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'I didn't look like my family... I felt isolated'

...But while many can undoubtedly offer the loving caring environment in which to raise a child and while many have the financial and emotional security to provide children with opportunities denied to them for whatever reason by their own biological parents, even the most apparently successful transracial adoption comes with difficulties.

"I was adopted when I five years old," says Perlita Harris, who was born in London in 1966 to Indian parents. "They lived in a village in Gloucestershire. It was a predominantly white, middle class area and from the start I was aware that there were few people around who looked like me.

"At the time there wasn't such a thing as adoption support, you were basically left to get on with it and while my adopted parents did everything they could to make me a part of the family, I was always going to stand out from them and my three older siblings.

"When I was six I wrote, 'My mummy is white, my daddy is white and Wendy is white and Ian is white and Peter is white and I am brown and I have black hair' and I think that sums it up....

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