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Unread 05-08-2006, 06:08 PM   #1
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Default Question for Moms of Interracial children

As some of you may know, I am Hispanic, or the lighter skinned variety. My parents were born and raised in Peru. I was born in Panama while my Dad was stationed there. I'm American by birth, but have lived all over the world. My DH is black, born and raised in Georgia.

For those of you with interracial children, what do you writing in on forms when they ask your child's race? Usually the space to write on is only a quarter inch line. I never know what to write. If I could I would include the paragraph above I would. I'm curious to know how you do it.
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Unread 05-08-2006, 06:10 PM   #2
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I know I directed this question to Moms of interracial kids, but I'm open to hear ideas from others as well.
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Unread 05-08-2006, 06:16 PM   #3
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I think that is a very hard question to answer, Conseulo. Can you write "none of your business"? LOL

Seriously, could you just put 'bi-racial', instead of actually listing the specific race, or is that a no no?
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Unread 05-08-2006, 06:18 PM   #4
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I've noticed more and more school forms have a "biracial" box. I check that. If there is nothing to that affect, and there is an "other" box, I check that.

I was born stateside, but my ethnicity is Filipino. My DH is Caucasian.
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Unread 05-08-2006, 06:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassyat30
I think that is a very hard question to answer, Conseulo. Can you write "none of your business"? LOL

Seriously, could you just put 'bi-racial', instead of actually listing the specific race, or is that a no no?
Actually I was thinking of putting multi-racial because my DD looks like she's from a Pacific Island. Seriously, the Asian blood runs strong in that one. My Great grandfather was Chinese.

Am I making too big a deal out of this??? I just don't want to label my kids the wrong thing and have them scarred for the rest of their lives.
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Unread 05-08-2006, 06:23 PM   #6
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Sorry I don't have a great answer for you. It seems like you're being asked to deny parts of your own heritage to answer the question .

I have run across several forms recently that said "check all that apply" instead of "check one". Maybe we are finally cluing in that their are lots of multiracial people out there .
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Unread 05-08-2006, 06:31 PM   #7
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I always check other. If there isn't an other box, I literally draw one in and check it. I have very few pet peeves, but this is definitely one of them. My mom was white and my dad is black and I have always hated having to mark what race I am.
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Unread 05-08-2006, 06:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Consuelo
Am I making too big a deal out of this??? I just don't want to label my kids the wrong thing and have them scarred for the rest of their lives.
lol I don't think you have to "label" them on a form. As far as I know, it is unlawful to ask about race. You should never be "required" to say. I think that's why lots of forms have "Decline to state".

Anyway, if you are worried about your children being "confused" help them to embrace all of their cultures and ethnicity - be it Chinese, Peruvian, Afican American or whatever! We tell the kids all about the Filipino Culture as well as the mixture of Germany, Native American, French, etc etc that my husband is. There are so many mixtures from his side, it has ultimately become Caucasian.

But, for us, we don't make a big deal out of it all and don't point out to them that they are "biracial" and that others are only one race, or others are too many to count. For us, we are Americans, all born and raised!
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Unread 05-08-2006, 06:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDiegoGal
I've noticed more and more school forms have a "biracial" box. I check that. If there is nothing to that affect, and there is an "other" box, I check that.

I was born stateside, but my ethnicity is Filipino. My DH is Caucasian.
Thanks Michelle. I appreciate your input!

One of the forms I have only has the following options:
American Indian
Asian
African American
Hispanic
Caucasian

I should also point out that I live in rural Louisiana. So that might explain the limited choices.
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Unread 05-08-2006, 06:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDiegoGal
But, for us, we don't make a big deal out of it all and don't point out to them that they are "biracial" and that others are only one race, or others are too many to count. For us, we are Americans, all born and raised!
Yeah, we don't either, which is probably why this subject is just now coming up. DS is 6 years old. DH and I have never really talked about it.

I just asked DH. He thinks I should put down African American/Peruvian American.
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Unread 05-08-2006, 06:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenolanz
I always check other. If there isn't an other box, I literally draw one in and check it. I have very few pet peeves, but this is definitely one of them. My mom was white and my dad is black and I have always hated having to mark what race I am.
Thanks. BTW, my DD's name is Danielle.
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Unread 05-08-2006, 06:53 PM   #12
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I have been thiking about this more often lately-I guess b/c Cam is getting closer to school age.

My family is hispanic, but he is Asian. But he is being raised in a more Hispanic than Asian household. So while I know he would check "Asian"-I also think "Hey-how about a little validation for Mom over here?" I just wonder if things like the lifestyle and cultural upbringing is ever considered-becasue although biologically speaking he is obviously Korean-his life and social environment are not.

Hmmm things to ponder.
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Unread 05-08-2006, 06:54 PM   #13
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Did anyone else notice that the word "caucasian" has the word "asian" in it?
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Unread 05-08-2006, 06:56 PM   #14
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Britta, I almost called you about this, thinking you'd have it all figured out. Glad to see it's not just me.
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Unread 05-08-2006, 06:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDiegoGal
But, for us, we don't make a big deal out of it all and don't point out to them that they are "biracial" and that others are only one race, or others are too many to count. For us, we are Americans, all born and raised!
except in our case-Cam was not American born by any means. What is really cute is that after the finalization of his adoption, my name and DH's name are on the birth certificate. However place of birth still remains the same in Korea. So it looks like we flew over, I gave birth, and back to the USA we came, LOL
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Unread 05-08-2006, 06:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Consuelo
Britta, I almost called you about this, thinking you'd have it all figured out. Glad to see it's not just me.
I think I am more confused about this issue than anybody!
Hmmm how to reconcile nature vs. nurture in a check off box?
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Unread 05-08-2006, 07:08 PM   #17
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On the forms here there a LOT of choices. If they are going to ask, they should give you the choice you need - not ask you to, er, round off (how I think of it) your ethnicity. "Hmmm... I'm MOSTLY such and such."

And Camsmom, I never thought about that before. Nature vs. nuture. I wonder which one they care about. I mean, I know schools do it because they get special credits if they have more diversity, or whatever. And they like to use it in their statistics. (Ex: White, females raised with one parent made 70th percentile or higher.) So what is it they care about. Your body or culture?
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Unread 05-08-2006, 07:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camsmom
I think I am more confused about this issue than anybody!
Hmmm how to reconcile nature vs. nurture in a check off box?
Britta, I just remembered something. A while back I watched an episode of E! True Hollywood Story about Shania Twain. She's Canadian. Her biological parents were both white. Her Mom eventually married a native (an Inuit, I believe). He adopted her. She considered him her real father. At some point her or her family received government assistance for native people. There was a bit of an uproar because she was white, but her dad was getting government aid for having her.
Anyway...I don't think that helped you any.
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Unread 05-08-2006, 07:14 PM   #19
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My head hurts. I think I'm just going to leave the forms blank. If they press the issue, I'll write in, "Nunya".
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Unread 05-08-2006, 08:16 PM   #20
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If it actually asks for "race", I answer "Human".

I'm glad to hear that some forms are letting people check multiple boxes for ethnicity. I've heard that if you're filling out the form in front of an employee and refuse to check a box that the employee may be forced by policy to check whatever category of ethnicity they think you are. That sucks.
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Unread 05-08-2006, 08:23 PM   #21
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When I have the chance, I check NOYB! for any of my kids. My littlest one was adopted from China. But my DH has dark brown hair and brown eyes. I'm formerly blonde (maybe there's a box for that somewhere?) with bluish green eyes. So when we're out together people look at DD, look at DH, back and forth, back and forth, thinking maybe? . . . . We saw a special on Inuits one night and for all the world she looks like she should live in an igloo.

And what was fascinating when we were going through a park one sunny day in China we recorded on our camera a man singing with a group of people and for all the world they sounded like they were doing a Native American chant. I wish I still had that recording, our camera was stolen not long after we came home. (To the thief, whereever you are, come over here so I can rip out your *&%!!! for stealing my DD's adoption pictures).

I wouldn't label them anything, they're your kids, citizens of this earth and that should be good enough for anybody.
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Unread 05-08-2006, 08:53 PM   #22
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I know in Ga there is a website that breaks down each school in the state by race, poverty, special needs. I think that's why they want to know.
I wouldn't check anything if you don't feel comfortable with it.
If they press it tell them you need the black, peru, panama, whatever, whatever box to check. Maybe make a note none apply.
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Unread 05-08-2006, 09:04 PM   #23
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I think I will check both, black & caucasian when the time comes for my kids [I am white, DH is black]. If I *have* to choose one over any other, I really am not too sure what I will do. If ever given the choice though, I will just check "Canadian", as that is what they REALLY are. Good question though...I should ask my DH what his opinion is on this one...
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Unread 05-08-2006, 10:48 PM   #24
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I run into this a lot. Our kids are part white, part Hispanic. We put American on forms!!! I have a problem too - I never know what to check for myself. I am from NZ which is a Pacific Island so I sometimes want to check off Pacific Islander, then I'm also white, so should do Caucasian. One day I'm just going to check them all off LOL!
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Unread 05-08-2006, 11:41 PM   #25
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Just check all that applies to your kids and really confuse them. I live in So. Calif and it's so diverse. I think about every other kid on my street are from inter-racial marriages. By the time these kids are adults, their world and kids will all be of "mixed races"...but we are all Americans. We all have our different cultures and family traditions that make us unique, diverse, and fascinating. I always check off more than one or write them in myself.
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Unread 05-09-2006, 01:25 AM   #26
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I just looked up the word caucasian...

Quote:
Main Entry: Cau·ca·sian
Pronunciation: ko-'kA-zh&n, kä- also -'ka-zh&n
Function: adjective
1 : of or relating to the Caucasus or its inhabitants
2 : of, constituting, or characteristic of a race of humankind native to Europe, North Africa, and southwest Asia and classified according to physical features -- used especially in referring to persons of European descent having usually light skin pigmentation
Does that make me caucasian? I didn't know Latinos could be considered caucasian. Most of my ancestors were European (Spanish, English, French) or does the Asian cancel it out (I had a great grandfather who was Chinese).

Are you all laughing at me?

Last edited by Consuelo; 05-09-2006 at 01:46 AM..
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Unread 05-09-2006, 05:01 AM   #27
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OK folks, My family are all the same background but I am a teacher so here is my input. The thing that is important is what FORM you are completing. General school enrollment stuff I personally would say "other". If you keep checking "other", and later need to identify as something else (say for funding of something) you still can without having someone come back and argue with you.
See there is lots of federal $$ available for minorities to start businesses, go to college, etc later, so you might want to keep that option open for now. I like the idea of drawing a box and checking it and writing other next to it.
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Unread 05-09-2006, 05:53 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Consuelo
I just looked up the word caucasian...



Does that make me caucasian? I didn't know Latinos could be considered caucasian. Most of my ancestors were European (Spanish, English, French) or does the Asian cancel it out (I had a great grandfather who was Chinese).

Are you all laughing at me?
yes you would be considered caucasian, way back when, not so long ago there was no Hispanic box. only Caucasia. Things have changed haven't they.
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Unread 05-09-2006, 06:16 AM   #29
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Default AMERICAN!!

I always check the Other box and on the little blank line write-in....AMERICAN!
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Unread 05-09-2006, 08:35 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlysonRR
If it actually asks for "race", I answer "Human".
This is what I was gonna say too!
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Unread 05-09-2006, 08:48 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Consuelo
My head hurts. I think I'm just going to leave the forms blank. If they press the issue, I'll write in, "Nunya".
That made me chuckle! Good idea!
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Unread 05-09-2006, 09:45 AM   #32
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I vote for "Nunya." I get perplexed myself as I'm mixed and usually try to find the "other" box.
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Unread 05-09-2006, 11:14 AM   #33
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I just talked to a friend of mine that teaches here. She says that I should fill it out how I want it, because if I leave it blank they will fill it out for me, based on what they think the answer would be.
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Unread 05-09-2006, 11:53 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Consuelo
I just looked up the word caucasian...



Does that make me caucasian? I didn't know Latinos could be considered caucasian. Most of my ancestors were European (Spanish, English, French) or does the Asian cancel it out (I had a great grandfather who was Chinese).

Are you all laughing at me?

I haven't read past this post, so if I'm repeating I'm sorry.

My MIL's birth certificate says caucasian. At the time she was born (early 1940's), there was no "hispanic" or "latino" option.

As far as the OP, I usually write in "N/A". Unless it is for medical purposes, it just isn't relevent. That doesn't mean I don't want my children to be proud of their diverse heritage, just that I don't think school forms about emergency contacts are improved by including ethnicity.
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Unread 05-09-2006, 12:01 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Consuelo
I just talked to a friend of mine that teaches here. She says that I should fill it out how I want it, because if I leave it blank they will fill it out for me, based on what they think the answer would be.

When my first DD was born the nurse brought in a bunch of forms for me to approve and she had checked a race/ethnicity question as "hispanic". So I asked her "how did you decide?" DH is hispanic, I am white, I was just curious. She was not in the mood for curiousity. She said I could change it to what ever I wanted. I really just wondered. No hidden agenda.
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Unread 05-09-2006, 12:24 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shersheri
When my first DD was born the nurse brought in a bunch of forms for me to approve and she had checked a race/ethnicity question as "hispanic". So I asked her "how did you decide?" DH is hispanic, I am white, I was just curious. She was not in the mood for curiousity. She said I could change it to what ever I wanted. I really just wondered. No hidden agenda.
Ya know what??? I have no idea what my kiddos Birth Certificates say. I'll have to go check.
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Unread 05-09-2006, 12:42 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Consuelo
I just talked to a friend of mine that teaches here. She says that I should fill it out how I want it, because if I leave it blank they will fill it out for me, based on what they think the answer would be.
Yup, this happens. When I went to the NYC BOE to get my teaching certificates, I was filling out a form with one of the counselors. I asked her if I could leave the "race" question blank. She said yes, but that she would fill it in based on what I looked like after I left. I was not very happy about that so I just filled it in. I would rather it be my answer than someone guess based on my appearance.
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Unread 05-09-2006, 01:22 PM   #38
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My DH is Chinese and Catalonian - his dad was born in mainland China, his mother was from the Catalonia region of Spain - My background is Italian on my father's side ( his parents were Italian immigrants) and my mother's family was German - So our boys are Chinese, Catalonian,Italian and German --- there is no box for that! My oldest son told me one day about a discussion in class about whether or not your parents would disapprove of you dating outside your race -- Chris (who is always a smart alec) piped up - "I'll always be dating outside my race!" He refers to himself as a "mutt" and sometimes just checks every box that could possibly apply to himself on those forms -- I just leave them blank -

My boys both have their father's Chinese surname but neither looks ethnic Chinese - my oldes son has dark very very curly hair and my youngest has green/hazel eyes -- no one every believes they are Chinese -at college Chris went to a meeting for Asians on campus and no one there took him for Chinese - he showed his ID with his last name on it -but they just didn't accept him as Asian ---

I think the best response for this may just be that we all belong to the human race --- of course the smart alec in my likes - its none of your business!
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Unread 05-09-2006, 02:22 PM   #39
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We just signed youngest dd up for Kindergarten and they had a biracial box. I checked that because she is AA and American Indian. (She's gorgeous!) The thing on the forms that got me was they asked how long the labor was. What does that have to do with kindergarten? I had to put I don't know because I wasn't there. She was adopted.
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Unread 05-09-2006, 02:57 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlysonRR
If it actually asks for "race", I answer "Human".
That really should be the only answer anyone has to give.
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