Motherhood is universal, but it’s a unique experience when you’re expecting or have given birth to a multiracial baby. Every child brings new hope, and as a parent, you aim to give your kid a clear self-identity sprinkled with a duality of heritage. Besides challenging world views and setting precedents, what’s unique about biracial babies, what are the advantages?
Your biracial baby enjoys what’s called the hybrid vigor hypothesis. Interracial babies enjoy a diverse genetic pool from which to draw healthy traits, the best of both worlds. Your mixed-race kid will also be able to function well in any racially strained environment. Their lack of race may insulate them from bias and other negative impacts of racism.
An attractive, creative, heterozygotes prone to health with increased social well-being. These are facts established by researchers on multiracial individuals. I’ll consider them as the proven results of when most biracial babies grow up. Here’s a rundown of proven psychological and physiological advantages of a mixed-race child.
Retrospect on the History of Interracial Marriages as Foundation for Biracial Babies
The term biracial babies cover children who are less than a year old, born of parents that of a different race. A multiracial or mixed-race baby can identify as a mix of black, white or Caucasian, Latin American, Asian, Arab, or Native American. There are also multiple Pacific Islands or arctic region races that can fall into the category.
As per the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey figures, 15% of couples are biracial. The most common of these ethnic pairings are between white and Hispanic spouses at 42%. Asian-white combinations take up 15%. Rates of racial intermarriages among the majority race in the country rose from 4% in 1980 to 11% in 2015.
It’s essential that you remember interracial marriages were only fully made legal in 1967. That’s when the US Supreme Court decides that anti-miscegenation laws present in many states were unconstitutional. While many regions had chosen to legalize mixed-race marriages earlier, the last state to do so was Alabama in 2000. For your interpretation, it’s important to note that even then, 525,000 people still voted to keep the law in place.
Is My Biracial Baby at Risk of Racial Discrimination?
Since 2000, the population of multiracial families has substantially grown in the country. Biracial babies’ numbers more than doubled in the next ten years. That’s the decade when an interracial president was elected. Compared to 1% in 1970, mixed-race children made up 10% of the baby population in 2013. Demographers expect that this figure will rise quickly in the coming decades.
Unfortunately, multiracial people are often considered a minority. Most will associate with that part of their heritage. Your child could still face discrimination, whether as racist slurs or physical threats. Specific races get involved in such scenarios. But much of it comes from institutional generalizations where identities are mistaken.
For instance, only 15% of white with Native American mix are stopped unfairly by police. That’s compared to 6% in people of white and Asian backgrounds. Similar patterns with other races show that the darker the skin of a biracial person, the more likely they are to face discrimination. Figures for interracial adults with African backgrounds closely mirror those of single-race black people.
But as the multiracial population grows, so do perceptions in the younger generations change. Many people of biracial origins say they cherish their interracial background. 19% see being biracial as an advantage as opposed to 4% who claim it isn’t. The overwhelming majority say they’re rarely ashamed of their mixed heritage and seldom feel like an outsider.
How Do You Handle the Race Identity Question When Expecting a Biracial Baby?
There was once a multiracial boy who grew up to become golfing legend Tiger Woods, while an interracial pretty young girl turned actor, Halle Berry. Recently, the formula one racing world championship went yet again to British mixed race wonder kid Lewis Hamilton. The US president before last was once a biracial baby.
The story is the same whether you’re looking at it from a sociological, psychological, health, sports, or beauty and fashion point of view. A biracial person leverages on their multiple identities, changing more than they stay constantly affiliated with one race. As a child, your baby won’t have to spend time scanning faces so they can identify or be responsive to any one group.
That results in higher self-esteem than a mono-racial baby. But only if you raise your child to identify with both parent’s races. You’ll raise your child without priming, which leads to negative stereotype internalizations, also called the stereotype threat.
These abilities to function and adapt in a majority or minority environment have led researchers to believe being of mixed race is an advantage instead of a disadvantage. According to a Pew Survey, 19% against 4% of those interviewed report greater well-being, higher self-esteem, and societal acceptance.
Contemporary beauty standards have also shifted. It’s no longer the clear-cut Heidi Klum look that’s to-die-for but the dark-skinned, curly-haired Beyoncé that every child wants to cultivate. In 2018, researchers found an eclectic mix of white, Asian, Latino, and black college students found mixed-race faces attractive.
Is It True That Biracial Babies Are Healthier?
A mix of skin tones and features don’t necessarily point to a mixture of healthy genes, whose expression can vary. The hybrid vigor theory is supported by a 2005 study by psychologists Craig Roberts from the University of Stirling in Scotland, UK. He attached apparent attractiveness to the virtue of health, studying people that inherited genetic variants.
Your biracial baby benefits from two copies of the gene regulating the immune system, as opposed to one type for mono-racial children. That’s known as heterozygous instead of homozygous, which is made more likely by mixed race. Studies show that this genetic make-up makes individuals more resistant to allergies, skin diseases like psoriasis, or communicable infections. That includes lower probabilities of developing HIV or hepatitis B.
The power of modern medicine, vaccinations, and antibiotics also help biracial heterozygotes overcome genetic susceptibility to illnesses. Other researchers disagree. Some claim that mixes aren’t equal. That the dominant race of a child determines their health and wellbeing. However, a consensus is that a positive link does exist between a positive self-image, prevailing cultural standards, and healthier life.
Does Having a Biracial Baby Affect My Societal Expectations and Worldview?
By giving birth to a biracial baby, you’re giving life to racial awareness. On becoming a mother to a mixed-race child, you’ll start forming opinions that may challenge your or other people’s worldview. It’s a new set of priorities, whereby new social-justice cares get raised and old prejudicial benchmarks erased.
Being of interracial heritage leads to careers in politics, foreign relations, and diplomacy. That’s because they’re significantly more exposed to conflicting differences and ability to be open-minded or tolerant of others.
However, that’s possible only when you allow your child to embrace all components of their heritage. Since the federal government dropped the one-drop rule with the 2000 census, your biracial baby will have options to designate their ethnic background instead of the previously defined collective tick-boxes.
Even when a culture or a nation is warring within itself, biracial children become a focal point to tolerance and healing. That was and is still the case for post-apartheid South Africa. As such, you must connect bridges of understanding in your interracial child, advocating for equality, promoting self-love and acceptance. Your baby will model after those virtues, even when avenues like mainstream media won’t reflect that.
Helping Your Biracial Baby Leverage Advantages
All babies are unique, but biracial children have their own set of challenges as well as advantages. A mixed-race baby is an amalgamation of beauty, culture, and diversity from which the world can learn lots of things. The key to unlocking these positive attributes is raising a psychologically healthy child, instilling values like caring attitudes or positive expectations.
As a parent, you’ll need to play a positive role model while exposing your child to appreciate their multiple identities and explore both heritages. That means cultivating a stellar relationship with your biracial baby, being available and providing supervision, or attention to the stuff that keeps them busy.
Spiritual growth is essential if you are to raise a balanced biracial child. Offer them the freedom to discuss or acknowledge moral issues to do with race in society. By recognizing that your baby is of a different race from yours, just like your partner, you’ll be identifying your family as an interracial unit.
It was thought that America’s interracial baby boom would occur. And it has. With it comes new trendsetting generations of multiracial children that are genetical as they are physically diverse. Thanks to the incorporation of healthy DNA alleles inherited from both parents. Your biracial baby gets set free from common encumbrances like lactose intolerance or pollen allergies.
Besides a robust immune system, a multiracial identity is attributed to psychological and social wellbeing. You can help your biracial baby embrace their mixed heritage with pride and ownership.
I’m Cathrine and I’m a 39-year-old mother of 3 from Utica, New York. And I’m extremely happy you’ve come to visit my hide-out on the web. Here I post about everything related to family-life and usually it will involve babies and lessons I’ve learned over the years from experts, friends, and my own mistakes. So hopefully you will find what i write fun and informational!