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AfriGeneas Adoption Forum

Why Doesn't White Adopt Black

Why Doesn't White Adopt Black
Why Doesn't White Adopt Black - Washington Post

Many years ago a college friend asked what I thought of the idea of her and her husband, both White, adopting a Black baby. Without hesitation, I said I thought it was an excellent idea, if this is what they really wanted. Only more discussion revealed that she was really hoping for a different answer from me. It seems they were waffling between a Chinese baby and a Black child.

Instead of looking for support, she seemed to be fishing for something to relieve them of preferring the Chinese baby over the Black baby. My twenty-something idealism was not about to give her a break. It seemed such a clear case of racism, all these poor Black babies ignored, for Asian and Russian babies born into similar squalor, half way around the world.

So why do I see it differently now? Why would I now tell her to go ahead and get the baby she wants? Very simply, far away babies are malleable in part because no one will ever come for them. This is very important in adopting. Hispanic and Asian babies represent large swaths of disparate ethnicities, naturally uninviting those who might try to claim them as one of their own. Black American culture alternately will claim anybody with darkened skin, even a 'brother from another planet', as in the movie by the same name.

White parents adopting Black children face a Catch-22 challenge in that they will be encouraged to place their child in the various role-modeling company of Blacks whose rhetoric will make that child feel like they must chose between the parents and authentic blackness.

When a White person adopts a Black child they should consider all the reasons that child might reject them, and what aid and comfort that child will receive if and when they ever take such a course. The farther an adopted child is away from their location of ethnic of origin (LEO), the more defensible and lasting the bond they will likely develop with their new family. It really is that simple.

Update: It seems that international transracial adoptions between Black children and European parents is on the rise, and I would suggest that this is due, in part, to lower emotional barriers aided by distance.

James C. Collier


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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