My children will be biracial. They’ll have me-Their black mother and my husband-Their white father.

In this day and age I like to think that won’t be as big of an issue as it was in years past but every now and then I wonder.

I grew up in the South. In my ward none of the young men asked me out. Older women told me it was because they were intimidated. “You’re so beautiful,” they’d tell me. But deep down I knew the real reason why.

At stake dances I usually did all of the asking. I never thought much of it since I was the one with the outgoing personality, but looking back something was… Off.

I remember one guy named Doug. One of my best friends dated him on and off for a few months. He wore a confederate flag ring on one of his fingers. He also frequently wore T-shirts with confederate flags printed on them… As if he wanted to scream to the world he was a racist.

He liked me… As in I was his girlfriend’s best friend so he would put up with me, talk to me and occasionally dance with me probably just to make her happy. “Black people are ‘this or that,'” he’d say. “But you’re different.”

What do you mean I’m different? I don’t talk with an accent or wear saggy jeans? Hello, that’s called a stereotype not a formula for an entire race.

I had a crush on one guy in my high school for years. We were very close friends. I set him up with numerous dates with my other friends and we could tell each other anything. He wanted a girlfriend, I wanted to be his girlfriend. But one day after school he told me why that wasn’t possible. “Because you’re black,” he told me point blank.

This isn’t meant to be an “Oooh poor me” post because as I grew up through the years I interacted with and dated all types of men. I found “the one” for me, and he happens to be white.

My husband and I share the exact same beliefs as far as racial issues apparent today. He doesn’t pretend to understand what I’ve gone through but he knows it’s out there. Neither of us can stand racism and we’ve learned to stand together as a team and defend our relationship when necessary. We share the same religious beliefs, cultural beliefs and most importantly… Music taste.

The LDS church does have a dirty history when it comes to Blacks. I don’t understand all of it and I’m not going to go into all of it. All we know is that if we were able to get married in an LDS temple and receive those blessings than our relationship–Our marriage IS ok.

I think know some people in the LDS church teach that dating outside of your race is “not recommended.” No lie, it’s in the manual of the “LDS Marriage and Family Class.” (I think we should all ban together to get that taken out but that’s another story.) I know people who have been so upset about this they’ve doubted, even left the church. Obviously my husband and I didn’t care about that lesson because we’re married today. I however, do worry for my children. We won’t teach our children that “recommendation”. Not only would that be hypocritical, in my opinion that would be WRONG.

Besides, if that were how it were supposed to be who is an interracial child to date? Only interracial people?
I worry especially that my daughters will face the same challenges I faced growing up, but won’t deal with it as I did. I was able to brush it off my shoulder while other Black women hold a grudge, or get very upset. I can’t completely put myself in their boat because I did meet my husband while attending a “Mormon college”, and married him six months later. I didn’t know it then, but I was an EXTREME minority.I worry my sons will have a hard time finding women to date because their parents don’t want their daughter child “dating a black boy.”

I hope as my children grow up they meet other children who are taught to have friends of all races, and date people of all nationalities. Besides, religion, career, personality… Those are all things you can choose. You’re born your race.
I don’t want my children to grow up wishing they looked “more like daddy” or like their white friends. I want them to be proud of who they are, and proud to be brown. Most of all, I hope others around us are accepting and open minded enough to see people for more than just the color of their skin.

I know a lot of people who have adopted children out of their race… Adopted black children. (I can make that a whole new topic) but I’m curious to know your opinions on the matter, regardless of your child’s skin color. Would you care if your child dated outside of your race? Your religion?

My beliefs on Blacks in the LDS Scriptures.


Hi, Jennifer,

I invited you to check out (if you already haven’t) http://www.antiracistparent.com. Many parents there are dealing with issues and concerns similar to the important ones you raised.

Best of everything to you and your family,
~Deesha

Olmos Family says:

I am married to a different race and I have NEVER heard anyone say in church that you should not marry someone of a different race. That is FALSE DOCTORINE!

Mina says:

My brother in law is black. Actually, he’s 3/4 black and 1/4 Japanese. Another brother-in-law is from Guatamala. So I have 4 mixed nieces and nephews. In our family, my kids grew up literally seeing skin color as just another variation like eye or hair color, and I was sad when they began to have it pointed out to them at school that they needed to be sensitive and accepting. Because that meant there was a difference. They didn’t get it. My daughter was in first grade and was SHOCKED to discover that her big black foot-ball coach uncle was not white. For us, it’s just family.

We all lived in So California, though, and interracial couples are much less rare than other places. You may want to consider (if it’s possible–I know it’s not always) where you live.

Ultimately, if you give your children a firm concept of who they are, I think they’ll do alright!

Amanda says:

Jennifer, you are so beautiful! You and your husband will have beautiful children. It doesn’t matter who they will look more like, either way, they will turn out gorgeous!

I agree with you, that race should be a complete NON issue… and I think in time, it will be. Our generation seems open to many things that most of our parent’s and grandparent’s generations are completely closed off to. It’s not acceptable, but somewhat understandable. That’s the way they were raised, in segregated schools. So, it makes sense that interracial couples are out of the norm for them.

But for our generation, it’s a new leaf. I think you and your husband are beautiful together. It does matter you share the same beliefs, morals, and goals. It is NOT important you share the same skin color. There are bigger things to worry about in today’s world.

Great post. Love you girly.
xoxo.

Keya says:

Excellent post. I too remember liking white guys in high school & college, but was never approached.
My child is biracial. Like you I’m black & my husband is white. My child can date what ever race/religion he wants to as long as he is happy.
I think change is hard for some people. Especially if you live in a world where everyone is the same. Sometimes people & their family don’t want to be associated with that “different” person. So it really depends on where you live.
Sorry to say but your children may have a hard time finding a boyfriend/girlfriend especially if they are limited to dating people who are LDS.
Like you said some black people leave because no one would date them & some peoples family teach that you must stick to your own race.
Before you & your husband decide to have kids you should pick a place to live that is very diverse and accepting to interracial families.

Mommy Bee says:

I think that the more things two people have in common, the more likely it is that they will be able to have a successful marriage. With that said, I certainly don’t feel that race is any more important than religion, ideals, life goals, hobbies, or (to a lesser degree) economic background.
I also have observed more and more mixed-race children (two or three or four racial) in recent years. I know that it’s more common in some regions than in others, and there is probably something to be said for choosing to live in an area where it’s more familiar–and more accepted.

I have a very white family–scandinavian and german ancestors on both sides. We’ve got more blue eyes than any other extended family I know, LOL! However my family includes several adopted members, including a Navajo uncle (& his East Indian wife), and cousins who are East Indian and mixed white/native peoples. Growing up with it, I never really thought anything of race.
I remember teaching my oldest son about how everyone is different–I have a different hair color than he does, his aunt has a different eye color, and my cousin has a different skin color. Thankfully he’s had several good experiences with people who were willing to talk with him about race–my bridesmaid who told him that she was made of chocolate (he wanted to lick her!), my cousin who had a nice talk with him about how she is brown, and our home teacher (the darkest man I’ve ever met) who let DS just look at his hand for most of an hour while we met together. I think that openness and lack of discomfort on our part (as parents) is the main reason that he is also comfortable about racial differences. Local culture is going to have an impact, but I think that nothing can ever be as big as what kids learn at home.
I would like to believe that with each passing generation we are becoming more comfortable with each other, but I know in some areas that’s more true than others.

Incidentally, I know several people who have adopted black children. My (LDS) friend at http://rasjane.blogspot.com has one white bio child (and one in the oven) and two black children. I know several other families who have adopted inter-racially or multi-racially. If you are really concerned, I’d recommend talking to other moms who have walked the road ahead of you. ☺
Inter-ethnic adoption is something I have looked into myself. I spoke with my adopted family members about their experiences and it was very enlightening–my uncle said that sometimes it was hard to be dark in white-bread Salt Lake City, but that now that he lives in CA he thinks that is a much better (easier) place to raise a multi-ethnic family.

Jenn,

Your kids are going to be the most beautiful of all. 🙂 Just thought I’d say that.

Love you, girl.

Tina says:

Something I’ve noticed throughout my life is that people with “mixed” bloodlines are always beautiful b/c they get the best of both (or more) worlds. So instead of worrying, you should be thumbing your nose at the world saying “Boo ya, my babies are prettier.” 😛

Just kidding. Well, about the thumbing your nose part. Anyway, in all seriousness…being Asian, I have my own views and opinions on racism and people of other races.

I have to say I’ve been very lucky. Growing up in Plano, the worst racism I’ve ever been exposed to is teasing comments along the lines of “Oooh, you’re Asian. I bet you’re so good at math and science *snickers*” Not true, but hey, who am I to complain if other people think I’m smart?

I always knew I could only date Chinese boys. It’s not because of my parents and it’s not because I think it’s wrong to date outside my race. It’s just that even as a child growing up in America, I felt very strongly connected to my roots and culture, and I’d be hard pressed to find someone outside my race who could understand and hold the same cultural ideas as I do. That’s not to say I think a non-Chinese person can’t be well-educated about Chinese culture. It’s just harder to find one.

I can’t say with 100% certainty that I will be okay with my kids dating outside their race. Whether or not I will be depends entirely on their motives for doing so. If they happen to like or love someone who just happens to be non-Chinese, then that’s okay with me. If they date someone non-Chinese b/c they’re ashamed of being Chinese of b/c they think life will be easier if they pretend to be someone they aren’t, then I won’t be okay with it.

As for religion, I’m atheist, and my boyfriend’s Christian, so I’d be a hypocrite to not let my kids date outside their religion. I have no problems with someone being religious or not or of a different religion as long as it doesn’t reach the point of needing to hurt others for not holding the same beliefs.

So I guess what this long comment boils down to is…it really depends on the person and his/her motives.

It saddens me that people always approach mixed children as being beautiful. My father was very concerned for me when I was younger, and would say out loud to people who gawked/fawned over me- “Katie is more than her hair.” He didn’t want the entire tragic mulatto thing happening, and thank goodness it didn’t.

That being said, I joined then left the LDS Church for the hateful beliefs or “doctrine” regarding Africans and those of African decent simply because I couldn’t take it. Just not my thing thank you very much, I’ll go back to Catholicism where I know priests marched in civil rights protests. I’m not saying the LDS Church is racist, but things need to change, and it saddens me that “brushing things under the carpet” is how it is handled. Oh well! I still love my member friends like family and respect a lot of what the Church stands for.

I love being mixed, and I love my family. I would have it no other way. And don’t worry too much. One generation can change a ton. By the time your kids come into the world there will have already been a BLACK president. Nothing is impossible. The sky is the limit.

Did you know that the human race is more similar, despite racial difference, than penguins?!?!? Amazing. We are all children of God and need to behave accordingly.

I love you Jen!

Me says:

I am so there with you. I adopted 2 mexican girls and we are white, and I am crazy about them and they can date or marry any one of any color or race, same with my Caucasian children. It does not matter, what matters is the person, the love, the character.
Also, I have was born and raised LDS and still am and have never heard anything about not marrying outside race. I think that it is accepted and hopefully soon the world with see color for what it is, something special about each individual, not to divide but to add variety and culture to our world.

Thank you for your post, it is a great topic. By the way I love your blog, even got my married daughter reading it. I just had to comment on this blog. My daughter is married to a black man, who is actually Honduran but looks very black, and their daughter is the most beautiful child you have ever seen, no bias of course! I have six biological children and our youngest is adopted from China. In the U.S. we really never got much interest, but once we moved to Costa Rica that all changed. Here they call my son-in-law negro and my daugher chine. At first I was very put out, but have realized they don’t mean anything personal by it, it is just like an observation. My five year old use to tell them “I’m not chine my name is Maleah!” She does’nt even say anything anymore. Here it is more open curiosity than predjudice. Though I do hear other kids pretending to speak Chinese to my daughter. Kids can be pretty mean for sure. I asked our branch Pres. why the people here stared at my daughter so much, he said he did not think they were staring at her so much as they were staring at the whole weird family! That is what you get for having blue eyes and living in Central America! I am Gringa and it is sometimes weird, sometimes people are very rude and most times they just stare. I guess that is just people, life and the crazy world we live in.

Mama says:

Never heard that the church is against people marrying of another race (religion yes) though I do believe ppl disapproved of my husband (Maori marrying me being white. (Mostly Samoan in our ward)
We do worry about our children growing up biracial but no problems so far. Only comments we hear is aout how gorgeous they are being ‘mixed’.

Creole Wisdom-there goes someone choosing to be offended when there is no need to. My heavens. Jenn is a beautiful woman and her husband is a dang good-looking man. Where is the crime in saying their children are going to be “beautiful”? They WILL be! Thanks for turning an innocent, kind compliment into a racist remark.

We have adopted a mixed race child who just turned 11. I don’t have any problems with people at church but at Costco it’s a different story!

Lorell says:

I haven’t read all the comments, so I may be saying the same things or different things. I am white, grew up in Utah – so I should know nothing about this right? – I actually think I do know a little. We moved our four blond kids to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, they learned a lot about racism and minority. It’s different when you are on the other side – but for us it still wasn’t the same. Whites are thought of as the “higher class” even tho we were the minority. It’s a strange situation. I loved being the minority – being able to pick my kids out of a crowd – being different – That’s one reason we moved to Austin instead of back to Utah – too many white people there 🙂 I love the diversity of the places I’ve lived recently and I will allow my children to date whomever they choose. I hope they choose the people they date on their character, not their skin color. I want my kids to learn about many other religions, and date people from other religions, but I’d like them to marry someone who is worthy to take them to the LDS temple – marraige is hard enough when you believe the same things, I’d like them to start out as positive as possible. Hope I haven’t rambled too much.
Oh – one last thing – I have 4 blonde/white kids and one Chuukese/brunette kid – We brought a boy back from the Pacific. He looks black, to those who don’t know the Pacific Islanders. People are still a little shocked when he calls me Mom, but I LOVE it! All my kids are mine.

I adore you, and I think anyone who truly gets to know you and your family will too. I can not say to much more as I can not begin to understand the difficulties you have, and an individual and couple, and everything I might have said has already been mentioned. I will say though that a lot of times I think black babies are so much cuter than white babies are. Your kids will be gorgeous

Rob says:

My wife and I have had similar thoughts about the challenges of, in our case, a possible interracial family. We are caucasian and are open to adopting children of any race. We have been at it for about 3 years and have suffered 4 major failed adoptions, but one of those, the most difficult, was of a beautiful newborn baby boy we named Tyler who is African-American. We had him as ours for a day or two, then had to return him to his mother as she had changed her mind about the adoption ( http://adoptionwithlove.blogspot.com/2008/06/52-hours-of-joy-followed-by.html ). We may have another opportunity to adopt a newborn in March that is African-American, and, if it works out I’m sure we’ll face some of the challenges you descirbe Jenn. But, in the end, as a family we’ll face those together and overcome. Thanks for the thoughts that help us know we’re not alone.

I’m in the Mississippi Delta, and alot of my friends have biracial kids. If people aren’t thinking it a big deal here.. you know it’s socially acceptable now! But I have to admit that I know alot of white guys who may think a black girl is hot.. but not hot enough to have a serious relationship with. That blows my mind! I figure they must be scared what their parents would think.She’d have to be one special girl to make them risk getting disowned.

heather says:

Thanks so much for this post. I’m hispanic and pretty much felt this way in High School and at BYU. White boys didn’t date me…but then I found my love and he is white. We have two kids and I always wonder how their lives will be when they get older and date. I just hope that they can have the same attitude that I had. Brush it off. We are all special no matter what.

Aunt LoLo says:

I have to say – I’m totally hearing what Tina (above) is saying. I’m a wfite Euro mutt married to a pureblood Chinese man (and yeah, our kids are gorgeous…) I served a mission in his home country, and we both felt very blessed to find another person who could understand both “sides” of us.

Who can my kids date? We’re raising them to straddle both cultures…so I don’t know. I know thry will face different challenges than I did, so I just pray they’ll stick close to the gospel, and all will be well…

sues2u2 says:

hmmm. i’m in my early/mid forties, white, grew up in utah, dad was bishop looong time) & my first boyfriend was black. i do remember my parents cautioning me about how hard it would be to raise biracial children but i really think their biggest concern was that the boy was not lds & it’s hard to raise children when both parents don’t always agree. that being said i think now my parents would be very accepting of a biracial marriage as long as it was a love match. (they’ve grown up too!)

when we lived in dc, where there are many biracial couples, my friends would be very upset that their children would be taunted because they weren’t dark enough! this totally blew me away. it didn’t matter if your parents were all of one race or not!

so while i am married to a white man i couldn’t care less if my children married someone who is of a different race but, i would prefer them to marry within our religion only because i didn’t & it has been difficult @ times.

and i have ALWAYS wanted a chocolate eyed baby! love my blue eyed & green eyed kiddos (& of course my blue eyed sweet hubby) but still can’t help wanting a child w/ bottomless pools of deep semi sweet chocolate to gaze into. (hubby’s getting there too!) raise your children w/ love & all will be well.

Heatherlyn says:

I didn’t grow up in the south, but in southern CA. I don’t think that race should be an issue. People who can’t look past physical appearance seriously have something wrong in their head, and heart.

I have cousins who are bi-racial. The oldest girl is beautiful. Fantastically beautiful. I believe that bi-racial children often get the best from both their parents and turn out to be some of the most beautiful people in the world. Her older brother is very handsome, and the best guy. He’s at a “mormon” college and despite wanting to get married hasn’t been able to find the right girl. I’d like to think it has nothing to do with his looks. If it does, some girls are seriously missing out.

Racism unfortunately goes both ways. People have been racist against me because I’m white! I don’t get that. None of it.

I hope that your children feel the way you do.

I think that interracial marriage, if it is discouraged, would be based on race being tied to culture. Marriage is difficult enough without blending two different cultures. But so much now, in the United States especially, different races are a part of the same culture.

Anyway, I firmly believe that people should be judged on what is in their head and heart.

And I have brown-eyed and green-eyed children. I love the variety.

tara @ kidz says:

Oh my goodness. I am so glad Mormon Mommy Wars (was that where I just was?) brought me here. You are fantastic.

I’m a white Utah Mormon. I have no idea what you’ve been through or what your children will go through. But my mind and eyes have been opened widely recently.

My only daughter has congenital issues. Although we wouldn’t change one thing about her, it is difficult to see her struggle through life. I’m adopted and I cherish that form of motherhood. We’re considering adopting children from here on out, and we’re considering adopting black children.

As I’ve discussed this with friends and family, I have been SHOCKED to say the least at their responses. I thought the constitution, abolition of slavery, Jesus’ commandment to love everyone, and many other 21st century ideologies abolished white supermacy.

I’m sorry to say that it still exists. I personally do not understand it at all. But I can tell that you and your husband are strong in your faith and values. You will raise children who will be strong as well. May they gravitate toward people who truly love and accept them.

God bless you. Oh what, he already has!

Natalie says:

I agree with Mommy Bee’s comment that there are very multicultural areas where people don’t even notice such differences. I grew up in England and married an American and moved here. I have to say I had many challenges based on my culture differences and we are both white. I understand the challenges faced by people coming together from different backgrounds but don’t we all? we were all raised in different homes. I can truley say I didn’t really know racism till I moved to Utah (of all places)that’s not a hit, I do love it here. I heard comments here and they were mostly from old people but I was still shocked because I didn’t think it existed anymore.I’m sorry that you have had to deal with this at all. I know that our Father loves ALL his children and we are ALL equal and with the courage to follow his will, we will all be joined together someway eventually.

Sue Q says:

What a wonderful post! I’m so glad you were highlighted for MMB Post of the Month — you really make us all think, and not just react, to what is around us.

I grew up not unlike you — except I’m white, and I was a Haole Girl in Hawaii. I had a lot of Asian and Hawaiian friends whose parents wouldn’t let me come over to their house to play. It hurt my parents more than me, but I just didn’t understand it. When my family eventually moved to California, I saw the kids with brown skin at recess and wanted to play with them, but all the white kids said, “We don’t play with Mexicans.”

Prejudice was difficult for me to understand as a child, but I am forever grateful that I learned my lesson early in life. As a result, I am happy to say that I have friends of all races, creeds, religions, and lifestyles. We may not have the color of our skin in common, but we have so many other things in common that really matter.

april says:

Okay- I’ve got two things for ya. First, I love the fact that you are a biracial LDS couple and putting it out there. Perceptions need to change. Second, I’m hoping for a biracial child through adoption and I know that my baby will face challenges, but we all have our own problems to deal with and I know that the Lord won’t give them more than they can bear.

Also, I personally think the biracial people are generally gorgeous so thats a bonus.

Yvonne says:

As a black mom of two biracial children, I totally get where you are coming from and your view point. My children are still young and race has not been discussed. My children are happy, healthy and loving. Race is an after thought but I know it will have to be discussed in length sooner or later.

Just setting your children up with a strong foundation of sense of self, acceptance and history will do wonders.

Julie Smith says:

I guess I was lucky. My Mother never mentioned a persons race and so it never occured to me that there was racism out there. As a 44 yr. old, it still shocks me when I hear someone say a racist remark. I have 4 children, 3 daughters who are married and one son who is 15. My daughters all married white men (we are white) but it was always suggested in our home to plaese marry someone with some ethninticity as we are all painfully white and we could use some tan in this family. My oldest son-in-law grew up in Hawaii and didn’t find out that he wasn’t hawaiin until he was 8, he was quite dissapointed. That’s the closest we’ve come. It all rests on my son’s shoulders now. I think there are more people in the world like me than you think. All people have the potential to beautiful on the inside, and out regardless of their race. I know most of my pale friends would love to have a little more color in thier family 🙂

Anonymous says:

I grew up in Southern Utah where there were no black people in the 3 high schools that were here(20 years ago).
I still live in the same town, but in my ward alone there are:
5 families with adopted black children, some could be bi-racial?
1 Samoan/white couple-3 kids,
1 Asian/white couple-3 kids,
1 hispanic/white couple-2 kids,
2 hispanic couples-4 kids,
1 Philipino/white couple-3 kids,
1 Hawaiian/white couple-2 kids,
1 Native Amer/white couple-2 kids,
1 black/white couple-grown kids.
I hadn’t really noticed them being a different race or mixed race(except for the accents) until I read this blog and made this list.
There is so much diversity in my ward, I don’t think my kids have noticed a difference in race.
And things are constantly changing. By the time your kids are dating, there might not be any of the problems that you worry about.

I would be freaked out that my kids dated a non-member, not another race, because I see how much heartache and pain my friends and some ward members are going through that are married to non-members. They know they want a temple marriage, but their spouses won’t convert.

Dating should be more of a compatibility issue. Which is what I personally believe the marriage manual was referring to when it was written 40ish years ago. There didn’t used to be this much diversity, and the different races didn’t used to share the same cultures like they do now.
Anyway, there’s my 2 cents. Hope it helps.

Azúcar says:

I wouldn’t care if my children dated outside of their race. I care more about them dating girls that are smart, kind, ambitious, fun, and good.

Hopefully, as our generation has children and as they grow up, this will be less and less of an issue.

Kimi says:

I think that things really are changing and that by the time your children are old enough to date it will be no big deal. My daughter-an extremely fair-skinned blue-eyed blond dated a very dark African American young man in high school. They looked great together! It was no problem for us because it is the PERSON that matters not the color of his skin. We thought he was great and would have had no problem with them getting married except that he is not LDS. I’m friends with him on facebook even though she is now married to someone else (just as white as she is, their poor kids) and my younger kids miss him terribly. Oh, by the way, we were living in Alabama while they were dating, my kids went to very racially diverse schools and were pretty much color blind as far as race goes. I think that is the key-getting to know others as individuals.

Brittanie says:

Jenn,

My whole family is made up of bi-racial marriages with people from completely different countries. They are happy marriages and their children are GORGEOUS. As far as I can tell, the kids have advantages in a new perspective on the world. They all speak multiple languages (english was not a first language for any of my nieces or nephews) but they are all happy, wonderful children.

I grew up in California, and there was a lot of tolerance for all types of people. In fact, my closest friends were Indian, African, Hispanic, Czech, and other nationalities.

I think things are changing in the world and I think the mindset you expressed, that of racist people, is quickly disappearing.

thebaglady says:

I’m Chinese and I married a Filipino guy so our kids will be mixed. Even though we’re both Asian the culture difference is pretty big. My family thinks it’s funny that we have a Hispanic last name and they are still working on pronouncing it. I think our future kids will learn a lot from both of our families, and that’s pretty cool. One thing that does worry me is that my kids will hate being Asian just because it is a minority. Like you said, you don’t want your kids to want to look more like daddy. I think the most important thing is to have your kids embrace who they are no matter what their race is.

LLnL says:

Great post. I don’t have children experience yet but I am a black woman who has faces discrimination. I was a nanny to a white family who adopted a Chinese daughter. All you need to deal with this issue is confidence in yourself and a strong support system when times get tough.

When I was young I was able to brush off the negativity but I had friends that did not, and they turned out lovely. It important to be a great example for your kids to know what to do in tough times, but be supportive of them however they choose to deal, as long as it does not harm anyone.

Michelle says:

Great post! I wouldn’t care if my child(ren) dated outside of their, because that would be hypocritical of me since I did growing up LOL But more importantly I think that race doesn’t matter. If the person is good, kind-hearted, decent, honest and treats my child well then all is good! I had boyfriends who were black, spanish, hispanic, biracial, and my ex husband is Filipino…so to me it’s about the attraction to the person if you’re genuinley happy!

Andrea says:

Move to Seattle. 1 in 6 children born there are biracial. My kids are biracial and we’ve never had any issues whatsoever. People constantly comment on their color, but more of a “wow, I can’t believe how fair skinned they are” way which we are trying to figure out how to deal with.

Karen says:

I don’t know much about LDS but I know that Jesus loves interracial marriages and biracial kids. And for me that’s all that matters.

Lisa F. says:

I think boys from our area were ridiculous anyways and never asked any of us out.. hahah but i think if you are attracted to someone you should date them.. i do know it is hard to date people from other cultures because it is hard finding a middle ground where both of you can agree.. my relationship at least did not last with one of my boyfriends from another country… but i think if prayed about a non member it is fine to date them.. i have many friends close to me that are sealed now in the temple but were introduced to the church then baptized after the two were dating.. but i believe your children will be just fine and of course everyone has their ups and downs finding dates- for many different reasons but it will all work out! (ours could be partly because our height too! it took a while for the boys to catch up!!:)

TXMom2B says:

I think that there are more and more biracial couples now. We live in an incredibly diverse area of Houston and I have no idea what the race will be of the woman my son ends up marrying some day. We adopted him, and, to be honest, we’re not entirely sure what race he is, either. As long as they share the important values and life goals, and she’s a nice girl, it’s all good.

I am white and I have a hispanic son and am in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. One of my biggest fears is whether I will be able to support them enough when they face racism.

Would I care if they dated outside my race? No, not at all. But I worry – similarly to you – that they will have trouble if they want to date IN my race. Will moms be upset when their daughter’s bring home my son? He is, after all, not white. And what will I say to make it better? What can I say? Nothing really. I pray that we can deal with it.

I don’t know the answer to the question you seek. I have those same questions myself. But rest assured if any of my children brought home one of yours I would consider myself lucky. 🙂

Jess says:

I’m white & my ex-husband is black as well as my current BF…..I have 4 beautiful 1/2 black lil boys! I would NEVER in a MILLION years tell my children who they can or cannot date!!!!! You threw so much out there I don’t even know where to begin! Ppl are def changing their views & becomming more & more less racist. My ward is REALLY great, I get comments on how cute the boys are every single Sunday (mind you we didn’t start going to church until Oct. 08 because I worked Sundays) I know the history of the church & held a grudge for far to long with them for their history *sigh* I think I’m over it now but deep down in my heart there is still the saddness & anger about it, but that is totally different subject not to be discussed now.

I do fear that my boys will be rejected & not fit in, but I am doing my best to teach them that love shows no bounderies & that we should love everyone. 2 weeks ago my brother told me the day b4 Trayden walked up to him (he had just got home from tanning, ya my bro is a nut)& said Uncle Levi whats a stumbled upon a few words b4 he got out the “N” word? Levi said WHAT WHERE DID YOU HEAR THAT FROM? Tray said that kid up there called me it….

I was totally floored & the kid is lucky that I wasn’t the one Tray told or I would have marched my happy rear (or got in the van depending on how far away he was) straight up there & had a whole lot to say, sad thing is i’m sure he learned it from his parents! UGH I didn’t want them learning about the N word so young I talked to Tray that night when we got home & said that was an unacceptable word that we do not say! So it shows you that I’m trying to shelter my boys as much as I can, I keep them away from negative ppl some are harder than others like my dipwad BIL who was raised in Grand Junction, CO & likes to tell “N” jokes, after being physically hurt by me a few times he’s learned to shut his big ugly nasty trap (at least when im around)

I guess me being white I worry about the opposite of you, I worry that my boys are going to wonder why they are ugh brown & why they aren’t black like daddy. Seriously my friends kids used to fight over who was black or not (shes spanish & 2 of her kids were mixed 1/2black1/2white & the other 2s dad was full black) I want my boys to be proud of what they are! Proud of the black AND proud of the white! I fear they will blame me for not being fully black.

My major worry is with Daven he has the sickle cell trait, so I may be a tad overbearing when it comes to him bringing girls home lol I hope I don’t just blurt out hey do you have sickle cell?

I do have days where I think about all the negativity in the world & what a fool I was to think it was ok to bring a (well in my case 4) child into it, to subject them to more hate than need be, that I should have just stuck it out to find the perfect white man, but that is not who I am & I would be a fraud to myself if I did. To worry where they will fit if they will be ousted from the white crowd or black crowd, I just hope & pray that does not happen or I will prob uproot them & move us all back to Springville where at least the “cliques” aren’t about color, mainly because there’s not much color here lol

All in all I don’t worry so much about it, I think my boys are beautiful & one day will make a wonderful Husband & make me some beautiful Grandchildren! I just pray that the perfect woman fall into their lap whether she is white, black, brown, polka dotted, or heck maybe even purple. As long as they are happy & in love what more can I ask for?

brohammas says:

My experiance in the church has been less overt racism and more ignorant skipping over of all things racial. “Oh I didn’t even realize -blank- was black.” So many think the right thing to do is treat everyone the same to the point of ignoring who you really are… unless you are polynesian, then members celebrate your race.

Mixed kids are a big deal. Most tend to choose a side and my wife are doing everything we ca to avoid our children doing that. It takes effort. We decided that the children’s strongest identity should not be black or white, but Mormon.

cat says:

I am off course writing to you from the bottom of racism – South Africa. The only thing I can say is that things change, you only have to look over here to know they do – very fast. We see a lot of mixed racial couples with children, a lot of interracial adoptions. Our children are growing up ignorant of race ( at least for a while). I am positive you will be able to raise your children with pride. Love and light to you!

Brenda says:

I love this post..thank you for sharing! I know that my hubby and I will welcome anyone into our family who treats our daughters/son with respect and love. To me the character and integrity of a person is the important thing to look at….not their race. If my kids are happy then we are happy.

Karen MEG says:

Jennifer,first of all, you and your husband are a beautiful couple, very grounded, and your children will be very lucky indeed to have you as parents. I may be biased, but I think mixed race children are the most beautiful and smartest ;)! The glorious mixing of the genes, shall we say!

I’m Chinese, my husband is white, so my kids are biracial…and luckily for me that seems to be becoming less ‘unusual’ these days, especially in our neighbourhood. Their school, is in fact like the United nations, my kindergartener’s school concert finale was about the world being “a rainbow” and it was fully represented on the stage. There are five children out of twenty in my daughter’s class who are mixed. Isn’t that amazing? My sister and I both married Caucasians, and my brother married a Chinese girl. So I have a mixed race niece, and also 100% niece…and our extended family is anything but 100% Chinese.

Still, the world isn’t without its prejudices, although thankfully we haven’t experienced it with the kids as yet, we do hear about the odd incident not too far from us, where attitudes still seem to be stuck in the past. Or just buried a little less deeply. So your concerns are valid, but hopefully will be lessened by the time you do have your family.

You just have to take it as it comes, instill your values in your children, keep reinforcing in them strength in character and how they are to be proud of who they are etc… and if they do face adversity, they’ll be able to handle it.

I do wonder sometimes who my kids will end up “being” with, but to be honest, the race/religion thing doesn’t really come into play. We’re only hoping that our kids will be happy with who they choose, and that they will be loved and treated well.

J.J. Davell says:

From experience I know that it is tough having a bi racial child but I never knew I was going to have as many unpeasant encounters with my son as I do when I’m with my husband. This weekend I encounterd an ignorant person and I actually blogged (with humor so I didn’t become angry)about it because I want the world to know that biracial children sometimes scrutinized ostracised for not being white or black enough and it is unfair to them.

dixie says:

I’m from Austin, too and I have no doubt that any kids you have will grow up fine in this town. It’s a very diverse city and very accepting and although there are still some left over folks set in their racist ways, they’ll die out eventually and for everyone one of those out there they’ll be hundreds more in this town who will think that your kid’s mixed heritage is cool more than anything else. Just love them and show them that their ethnicity is just one part of them, a part they should be proud of but doesn’t completely define who they are. oh, and I’m proud of all the mixed raced couples out there who didn’t let social bigotry stand in the way of love and family. 😉

Marina says:

with a strong foundation from great parents your kids will do just fine…their inside will shine out louder than their outsides and by then hopefully what anybody looks like will never matter….our world is slowly getting there!

Desiree says:

I’m so happy I found your blog! I feel like we’re having parallel experiences except I’m not married (yet). I’ve been looking and looking for another woman sharing my experiences and who has my concerns and here you are! I hope you don’t mind if I link to you on my reading list. I’d love to connect – and of course if you’re ever in Dallas… 🙂

This is a wonderful post. And I truly enjoyed reading your perspective.

I would be proud if my children dated outside their race or religion. As long as they choose “good people,” I don’t care what color they are.

I am white but dated a few different races growing up… and I wasn’t given a hard time, but I always felt ready to defend the relationship if needed.

And it may be a weird thing to say, but I think biracial children are beautiful!

I am just reading this post and still reading the comments. It really hits home. I have 2 biracial children. One girl (5) and one boy (almost 2). I have the same worries and fears you share, but believe in my heart that my kids will be just fine as long as my husband and I raise them with an excepting heart that they will prosper. Yes, they might come across some difficult people in thier lives and I hope they have the strength to handle the situation with pride.
I met my white hubby ( I am black) in college and we datead for 5 years before we took the plunge. I dated out of my race and was instantly labeled ” that black girl that only dates white guys” I was so annoyed by that! I tried not let it get to me though. I thought my future hubby was Hispanic (LOL!) He’s Italian and Polish and gets a very deep tan in the summer.
My husband and I both agree that if our kids decide to get married that they person makes them happy, treats them with respect and loves them unconditionally. Color should not be an issue as long as those things are covered!
Thanks for this post!

Natalia says:

Having a black dad and a white mom presented very few challenges to me growing up. Sure, there were many, many times I wished I had my mom’s hair (and I still do), but my parents raised me to be proud of my heritage and I always have been.

lavonne says:

Hi, I came across your blog today and I have 4 children. 2 of them are grown and two are late teens, so as you can see i’m past the babymakin season in my life. Lol. But my children are multi-ethnic (I don’t like the word race becuase I believe we are all one race), and my husband and I have had very few problems as we are believers in Jesus Christ (God our protector) and we also have the attitude that our children are our business and Gods alone. With proper family and friend support all things will work out. And I have no problem with my kids marrying anyone of any ethnicity.

marfmom says:

I had NO idea the marriage handbook said that. I am floored and disgusted. I would totally back you up on petitioning to have that changed.

I’m biracial: my mother is Brasilian and my father was White. People gave me a hard time growing up, even today. I felt like there was a lot of pressure for me to choose which race to be and once I did, that it was wrong. We grew up around my mother’s family and I consider myself Latina, but my White friends made fun of me all the time, saying that I didn’t “look” Latina (because all Latinas look the same way – Mexican – didn’t you know?) and my Latina peers in college rejected me because Spanish is not my native tongue (Portuguese is the 2nd class language?). My brother worked for a BISHOP who called him a “dirty Mexican” on a daily basis, and my husband’s extended family makes racist comments frequently (in general, not about me).

So, yes, it would be silly to pretend that your dear, beautiful, future children will never get any flack for being biracial. But, I think it would be even sillier to try to convince them that race doesn’t exist. I hear people (particularly White parents who adopt children of another ethnicity) say that they’re just not going to bring up the issue of race at all, or the child’s culture of birth, b/c gosh darn it they’re a member of THIS family now and that’s all that matters. I think this does the child a HUGE disservice, esp. down the road when they might interested in their personal cultural history, or meet people of the same cultural background.

I think that the best thing you can do is to teach your kids to be proud of both of their heritages. Go with their interest as far as it plays out. Make them aware of the beauty and differences in each race, and teach them that race/ethnicity are not bad terms. Teach them how to stand up for themselves and their individual worth as people, people of color, and children of God.

marfmom says:

Oh also, do you have a citation or link to that section of the LDS Marriage and Family Class manual?

Gina says:

I just happen to come upon this goggling about something else. I just wanted to say good for you for not caring what other people think. My children are biracial and i understand somewhat where you are coming from. I did want to also say they might look more like dad than you. It depends on who’s genes are stronger. I have seen plenty biracial kids with blonde hair and blue eyes you just never know. GOOD LUCK!!!

Lynn says:

I think your kids will emulate the emotions that you do when they come across adversity. I’m Haitian but was born and raised in the suburbs of NY. I grew up around all different races but mostly caucasian. My mother and father never taught us about peoples races but about their character. I have carried that with me my WHOLE life. When referring to people my mom would say “See that man…wearing black pants….with the blue hat?” but never would she describe him as “See that Asian, White, Black, Red…” so until I grew up it was THEN and only then that I realized that other people have hangups about such things. Now with regards to marrying out of your religion that is the only thing that I have a strong emotion about. Our household is Christian and I would never expect nor want my children to find interest in a person who is say, an atheist, or a wicken! Oh Lord help me now! :o) Life is hard enough dealing with a mate that DOES believe in the same spiritual things as you. I saw how hard it was for my mom, and I pray my kids don’t have to go through the same.

My best, Lynn
*man Jenn, you ask some loaded questions! :o)

I know I’m a bit behind but our situations on the outside look a lot alike. I’m a black girl who married a white boy. I grew up around white people, and get confused for a white girl if talking on the phone with someone. True story a customer side stepped me because he thought I was the white girl next to me. It happens.

I personally don’t have any worries, my children are beautiful and I know they will find beautiful spouses because that is my job as a mommy to raise them in the way they should go.

Ofcourse their will be those who say you can and can’t do this but what does God say? That should be the back bone of every choice, decision.

I’ve been thinking about posting on this topic and think I will so I can stop blowing up your comment box 😉

Anonymous says:

Hello my name is tanya (tanyan01@yahoo.com)I know I am responding to this months later but I googled best cities to raise biracial children in southern ca and your article appeared amoung many…for some reason I selected it and started reading and noticed some of the terminology such as: stake, ward, then lds. Finally I might not feel so alone and lost. My husband is Jamacian and I’m white/latina with 2 children…talk about mixing it all up! Unfortunately my husband is not lds but our children attend church every sunday and I truely believe that we received many blessings and spiritual strength… but I am scared for my children’s future due to encounters of racism within my daughter’s school. We live in Brea, OC and is currently looking to relocate where it might more diverse.

sward says:

I came across your post and felt inclined to comment on a few things. No where in the Church Handbook or Family & Marriage Relations handbook does it say that you can’t marry outside your race (http://lds.org/manual/marriage-and-family-relations-instructors-manual?lang=eng). I was really quite surprised with your comments and if that is being taught by anyone, as mentioned by the “Olmos Family”, than it is definitely false. Every church has a “dirty history” but the fact that things have changed and have been righted must be considered as well. Unfortunately, a stereotpye like this isn’t a fair one to state. It’s unfortunate that there is ignorance in our schools and our communities to some degree that would make it so you worry about your children’s upbringing (there’s no excuse for that) but truly the Church’s stance is not of that nature.

Lynn says:

I think your kids will emulate the emotions that you do when they come across adversity. I’m Haitian but was born and raised in the suburbs of NY. I grew up around all different races but mostly caucasian. My mother and father never taught us about peoples races but about their character. I have carried that with me my WHOLE life. When referring to people my mom would say “See that man…wearing black pants….with the blue hat?” but never would she describe him as “See that Asian, White, Black, Red…” so until I grew up it was THEN and only then that I realized that other people have hangups about such things. Now with regards to marrying out of your religion that is the only thing that I have a strong emotion about. Our household is Christian and I would never expect nor want my children to find interest in a person who is say, an atheist, or a wicken! Oh Lord help me now! :o) Life is hard enough dealing with a mate that DOES believe in the same spiritual things as you. I saw how hard it was for my mom, and I pray my kids don’t have to go through the same.

My best, Lynn
*man Jenn, you ask some loaded questions! :o)

I am just reading this post and still reading the comments. It really hits home. I have 2 biracial children. One girl (5) and one boy (almost 2). I have the same worries and fears you share, but believe in my heart that my kids will be just fine as long as my husband and I raise them with an excepting heart that they will prosper. Yes, they might come across some difficult people in thier lives and I hope they have the strength to handle the situation with pride.
I met my white hubby ( I am black) in college and we datead for 5 years before we took the plunge. I dated out of my race and was instantly labeled ” that black girl that only dates white guys” I was so annoyed by that! I tried not let it get to me though. I thought my future hubby was Hispanic (LOL!) He’s Italian and Polish and gets a very deep tan in the summer.
My husband and I both agree that if our kids decide to get married that they person makes them happy, treats them with respect and loves them unconditionally. Color should not be an issue as long as those things are covered!
Thanks for this post!

Desiree says:

I’m so happy I found your blog! I feel like we’re having parallel experiences except I’m not married (yet). I’ve been looking and looking for another woman sharing my experiences and who has my concerns and here you are! I hope you don’t mind if I link to you on my reading list. I’d love to connect – and of course if you’re ever in Dallas… 🙂

This is a wonderful post. And I truly enjoyed reading your perspective.

I would be proud if my children dated outside their race or religion. As long as they choose “good people,” I don’t care what color they are.

I am white but dated a few different races growing up… and I wasn’t given a hard time, but I always felt ready to defend the relationship if needed.

And it may be a weird thing to say, but I think biracial children are beautiful!

dixie says:

I’m from Austin, too and I have no doubt that any kids you have will grow up fine in this town. It’s a very diverse city and very accepting and although there are still some left over folks set in their racist ways, they’ll die out eventually and for everyone one of those out there they’ll be hundreds more in this town who will think that your kid’s mixed heritage is cool more than anything else. Just love them and show them that their ethnicity is just one part of them, a part they should be proud of but doesn’t completely define who they are. oh, and I’m proud of all the mixed raced couples out there who didn’t let social bigotry stand in the way of love and family. 😉

J.J. Davell says:

From experience I know that it is tough having a bi racial child but I never knew I was going to have as many unpeasant encounters with my son as I do when I’m with my husband. This weekend I encounterd an ignorant person and I actually blogged (with humor so I didn’t become angry)about it because I want the world to know that biracial children sometimes scrutinized ostracised for not being white or black enough and it is unfair to them.

brohammas says:

My experiance in the church has been less overt racism and more ignorant skipping over of all things racial. “Oh I didn’t even realize -blank- was black.” So many think the right thing to do is treat everyone the same to the point of ignoring who you really are… unless you are polynesian, then members celebrate your race.

Mixed kids are a big deal. Most tend to choose a side and my wife are doing everything we ca to avoid our children doing that. It takes effort. We decided that the children’s strongest identity should not be black or white, but Mormon.

I adore you, and I think anyone who truly gets to know you and your family will too. I can not say to much more as I can not begin to understand the difficulties you have, and an individual and couple, and everything I might have said has already been mentioned. I will say though that a lot of times I think black babies are so much cuter than white babies are. Your kids will be gorgeous

Anonymous says:

Hi – I am definitely delighted to find this. great job!

Beth says:

I truly believe that the only reason why the chruch would advise against dating outside your race is because of the children that are made might struggle by not knowing where they belong in life. I truly think that if we where not suppose to make biracial children then humans would not be able to make them. Heavenly Father created all of us so there is a purpose to why it is advise not do so …. Noah’s son married a black woman, Noah was a prophet. Black people are descents of Cain, Cain was punished for killing his brother so he was marked darker.so there for he was white at one time. You and your are blessed to be able to be together. You cannot help who you fall in Love with. As long as you continue to have a Spiritual r ealationship and strive to be nearer to God in your family the ways of the world will not mean anything to you . 🙂

Temitayo Akinshilo says:

As a mother of biracial children and having grown up around, and with biracial children my concerns vary towards them.
During the school years my concerns are having authentic female friends because they are so beautiful (seriously they really are 🙂 ) and having to learn the skills of heading off crappy boys at such a young age. They will have allot of inquiries (Lord help me)but boys are slick and lie etc…. so those are my concerns for their school years.
In life my concerns are not necessarily racist people per se because they will learn and see it everywhere, and We will take that as an opportunity to explain it to them (as a lack of proper education and/or the ability to not cope with or flat out reject education). It is unfortunate that people need to be educated on such a simple concept “be nice” but a bad family environment with kids who love and want to please their parents = sometimes good but mainly bad (not just talking about racism). My concerns would be more about how the racism will affect their relationship with their father who is white. It is easy to say all white people are racist (people do, not overtly but usually dispositionally “the man”) and I can see how hearing that, but having an amazing father could be confusing, my hope is to arm them with enough logic to inform the person that the comment they make is just as racist. It’s tough and it’s going to be touch and go, but we have decided to be the kind of parents who talk and comfort them in their younger years but gradually move into asking them more introspective questions then us just getting our answers. Encourage the thought process and learn with them, you know what I mean?
And honestly we are not perfect:
Our girls are so sweet they say hi to everyone and I remember being in the grocery store and some woman looking at her scathingly and my daughter smiling and saying hi to her and I looked into my daughters eyes and in that moment I knew she changed a bit,it was a look of confusion and apprehension. I quickly blocked her view and dad being the Irish man that he (LOL) starts to tell her not to waste her smiles on mean people. It was not the best reaction but a human, parent reaction it’s all about learning.

Alisha says:

1. What if your son only dates black women? Why the concern that your son’s girlfriend’s parents will not want their daughter dating a black boy? The parents may very well be black too. Do you not want your son to date black women? Same with your daughter. Just curious.

2. Why are you LDS when you know and acknowledge the religion’s very racist history and scriptuses about “white and delightsome” skin? Are you concerned about your children’s upbringing in that religious culture? I know Mormons (white) who told me it took years for them to be open to spending time with blacks (I am black and in my 30s) after years of racist indoctrination in your religion. I know that you weren’t born Mormon so did you ever visit any Christian churches before changing religions?

Thanks!

Baby Making Mama says:

Hey Alisha! Thanks for your honest questions. When it comes to answering them. 1. I guess I’m not concerned if my son only dates black women, but if he ever dates outside his race that was my worry (it isn’t really anymore cause I just never want him to date 😉 ). Growing up it wasn’t an issue when it came to dating people of my same race, it just seemed to become and issue when dating interracially.

2. A lot of religions have a racist past. We attended lots of churches growing up and I loved the way I felt while attending the LDS church the most so I continued to attend. The racist remarks in the past aren’t a part of the religion that we acknowledge of truth, but instead as mistakes of the past. Personally, as I’ve gotten older I’ve found myself appreciating the truths and beauty in many religions while still attending the LDS church. I’ve met racist Mormons but to my knowledge I haven’t attended church or interacted with any in my adulthood. I’d welcome and open conversation with any who for some reason felt that way though.

I hope that answers your questions… Im tired so it may not make much sense. haha.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



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