Ever since I was little, I have never wanted to have kids. It was just not something I was ever interested in. But when my partner and I became serious, kids were a must for him. We came to a compromise – I would not have any children biologically but we would adopt. Since we have came to that agreement, I have always imagined the child we adopt would be of a different ethnicity or culture. I believe there is no better way to teach a child about how to love someone regardless of race, gender, and sexual orientation, than to make a family full of diversity.
CNN recently posted an article about how they received really strong reactions surrounding the story of Sandra Bullock adopting an African American baby. For example:
“White people adopt black kids to make themselves feel good… A black child needs black parents to raise it.” “Maybe she adopted one because the blacks in the community wouldn’t step forward and adopt?” “What’s the big deal? If no white person ever adopted a black child, they’d be saying why don’t white people adopt black children.”
Obviously, this story hit a nerve. People are afraid a child might miss out on their ethnicities culture – a valid concern. Something, I agree, that should be seriously considered when adoptions would make a multi-cultural family.
The article continues:
“But love is not enough,” said Simon, a professor of justice and public policy at American University in Washington. “You really have to make some changes in your life if you adopt a child of another race.” In the case of a white parent adopting a black child, that might mean living in an integrated neighborhood, having pictures in the home of black heroes, seeking out other families in similar situations, attending a black church and finding role models or godparents who are black. The same need to integrate a child’s culture applies across the board, whether parents are adopting from Asia, Central America or elsewhere.
I believe that extended family should be the first call when a child is being put up for adoption, then people of the child’s own ethnicity, then of parents of the same country, lastly, any loving, happy home – no matter the parents race. Unfortunately, the numbers do not always allow for that:
“The latest figures show that there are 463,000 American kids in the foster-care system, of which 123,000 are available for adoption, Johnson says. Of those, he says, 30 percent are black, 39 percent are white, 21 percent are Hispanic and the rest are of other origins. Seventy-three percent of official adoptions — including those arranged through foster care, private domestic arrangements and internationally — are done by whites, according to the 2007 survey of adoptive parents. (But that doesn’t account for informal arrangements, when relatives take in other family members’ children, which is much more common in the black community).”
When I adopt a child, I will be very conscious of their original cultural and customs, but there is no guarantee that all adoptive parents will be that way. So what do you all think? How do you feel about cross-cultural, interracial adoptions?
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