A poster named "AdoptAuthor" gave me a link to this website. I read it with interest, but I don't agree with almost any of it. A basic premise of several of the essays is that white people are so scared of being called "racist" that they adopt kids of other colors as a built in defense against the charge. Frankly, whatever you do in this culture and whatever you believe, SOMEBODY'S going to call you racist* and while nobody likes to be called racist more than they like to be called "stupid" or any other insulting term, I think most people are disinclined to do something as expensive and life-changing as adoption to defend themselves against a bit of namecalling that they will almost certainly get anyway.
Secondly, a basic premise of the site is that white people adopt kids from other countries because the white people want to feel good, the white people want to not be racists, the white people want a "China Doll." And yes, white people adopt because doing so gives them cultural dominion. As far as I can tell, nobody at TransracialAbductees.com even considers the possibility that white people adopt because they want a child to love and raise and care for.
I'm assuming that under this logic people like my husband and me who are primarily interested in another trait (nerdiness) and are happy with either a white kid or a kid of another race, much like we would be happy with either a gay kid or a straight kid, don't exist at all.
I get that there are a lot of snotty white people out there, I've met some of them. And I don't doubt that transracial adoption is difficult for the children being raised in a culture that may or may not fully accept them. At the same time, lots of people BORN in to a culture don't fit well and go through that and I don't think the parents are putting the kids through it out of selfishness, or at least not selfishness alone.
Also, as far as I can tell, the site never even addresses the question "Don't orphanages in third world countries pretty much suck? If a family that can afford good food, medical bills, an education, etc for a kid can adopt a kid out of an orphanage, isn't that a good thing, all things considered?" I don't doubt that good arguments can be made against this opinion, but someplace on the site somebody should make them rather than simply mocking those who ask the question.
For the record, adopting from another country has never been the plan. We were planning to foster first, for one thing. For another, we aren't looking for a baby and there are plenty of older kids here who need homes in America. One of the minor nice things about looking into being a foster parent then adopting is that nobody really argues that the child would be better off in the foster system. They might argue that you're a white imperialist anyway, but at least no one seems to think the kid would be better off where they were before.
As for other cultural issues, we'd do our best. It's easier with some cultures than others. My entire church is rented out every Saturday morning to a Japanese school where the children of immigrants and diplomats who attend American school five days a week spend Saturday mornings learning their native language and learning about their native culture. Something like that would be no problem.
Where there isn't an organized school, the way to go about it would depend far more on how old the kid is and what the kid wants to do. I would be a little bummed if the child wanted to attend a different church, but I would make it happen as I recognize that being able to make one's own religious choices is a part of growing up and worshiping with people is a wonderful way to feel connected to them.
It's maybe a cop-out to say that given that we are thinking of adopting a kid who is a pre-teen or young teenager, so we can leave a lot of this up to them, but that's pretty much where I stand on it. Or, to put the ball squarely in my race's court, if we adopt a white kid from North Carolina or southern Virginia, we won't cry if they end up a NASCAR-loving southern Baptist, but we aren't forcing grits on anyone who doesn't want to eat them.
Broccoli, maybe, but not grits.
who suspects that years from now, she will reread this post and mock its naive spirit, but it is representative of her thinking right now.
* If you don't believe in affirmative action, then you're a racist because you don't want to atone for white people's misdeeds toward black people. If you do, then you're a racist because you think black kids can't cut it against white kids without affirmative action. As far as I can tell the "you're a racist because you don't want to help people of other races" "No, YOU'RE the racist because you think people of other races need your help" debate goes on with almost any political issue at all related to race. Sometimes in far more sophisticated terms, but that still seems like the essence.