Transtiol adoption requires adoptive parents to negotiate complexities concerning difference and belonging within the family. Transtiol adoption is mediated through societal and governmental prescriptions of suitability that include willingness and competency to raise children to maintain connections to their birth heritages. Tensions in the formation of parental identities are located in different racial, ethnic, cultural and class-based backgrounds to the children they adopt. This contrasts against domint models of family where constructions of belonging are based on biological ties. A qualitative study of thirty-five Australian adoptive parents explored reflections on adoption processes and how the complex task of performing suitability was negotiated. Theoretical understandings were developed using a grounded theory approach. Contemporary social theory with a focus on race, cosmopolitanism and families further developed emergent theoretical understandings during alysis. Tensions in identity formation are discussed. The paper concludes that issues of race in identity formation are margilised.