Betsy and Jeff Banghart had been trying to get pregnant for seven years before they decided to adopt. In January of 2017 Betsy got a call at work from the adoption agency, she cancelled her flight to the D.C. Women’s March and two weeks later they brought Evie home. A recent study from the Institute of Family Studies revealed that trans-racial adoptions have increased by 50 percent over the last decade.
Betsy embraced learning about the black community and takes steps to ensure Evie has “racial mirrors” or role models in her life who look like her by enrolling her in French lessons taught by a black instructor and also hosts monthly meetups at the Willow Tree Family Center in Lansing for trans-racially adopted kids and their families.
“There are extra things you need to do and if you’re not prepared to do it then you should not do it because you can’t just ignore race,” said Betsy. “It really matters, and even though it is extra work it is so worth it.”
This ongoing visual essay explores the ways parents navigate raising a child of a different race with a healthy racial identity.