people's identity. We want to respect their identity. No matter what their identity
How about books you have reflected in and understand White Privilege in America, but they may have close family or friends
who haven't done that self-reflection.
advice to them
It's not fair to the child not to have someone in their corner to advocate.
Wore them as a child of color and a world with these.
Issues of racism and white supremacy, it's great to be a loving parent. That's fabulous. Every parent should be loving and
should be supportive of their child, but with transracial adoption, there's more that they have to address and if they're
not willing to address it then this may not be the right way to build their family.
What resources should prospective parents look to?
there are several Facebook groups that I think are really great for training grounds for transracially adoptive parents to
There is also numerous adoptive autobiographies that you can learn a lot from and then there are classist bridge
Communications a company. I co-founded with a transracial adult adoptee does classes for a variety of different agencies
camps and we're just one of the players out there that do education. I can't emphasize enough education education
education. I think the more the parents learn before the child arrives the easier the process will be also they really
need to connect with other families like their family talk a lot about white parents and non-white children. You said it's
rare, but what are the challenges for parents of color adopting white children?
Or a childhood of her race parents of color who adopt transracially have different challenges than white parents often.
That's because
It's pretty difficult to live in our society and not know a lot about white people white people is the norm and therefore
when they adopt a white child. Generally they know quite a bit about the norm. There are obviously things that they won't
know and they may have never dealt with a white child's hair for example, but they generally know the community standards.
They find the challenge to be more house sites iety react towards them often. They get challenged by white people. How did
they get a white kid as if they somehow are not worthy of parenting a white child and that that white child was supposed
to go to a white family and that Society has somehow been wronged by people of color getting this white child and the
other hand they often get challenged by people of color because there are so many kids have
color in the system or even domestic infant adoption that need to be adopted and
People of color will challenge them or why did you get a child of color? Why would you adopt a white child? So
they get hostility from their own people with regards to
Adopting a kid like them but it's based on statistical stuff. And how many kids are available where yes white parents who
adopt across racial lines may also get some hostility, but it's not because there's so many white kids available part of
the reason that you find white parents adopting kids of color is because there aren't as many white babies available as
there were in the past.
What advice would you give to prospective adoptive parents about transracial adoptions?
And how long should people prepare?
so the opportunity to find resources is
Very easy, frankly. The thing that is difficult is to be able to ascertain are those good resources are not because
Many prospective transracial adoptive parents like to be in a comfortable setting and they don't like to be challenged on
some of their long-held beliefs on race or adoption. That's why it's imperative that perspective transracial adopted
parents. Listen to the voice of adoptees. Listen to the voice of transracial adoptees and listen to the voice of people of
color because those are the sources that are going to give you information that are going to challenge you and
Make you a better parent and the long-term that's not to say that you shouldn't look listen to other adoptive parents or
people of your race, but they will not always be the ones to challenge you to the extent that you need to be challenged in
order to make sure that this child gets everything they need to survive in a society that is based on white supremacy.
Done your homework.
Decide to move forward with a transracial adoption.
What are the steps and are there different Avenues to adoption?
Actually for the most part adopting transracially and adopting same braised the process is exactly the same maybe your
agency will require that you take a class and sadly many agencies don't require any type of education but the actual
process whether you're going through child welfare or domestic infant adoption is the same regardless, if you're doing
transracial or same race, you're going to get your home study. You're going to be investigated you're going to be there
approved or not approved and then you're going to
Have to wait then the child gets in your home. There's generally post placement and then eventually the adoption will be
finalized and you are the parents and you have all the challenges and joys and everything that comes with being a adoptive
parents and
The opportunity to raise this child to be an amazing adult in the world that will do great things will show you run a
wealth of information. Thank you being with us today our truth today. Thank you for having me here today. Of course. We
just touched the surface of this topic, but it was great to get the discussion going. Thanks. Again. We're going to go on
to the end of our first episode again. If you're listening to us live, you can join the discussion in just a few minutes
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accessing mental health in minority communities immigration what you can do to help and
a new-look in Illinois
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