The film centers on a Brooklyn teenager named Avery Klein-Cloud, a black child adopted shortly after her birth by a white Jewish couple. Just as in The Kids Are All Right, the parents are a lesbian couple--Travis Cloud, an American Jew, and Israeli-born Tova Klein. Tova had already adopted a boy, Rafael, a year older than Avery, whose parents were Puerto Rican and black, and the two women later adopted a young Korean boy. As Avery narrates early on, "Our family nickname is 'The United Nations.' "
At the beginning of the movie, Avery is seen writing her first letter to her birth mother. Rafael, who is her closest confidante, doesn't feel a need to make such a connection--although it's later revealed he knows his natural brother and occasionally sees him.
Avery was the only black child at her elementary school, and as she explains, she at first doesn't feel comfortable around black people--she identified herself as white and Jewish, because that's how her parents raised her and her brothers. But that seems to be changing in her mostly black high school. Avery has a black boyfriend, Prince, and most of her other friends are black. She gets her hair braided and dreadlocked and tries to learn more about black culture. But when her birth mother does not respond to her overtures, she has a severe identity crisis.