Mismatched relatives

Posted on October 30th, 2013 by


Heres an interesting article as a follow up to our multi-cultural education discussion on Tuesday. The author provides a number of examples where someone questioned or was suspicious of a parent and child who were together, but who did not seem to “match.” They might be from different ethnic groups or just look very different. While we need to be vigilant to make certain that children are safe and with someone who truly has their best interest in mind, does that vigilance ever tread on the emotions and dignity of multi-racial families, adoptees, or others who might not “match” their relatives in appearances? Read the article and voice your opinion.



  1. Mark Nissen says:

    I think that this really highlights how important it is that we establish a connection and relationship with a students family. As teachers it is part of our job to try to do what is best for our students, which includes trying to protect them. This article really highlights that we cannot assume anything about families. All in all, this was a very interesting article and highlights how easily we can fall into stereotypes.

  2. Aleksandra Rieland says:

    Nice article, Sue. I liked the point that you raised in your post about keeping in mind that any caregiver for a child is someone who should have their best interest in mind, and not necessarily someone who looks like them. At camp in the summer, I see many families that come through that do not seem to “match” their children. Their love for their own child is apparent, however, and that cannot be disguised by ethnicity or sexual orientation (some parents are mommy-mommy, daddy-daddy).

    Saying a child doesn’t “match” their parents is like saying people need to adopt dogs that can only look like them. All owners ideally love their pet dog, no matter what it looks like. Even if you get owners who do look like their dogs — http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/30-owners-who-look-like-their-dogs. If children are biologically related to their parents, of course the chances are they’re related. No family resemblance should never be mistaken for danger, though…. how awkward would it be to tell a black parent their own child can’t go home with them because the child is obviously not biologically descended from them?