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posted by Claudia at 8:15 AM
Unfortunately, I think this is probably true of almost everyone. 'It's hard enough just raising a kid, I don't feel prepared to take on at the same time, in my own kitchen, American original sin and the tangled issue of racial identity.' . . . I don't think you can expect most, or even many, to show that level of personal commitment."But just because we shouldn't expect people to show that level of commitment doesn't mean we can't continuously ask people to do so, to teach them how, and to continually push people to believe that kids deserve families -- because it is not about the parents, it's about the kids.
Brenda, an adoption professional in Canada writes:WOW!..that is pretty brave of the journalist. that said, I agree with much of what he has said. A;tough I am Canadian and really, black children in our country are rare and would be adopted fairly quickly, but our Aboriginal (native) children are the equivalent to what he describes in the article. However, in my years as an adoption worker, I found that adoptive parents wanted to go to foreign countries because they felt those children were less damaged than the ones they knew about in the child welfare system locally or nationally and also because in Canada we have expectations for openness at some level given the individual circumstances of a child and foreign adoptions for the most part ensured that openness would not be an expectation of the adoption. there is no question in my mind that in Canada where native peoples suffer an even greater racism than what I observe blacks do into he US. there is also no question in my mind that this racism prevents many adoptive parents form adopting Native children.
Gina, a CPS worker in Texas write:In Texas, we have our share of white families that adopt black children, but we also have a number that only want the other races. I think the race of the child depends on where they live, how the extended family supports the race of the child being adopted, and the background the family was raised in as a child. The last thing you would want to happen is a black child be adopted into a KKK or White hate group's family or have to live in a town that is racist. Sante Fe, Texas is still considered a very racist town, and less than 6 years ago, there was a Black Panther and KKK rally on one of the streets because the Klan was attempting to run a black family out of town, and they did. I have had a family that would take a child of any race, but their extended family did not support them on this. Just because a child is black does not mean that they will be into rap, 50 Cent, and other black artists. That is the same as saying all white kids only listen to white artists. I think people need to look at the musical background the blacks come from especially kids from the southern U.S. There is an amazing history of song and music that dates back to the slave days. I will say that I hate to see people going overseas to adopt children, but I have also been asked why people would want to adopt children from Children Protective Services so I think the public needs to be educated. The public tends to believe that our kids are very damaged compared to the kids overseas. I have also had a number of same sex couples ask me if we allow gays and lesbians to adopt, and even though our courts don't like it we continue to recruit them as foster and adoptive parents. Another question I think needs to be addressed is why more blacks don't adopt children? I think that is part of the problem. I have kids that do not want to be adopted by whites because they don't want it to be obvious that they were adopted. Even though we don't use race as a requirement to pick families for kids, we have to respect a teenager's wishes on this subject.
Deborah Hage comments:A little bit of history is in order!Many years ago and for many years since the Association of Black Social Workers have decried whites adopting blacks. I adopted a child of South American Indian ancestry who was so dark skinned he was considered to be black by those attending the NACAC conference in 1978. I was openly vilified by one speaker in one workshop, who pointed at me and said I was part of the problem facing adoption in America, and given indignant looks by the many black workers in attendance. The discrimination has been going on for years and it was begun by black social workers! It is a larger, infinitely more complex, issue then this……but before people start pointing a finger and saying “rascist” it is good to be aware of a hidden facet of the issue.
Queen Bee writes:It's tough to be honest about something as sensitive as racial issues. When my husband and I decided to adopt through the foster care system, we had to to fill out a form and check the box next to any ethnic background we were willing to consider. That was the hardest part of all the stuff we went through to get our kids. I didn't care about the color of skin - but our decision couldn't be made on only what we felt. Or maybe it could and that was an excuse, but I really don't think so. In the end, we decided that if we were to adopt an african-american child that we would need to move to a more diverse neighborhood and find a more diverse church. The church we can do and are still considering but we didn't want to move. Is that a cop out? I guess some will think it is, but it's the truth for us.
Todd, a doctor and adoptive father, wrote: It is ironic that the U.S. is third on the list of adoption source countries for Canada (mostly African-American male infants). Adoptive parents from the U.S., even with all the barriers put up by Russia and Ukraine, go to Eastern Europe for 25% of international adoptions. On the other hand, Canadians adopt Eastern European children less than 10% of the time. I think that not only are we seeing institutionalized racism in the U.S., but that adoption itself is a stigma, as well, a "second-best" choice for parent(s) who "failed" as biological parents. In all, I agree with the author. I am the adoptive father of four special needs daughters from China, and an adult biologiacl daughter. We adopted internationally, due to the "Baby Richard" case, in Chicago, where a child was removed from his adoptive home, at the age of four.
I tend to agree with the author. Most white families try to adopt a child that is as close to their own skin color as possible. Most families would prefer a child of their race and when that does not happen they go for what they consider to be next best.I have been surprised by some families who have taken on the challenge of adopting an African American child, but it has involved a great deal of education of the family and an understanding by all of them of the racism that they and their child will face. The family that I am thinking of took a long time to educate themselves before making their decision. They also faced criticism from African American families that thought African American children should only be adopted by families of their own race. The problem is that in our area there are not enough African American families who are willing to adopt. As far as I am concerned we need to find the best family for that child and that can often be hard to do.
This is all very interesting. I have found that it all depends upon the people adopting, and the city/town environment.I guess my question is,"Why don't blacks adopt white children? or, for that matter, other races than black?-and let's ask why don't "other races adopt children of any European decent?".Soni
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