My husband and I don't plan to get foster kids and eventually adopt until I get out of school, but it has been in our long-term plan for awhile, so I do follow articles on adoption and foster care.
TheCSO and I do not care what color the child is (though we'd be happy to do things to help the kid feel attached to his or her culture), we care that the kid is nerdy. Because nerdy kids likely have a rough time in foster care* and because we're nerdy and nerdy kids like and understand us and vice-versa. If the kid has read some Asimov, that's instant bonding right there.
Anyway, I found this article about a black family that adopted a white little girl really interesting. The idea of transracial adoption hurting the kids makes me disinclined to do it, but the number of non-white kids that need homes inclines me again.
*Having grown up middle class in a wealthy area, the trip to a trendy mall store will be high on the agenda. It's a lot easier to be nerdy when you're dressed like the other kids.
I have never bought into the line that transracial adoption is harmful to the child, nor that there is any genetic link between color and culture, for that matter. It makes one wonder how Tiger Woods could have been adopted, had he become orphaned. It is my belief that African American culture should be treated much like any other hyphenated culture- something to be proud of, but not an entire identity.
Great link, CC -- thanks so much. I followed the thread to the story about babies who discriminate. It felt good that it affirmed the questions I had, way back in first grade, when first being introduced to my half-Chinese cousins. To my parents' eternal credit -- as well as my auntie's -- we have had open discussions on our different experiences ever since.
May your child be so blessed. You are obviously preparing yourself so make it happen. Good luck.
Yes, definitely a nerd for you guys.
My older sister was adopted by my parents. We are the same race, but very different ethnic ancestry, and I think she turned out to be differently susceptible to conditioning than me and my brother.
I love my sister dearly, but I have mixed feelings about adoption in general because of my experience with it.
I think it depends on yur lifestyle, friends, family and where you live - state and neighborhood.
To find out more about how it feels for transracially adopted persons, read:
I'm not against transracial adoption. I think raising children is extremely challenging and many people (maybe even most) are not very good at it, including adoptive parents.
I've known transracial adoptees who have some real horror stories, but I also know people who were subjected to some horrific things at the hands of their biological parents who raised them.
So ... I think the goal should be to make sure potential adoptive parents are going to be GOOD parents - but I think in many cases this would be hard to manage, as many private adoption agencies themselves are horrible entities with immoral agendas.
The DH and I have talked about adopting for years (date #2 was the first time it came up), and it would be tough for us to find a kid who shared our combined ethnic make-up. If we did adopt, I'd be inclined to adopt an African American boy, just because I know they are among the least "desirable." DH thinks that makes sense just in terms of trying to address a very sad imbalance. But personality of child is pretty important, especially if you're adopting a non-infant/toddler. And so we would be on the lookout for a dorky black kid who was really into science fiction and figuring out how things worked. And I don't think we'd have any problem finding him. Not to say we wouldn't be open to other types of kids or make a connection with another type of kid; you never can tell. You never know what you're "getting" when you have a child - whether that kid has half your DNA or none of it.
I would also like to add that one of the things that might need to be discussed among people who are considering adopting transracially is this: what are your expectations regarding this child's identity? And how would you feel if that child chose to identify with an ethnic/racial group that is not part of your personal experience? In many of the sad, hurtful transracial adoptee stories I'm familiar with, this was the heart of the problem: identity. The parents just didn't expect or want their adopted kids to identify as anything that the parents couldn't relate to. They wanted their children to be individualists - namely, white culture individualists.
In many of the sad, hurtful transracial adoptee stories I'm familiar with, this was the heart of the problem: identity. The parents just didn't expect or want their adopted kids to identify as anything that the parents couldn't relate to. They wanted their children to be individualists - namely, white culture individualists.
this may be true. It is also a problem when the adoption is not transracial. When my sister went looking for her birth family --just to answer all those lurking questions -- our mother was very very hurt and felt rejected, and never really got over it.
At present, agencies that receive public funding are forbidden from taking race into account when screening potential parents. They are also banned from asking parents to reflect on their readiness to deal with race-related issues, or from requiring them to undergo sensitivity training. But a well-meaning policy intended to ensure colorblindness appears to be backfiring. According to a study published last year by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, transracial parents are often ill equipped to raise children who are themselves unprepared for the world's racial realities.
Forbidding agencies to take the race of parents and adoptee into account when deciding on matches is good. Forbidding agencies to require trans-racial adopters to think specifically about the difficulties that might arise from adopting a child of another race is just stupid.
Transracial adoption can work for both parents and children if the parents are willing to understand how important the child's culture is to him/her. An excellent course is available on this topic at http://www.adoptionlearningpartners.org. It is called "Conspicuous Families" and encourages prospective adoptive and foster parents to examine how multicultural their lifestyle is before they bring a child into the home. It also has some revealing stories by adult transracial adopteees.
Post a Comment