Why don’t more black people adopt children of other races? Is the answer the antithesis of how some Caucasians adopt black children/teens out of a deep rooted sense of white guilt? I really hope not. This is not the answer I’m hearing as I’ve gotten to know families who have either adopted, or are in the process of adopting children of another ethnicity. What I see and hear from the vast majority of these folks, is a genuine interest in their child’s native country, or a true attempt at understanding that child’s original culture, and a desire to understand how their child’s ethnicity will interact with the current racial climate in the United States. This is all good and well, so why are we not seeing the same rate of transracial adoption of black adoptive parents? I, for instance, have a great desire to learn about why Caucasian’s feel that they are the status-quo, I have an interest in the psychology behind the society’s perception of straight hair being a glamorized feature, and I have a genuine interest in learning more about the European colonization of America. Why then would it be taboo, unnatural and out of place for someone like myself, an African-American woman, to adopt a red headed, fair skinned girl from Montana, or a blonde haired, green eyed boy from Lithuania? What is holding us African-American folk’s back? An African-American father who has a Caucasian daughter said “I’ve never felt more self-consciously black than while holding our little white girl’s hand in public.” I find this comment to be quite sad and unfortunate, and likely a good indicator of a possible deterrent. I hope that in many of the ways that Caucasian adoptive parents have found each other, and banded together to support one another, I hope that a community of people with similar familial make-up as the gentleman I quoted will band together. I hope that the word “transracial adoption” can expand to include black adoptive parents with children of other races too.
While working as an adoption professional, I explored this question with my colleagues and clients, and I do hope to delve into it more deeply at some point. I know that the African community does quite a bit of informal adoption – holding strong to the belief that a child should stay within their family at all costs, whether that means grandparents, godparents, cousins, aunts or uncles are raising the child. I certainly understand this and feel that any child (regardless of race) should remain in or close to their natural family, if possible. Of course finances are always a part of the equation as well when it comes to raising a child (and adopting a child). The disparity in income between the races continues to grow wider (especially post-recession), so I could understand how the international adoptions or domestic infant adoption’s may not be plausible (this is a topic for another day), however there is still the option of adopting through the state which does not cost. So my question remains; why don’t black people adopt transracially at the same rate (proportional to our demographics) as Caucasian’s? Are there other reasons that I’ve overlooked?
- Black and White Interracial Adoptions In the US (phoxthayer.wordpress.com)