Our experience as a transracial family has been extremely positive so far. The only time we’ve been made to feel uncomfortable is when we fly Southwest Airlines. They always make a big deal out of seeing Little T’s birth certificate. Once, the airline stewardess even went as far as to say, “how do we know he’s really your child?” She demanded to see his birth certificate, AND his adoption papers. Excuse me, but it isn’t your job to play airline detective. I looked up their policy on showing birth certificates. It’s true that they need to verify a child’s age if they are under two, because they need to make sure they are young enough to qualify for a lap seat. So the reason for showing birth certificates is proving he’s young enough to ride on a lap, NOT to prove that he is our child. The airline stewardess was way out of line and it upsets me when I wondered what Little T would think if he was old enough to understand.
Ultimately, we need to get on the plane so we hold our tongue and show proof of his age, even though we know we’re being singled out because our family looks different. But THIS time, we were irked more than usual. This is because when we were in line, the family in front of us had a child that was the same age as Little T and they were also flying with their baby on their lap, but they were not asked to show a birth certificate. It left us wondering, why don’t they ask everyone this question if it’s airline policy? My best guess is that they saw the video of my husband dancing and decided he looked suspicious. But in all seriousness, what would you conclude if this kept happening to your transracial family?
I don’t know. Maybe it’s nothing. I try to think of explanations or reasons that we would keep getting singled out, but it’s just not sitting well with us.
Michelle Nicholson said:
I would write a letter of complaint to Southwest HR Department and let them know what occurred this year and last year when flying Southwest. Next the the flight attendant asks you the question, ask for their name and their supervisors name and use them in the letter. I think SW needs to be notified about how they single families out and how they make you feel. No one needs that kind of treatment!