My Daughter Is Mixed Race. What If…

My wife is Japanese, and our daughter is half Japanese, half Caucasian. In Japan, old ladies look at her and say she looks like a doll and is very cute. Many people tell me that my daughter must be cute because she is mixed race.  That’s the image of mixed race (or haafu/half) children in Japan.

We’re moving to Canada next year, and mixed race children are much more common and far more accepted in society.  They don’t stand out like they do in Japan. However, I have heard stories about fathers of mixed race kids who have had difficulties with apparent good samaritans and the police.

For example, I saw a post on a forum about a man whose wife was Asian, and their kid was mixed. His daughter looked more Asian than Caucasian. He was having lunch with her in a shopping mall food court while waiting for his wife, who was shopping. A security guard approached him and said that someone reported him to security and that the police were on their way. A woman said that he was a kidnapper. The police arrived, and started interrogating the man while his daughter was absolutely terrified. His wife soon came, and once they noticed that she was Asian, the police backed off.  But the damage had been done, and the husband and wife were absolutely furious with the police and the woman who had called security on them.  After that, the man decided to take along his daughter’s ID, her birth certificate, whenever they were out together without his wife.

The same thing happened to a Caucasian man who’s married to an African-American woman.  You can see the video here.

My daughter has brown hair, so I doubt I’d be in any of these situations. But it had me thinking, what would I do if I were in this situation? How about you? What would you do?

24 thoughts on “My Daughter Is Mixed Race. What If…”

  1. I think people are either to careful or not careful enough and tend to assume too easily.. It probably may not have happened had the wife been white with mixed children..

    1. I think you’re right. People seem to expect men are kidnappers more than women. But the statistics show that it’s actually family members and friends who do the vast majority of kidnapping. Incredibly rare that a stranger kidnaps.

          1. Or the mother running away with her children to another country.. It happens on both sides and women need to stop seeing pedophiles everywhere.. But that’s understandable since the media makes it appear they’re all over the place.

            1. I know someone whose ex-wife (then wife) took their kids from California to Japan for a visit with her parents around Christmas a couple years ago. She then filed for divorce and told him they weren’t returning. She’s now wanted for kidnapping in the US, and the Japanese government won’t do a thing, as it happened before they joined the Hague Convention.

            2. I’ve heard of the same situation several times. I think this kind of thing happens more often than when a man does it. :/

  2. I think the police should investigate, but once there is no probable cause should back off. Part of me would rather they err on the side of cation, but at the same time can’t be too forceful. I don’t know what I would do if the police approached me accusing me of kidnapping my own kid.

  3. That is fucking mortifying. Although I’ve never had anything like that happen to me, something similar often does now that I’m older – when I’m out with my father (full Colombian, white skin), I get mistaken for his girlfriend. No one mistakes me for my mother’s girlfriend (she’s black and Native American). It’s funny and all but just goes to show. Though we have come a long way, we still have a long way to go yet.

    I don’t doubt that if my husband and I ever have children, they will favor one of our heritages more than the other (likely mine) and the same sorts of scenarios will pan out when only one of us is out with the little one(s). It’s a sad inevitability that I hope can one day peter out.

    1. I hope it disappears, too. I’d rather have my daughter feeling she could be comfortable and fit in in both Canada and Japan.

      Must be awkward whenever you’re thought to be your father’s girlfriend.

  4. My (Caucasian) sister who lives in NYC is married to a man originally from India. When she used to take their children to the park when they were small, people assumed she was their nanny rather than their mother. I didn’t expect that to happen in such a large and heterogeneous city as New York.

    1. My sister’s friend, who’s black, had a child with a white man, and when he was born, he was very light-skinned. A Chinese woman came up to her and said “That’s not your baby!” Very rude! But he is her child.

  5. It’s not just race either. My mom is a very dark brunette and my dad a redhead, and my brother takes after her while I take after him. People have asked if we’re adopted before, if we’re with the ‘wrong’ parent. They assume a lot based on how they think you slot into their view of the world.

    1. Heh. My mom is a very dark brunette and my dad a redhead, too. My sister is blonde, while I’ve got brown hair. None of us have the same hair colour. It’s really strange. But we haven’t experienced that.

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