Too Expensive For Black People to Adopt?

Here is a video I found, and my response to this post.

Common responses:

“We [black people] adopt all the time, but it’s not centered on paperwork and formalities.”

“Black people do adopt, but media sensationalizes those elite white people who rescue [adopt] kids so, people don’t hear about what we’re doing.”

“It’s too expensive to adopt.”

I am thankful to  have heard so many honest responses and am gathering that the definition of adoption differs amongst cultures and ethnic communities. It seems as though the black folks who responded to the last post and in this video feel that adoption means that a biologically related family member would simply take care of a child – short or long term and the lowest two rungs on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs being the most important (safety and physiology). In my professional adoption work, and continued involvement with adoption communities, I hear adoption discussed more as a permanent solution, stability and permanency being the pinnacle of the equation, and all of the needs being attended to (security, physiology, social, esteem and self-actualizing).

Thus, I still feel that my basic question has gone unanswered. Not all children are so fortunate to be informally adopted by a relative, so why aren’t black families adopting already born children of color through foster care (generally no fees – thus dissuading the argument of the high costs of adoption).?

10 thoughts on “Too Expensive For Black People to Adopt?

  1. Black people formally adopt black children, it just seems people are more interested in discussing a myth rather than speaking to those of us who have. We are many.


  2. Thanks for your comment Valarie! I am very interested in discussing the truth – not perpetuating any myths! In my efforts to have this conversation (through other blog posts, my professional work in adoption etc.) I haven’t heard from too many adoptive parents of color. I am quite interested though! Your sentiment sounds a bit like one of the comments I quoted above – “…media centers on White AP’s…”


  3. I would also echo that we are not represented in the adoption narrative. While I’m working a great agency with diverse staff, I felt marginalized and pigeon-holed during my PRIDE classes. Issues of racial identity were pitched to me as the “resident expert” as were hair questions for those who were interested in trans-racial adoption. I see/feel our representation in adoption literature to be no different than in other forms of media–limited at best and only featuring “traditional families,” ie Mother, Father 2.5 kids. Seeing images like myself–SBF adoptive parent–are rare. We are out there, but I don’t feel like we have much voice or get much airtime in general. I think the image of White APs is pervasive and is often spun as a savior narrative. As Valarie says, we are out here, but I haven’t felt the love in the broader adoption community.

    As for foster to adopt programs, I can only speak to my experience. I didn’t want to do such a program and risk losing a child I had come to love after fostering for a period of time. I wanted to adopt; I didn’t want to foster at all. My county didn’t offer any other option, and the process would’ve taking dramatically longer, but my chosen agency provided what I was looking for, along with a wider pool of children. It wasn’t a financial consideration (my agency has a special older child adoption program that is very affordable); rather it was an emotional risk I wasn’t willing to take. For a lot of people, fostering sounds very scary.


  4. My husband and I are a black American couple in the process of adopting from Haiti. We chose Haiti for several reasons. I am in the Haiti Adoption FB group and all of the other families (I believe there are about 900+ members) that I have seen are white. International adoption is very expensive. It’s costing between $20,000-30,000 grand for one child. There are thousands of black kids in Haiti that live in orphanages, some since birth. I’m not saying that these children should not be adopted by Whites, but I don’t see ANY people of our race stepping up to adopt these kids. Probably because of the cost and lack of information. I was told by a Haitian lawyer that we are the 3rd black American family that he knows of adopting from Haiti.


  5. In regards to adoption through foster care, I think we have a complex history with government systems, including child protective services. Many of our families have been touched in some way, some with little or no basis, many with less than positive results. There is a distrust of providing personal information, access and inquiries into daily lives to outside entities, which adoption through any channel (foster, domestic, international) requires. It’s not that we don’t do paperwork, as stated above, we don’t want to invite scrutiny by people who don’t have the same cultural context and interpret our lives as not up to par.

    As mentioned above our foster care and adoption stories are underrepresented in mainstream media. Additionally, we don’t seem to choose to share our stories through social media.


  6. Hi Mimi,

    I love your perspective. Thank you for expounding upon the statement in the video about paperwork. I can certainly understand what you’re alluding to and think there’s likely great truth to what you’re saying. Sharing ones own story is so hard and particularly vulnerable, but greater understanding happens largely through first person stories. Thanks again, and Happy New Year!


  7. Hello,
    International adoption (and other routes to adoption) can unfortunately be alarmingly expensive. I know this from working within an adoption agency, and trying to learn about where those fees go/what funds can be allocated to family preservation.

    That’s quite the stat from the lawyer in Haiti that you worked with. Curious about your connection or desire to choose Haiti? If you’d like to share.


  8. I would like to adopt children in the US and in Haiti. I am retired and have visited and orphanage in Haiti. It appears to be a long, laborious process so what can we do to keep down expense, time and get thru the process with all the help we need. They have connections and money which makes it easier for them.
    I live comfortably and have the means to care for a few children. We have to rescue as many as we can. It’s urgent!


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