so, when you see a "white" woman with "children of color" - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Would you assume she adopted?
Yes 22 9.17%
No 188 78.33%
I never really thought about it before this poll 30 12.50%
Voters: 240. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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...do you assume they were adopted or in some other way not born unto her?

I usually don't get offended at ignorance/racism, but I met this nice lady last week and we've been chatting during our kids' track sessions. Turns out she was recently asked if she adopted her kids, since they have some African features (I have no idea how to say that differently and convey the same message...blah). When she replied with a no, the lady asked her, "Are you sure?"



So, then, a really close friend of mine ("white") tells her, "Yeah, when I first met you, I wondered if you had adopted your kids, but since your oldest and youngest (she has 4 kids) look so much alike, I figured you didn't."

Um, WTF?! So, if you're "white" and have children with some color to them and curly/dry hair, they're frickin' adopted?! WTF is wrong with these people? Shouldn't the first thought be that she's with a MAN of color? Or that she's not as "white" as she may look?

That's such blatant racism...and they don't even see it that way!!!

I feel badly for the mama. To have ppl assume your kids aren't yours...I'll admit, it's one of the reasons I never got with a "white" guy. I saw my mama deal with such stupidity and her dh is "black" (just very, very light-skinned).

But, it just makes me sad.

And, I'll admit it...it pisses me off, too. :
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#2 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 11:47 AM
 
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Bizarre. And asking a mom "are you sure" your kids aren't adopted is freaking insulting and stupid. Umm, I'm not sure if I'm sure. Whatever!

I don't assume, but my dd best friend is part NA and part black and is often with us and with the age difference between the two girls I'm sure some people think she is my dd also sometimes, LOL. No one has asked though.
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#3 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 11:48 AM
 
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I can't really think of a time I've thought abt it too hard. I just always assume her dh/dp is a diff race. My children are night and day looking. I get some looks from one to the other back to the other but no one has said anything, but I wonder if they think adoption? My dd is dark dark dark, her fathers side has a lot of Native American running thru their family so she tans in abt 4 secs of being in the sun, beautiful brown curly hair, and my boy is blond, pink, and blue eyed. Esp in the summertimes, I have had ppl ask me in a hushed voice if her father is....gasp....hispanic.

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#4 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 11:50 AM
 
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I cant believe how much ignorance still exsists.

One of my good friends is African American and her hubby is really fair skinned and has red hair. They have 4 children and each one is a different gorgeous shade...from really light to really dark. They get all kind of looks and comments..

Even worse...I have another friend who is white and when she was giving birth to her son (the father was African American)...the nurse says "did you know your baby is black?" WTF!!???? She was so appalled....

And even if you *wonder* if someone adopted their child...Why would you ask them? Its none of their damn business IMO
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#5 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 11:50 AM
 
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I never assume they aren't hers.. Of course that may be because we have bi-racial kids in DH family.. It was quite the scandal to the older (read:grandparents) generation..

I do assume she has a black husband or partner.. Now with the kids at ds school. I assume their kids are adopted.. Both the parents LOOK white, and the all three of their children are very dark skinned.. I just figuired they had adopted a sibling group.. I've never asked though.. I think that would be tacky!!!

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#6 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 11:51 AM
 
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Some people are just truly ignorant.When i see an overweight kid with a skinny mom i wouldn't assume to ask if the kid was adopted.
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#7 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 11:52 AM
 
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Oh the ignorance of people!!

My mother is Chinese and my father is of Irish-English decent. We have the opposite problem. I believe due to my father's Irish blood, I'm whiter than an average "white" person, so it's hard for people to believe that my mom is actually my mom. My mother gets lots of comments when she shows them DD - they can't believe she has a grandchild with blue eyes.

Anyway, getting back to the point. My cousin, a half & half like me,j gets crap all the time that she is adopted just because she has darker skin than her mom. When she tells her friends that she isn't adopted, they say that there is no way that she is her mother's bio daughter.
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#8 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 11:54 AM
 
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Actually, it only rarely occurs to me that a child might be adopted. About the only time I really notice it is when I see both parents and the child is clearly a different race...but to me I wonder more about how difficult the adpotion process was...did they have a lot of heartbreak before he adoption and things like that. Maybe it is because I don't see adoption as being much different than giving birth. I don't think of adopted kids as "not their kids" Frankly, I think it is really weird that people ask others "are those your kids" whether they look adopted or not.

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#9 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 11:55 AM
 
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Welcome to my life! DD is olive with light brown almost straighty hair, DS is brown with brown slightly curly hair. (I am pale with straight dark brown hair, DH is dark brown, with tight black curly hair). Feature wise, my kids are very alike, you can't tell baby pics apart!!!!!! BUT perfect strangers comment "They have different Fathers, right?" OR "Your DH isn't your DD's "real" Dad right?" An old boss saw my son and giggled "He's the WRONG color! Haha!" WTF? I said, "WHAT DO YOU MEAN?" She said "He isn't yours, he's the wrong color! (Still giggling!) You are babysitting right?" I said "No, this is my son and his color is just right" Needless to say she turned pale as a ghost...what ignorance.

So assume adopted, no. Assumed I get around? Yes. Some people sware I duped DH inot "believing" DD is his. HELLO?!?!? Stop being so damn color struck and notice SHE LOOKS LIKE HIM!!!!!!!!!!!! Just not brown skinned!!
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#10 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 11:57 AM
 
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I have a friend (white) who gets this about her son (bi-racial) all the time. She tends to be very gracious about it and explain in very slow, small words that her partner is African American and that when they had a baby he inherited 1/2 of his DNA from his father which contributed to his having darker skin than his mother, curly hair and brown eyes.

My husband has a bunch of African American adopted brothers and sisters and two sisters who were adopted from Korea and people have asked his mother (who is very white ) if she was going to tell them they were adopted! She has responded "No, we are going to tell them that they are genetic anomolies" or "No, we are just going to tell them that their mommy is promiscuous".

::::: Married for ten years to my good man :. Mama to my sweet and funny boy and my lovely little girl

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#11 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 12:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatgirl
:

the nurse says "did you know your baby is black?" WTF!!???? She was so appalled....
OMG! I hope that stupid nurse's comment didnt mar her birth experiance!

Another thought...how do you ya'll think comments abt being "different" from mom or the rest of the family affect your children or children in general?
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#12 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 12:03 PM
 
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"No, we are going to tell them that they are genetic anomolies" or "No, we are just going to tell them that their mommy is promiscuous".


:LOL
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#13 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 12:05 PM
 
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One other thing is that people assume if one parent is not "white" the child will feel they belong to the non white parents race/culture/etc. They say "scoiety will group them as that group". People here at MDC have argued me on this. first of all, especially at MDC since when do we believe in conforming b/c society said so? Second, not everyone assumes or looks of one said group or a combo of both. As mentioned, DD has been told over and over by "scoiety" she is white. It is an issue we deal with. She has been told her Brother and Daddy are "black" (He is latino actually). She is so confused by these obviousely ridiculous groupings. We discuss it often as needed. But please, do not teach kids people fit into any set category as RACE IS A TOOL OF OPPRESION!!
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#14 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 12:23 PM
 
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I voted no.
I usually will assume the woman had them with a man of color........I guess just because it's fairly common here. I'm probably prejudiced the OTHER way......it rarely strikes me that the kids could possibly be adopted.
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#15 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 12:25 PM
 
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I haven't read all of the replies yet, so I'm just addressing the poll and the OP. When I see a "white" woman with a child with African features, I assume that she is the kid's biological mother (to the extent that I think about it at all, which isn't much.)

On the other hand, when I see a "white" woman with a child with Asian features, I do have a tendency to wonder if the child was adopted from China, especially if the child is a girl. However, even in those cases, I would never, ever in a million years ASK about it. That's incredibly rude and none of my business anyway. I don't know why people can be so clueless, nosy, and insensitive!

I hope I didn't offend anybody. I'm sorry if I did. :
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#16 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 12:35 PM
 
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i voted no since dd is 'mixed' but i have had ppl ask me 'who's baby is *that*?' the neighbour's, i borrowed her to come to the wedding shower

a lady had the nerve to say to my dd 'ur not pretty like ur mom, how come ur not pretty like ur mom?' she said it in front of my mom so she told her what do u mean she's beautiful and the lady goes 'well she's ok but not beautiful like her mom'..
what the heck?! was that supposed to be a compliment to *me*??

anyway ya i would never ask either and yes i do worry about how it will affect my dd because everyone comments on her 'darkness' and i'm sure it;s mostly cuz of their disapproval with the fact i married outside "my culture" :

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#17 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 12:35 PM
 
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I just assume she has a hubby of color, which happens often here. There are some women here who did adopt, but I still assume mixed race. My grandmother is obviously hispanic. My mom looked white, she looked like my grandfather, who looked white too. My grandma used to have people assume she was the nanny or sitter or something. She HATED that. This was back in the 40's too though.
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#18 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 12:40 PM
 
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I wish, we as a society had gotten past this black and white thing. My son asked when he was around three why ppl are all different shades of brown. We are all just different shads of melanin! Nobody is pure anything! I am very light skined blue eyes and curly dark blonde hair. My mom is olive skinned, brown eyes and black straight hair. I have one african American ggreat-grandmother, one greatgrandmother form NA tribe that I can never spell, and a grandfather that is Shawnee, french great-gma, a sicilian ggrt-gma. We have hebrew, english and german............... Everyone is so much of a mixture of everyone else. How can we even presume a stance of arrogant pride and predjudice?


I don't assume kids are adopted. I assumed they have rich and diverse ancestry.
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#19 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 12:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neveryoumindthere
a lady had the nerve to say to my dd 'ur not pretty like ur mom, how come ur not pretty like ur mom?' she said it in front of my mom so she told her what do u mean she's beautiful and the lady goes 'well she's ok but not beautiful like her mom'..
what the heck?! was that supposed to be a compliment to *me*??
WTF??? That lady needs a slap.
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#20 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 12:45 PM
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Gosh no! FIrst i usually think ' OH, what gorgeous children !" Followed by " She must be with or married to a person of color" finally "I sure wish i could get my babies to come out looking like that while still being married to the man i'm with "

Seriously, there are no children in the world as breathtaking, IMO, than mixed race ones. God's way of saying: "SEE, i told you it was a brilliant idea" .

I would never assume that they were adopted, and be very confused if anyone suggested it to me.
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#21 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 12:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie Bugs Mama

On the other hand, when I see a "white" woman with a child with Asian features, I do have a tendency to wonder if the child was adopted from China, especially if the child is a girl. However, even in those cases, I would never, ever in a million years ASK about it. That's incredibly rude and none of my business anyway. I don't know why people can be so clueless, nosy, and insensitive!

I hope I didn't offend anybody. I'm sorry if I did. :

I didn't think about this but I assume Asian children are adopted if they are with white women...... mostly because there is not a large Chinese population here, but some Korean communities and a few Vietnamese. The features of the Chinese are so different than the Korean or Vietnamese.

I am so glad ppl are rescueing those girls from Chinese orphanages.
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#22 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 12:57 PM
 
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Keep in mind that adopted children are "ours" It seems like some people here are taking offense to the idea of having an adopted child. I know that isn't the point- your thinking about racism and indeed some of these stories puzzle me. I just wanted to express in some way that wondering if a child is adopted isn't necessarily racism. We come to have babies with different skin colors for different reasons. Some are adopted and some are born to us- both are "our" babies through and through.

When I see a baby with very different skin tones or features than the person who appears to be the Mama I actually don't really think too much about it...I mean, I don't usually think...is that the mother or another caregiver? is that a bi-cultural baby? or an adopted baby? I don't know I guess I'm just too busy with my own life to even think about this stuff when I'm out and about--I have two young babies myself!
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#23 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 01:38 PM
 
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I think that the reason most people ask is because they are uncomfortable with mixed relationships. As my own parents told me, they would disown me if I so much as dated a black man, and they would rather me be with a white guy who abused me then a black guy who treated me like a princess.

So of course my mission as a teenager was to meet and marry a black guy. Then I met DH, and decided I liked him better.
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#24 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 01:38 PM
 
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I don't think I have ever really pondered this question when I am out and about. But I really do try (emphasis on TRY) to not assume anything about anyone (once again...emphasison TRY lol) because I know that a lot is assumed about me as I look VERY young and people are always surprised to find out my age AND that I'm MARRIED!!! It's like all of a sudden I'm a GOOD mother instead of one of those "horrible unwed teen mothers". Sheesh!
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#25 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 01:44 PM
 
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I don't always think about it but if I take the time to notice I assume her partner is of a different race than her's. I don't automatically think adoption unless I have seen both parents together and neither one of them are of the same race as the child. Even then I don't dare ask, I just think it in my head for a second. It doesn't matter to me either way, I'm glad someone is taking these babies out of orphanages.

I can't believe some of the comments you mamas have had to deal with!! : :.
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#26 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 02:02 PM
 
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No, I don't think they're adopted. I think that they must take after their father.
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#27 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 02:09 PM
 
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Around here I would assume the child was adopted. Why? Because I live in the whitest town in the whitest area of all Canada. Every single person of colour I have met since moving here has a German or Ukranian last name and was in fact adopted. This is also missionary country and most of the families are big into international adoption. It is totaly normal to see a family with 4 or 5 little white kids, one Asian kid and an African or Hispanic child thrown in for good measure.

In my home area of Ontario I always assume birth child btw.

MM
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#28 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 02:13 PM
 
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No, I truly don't assume they aren't hers. I really don't know why I would. I usually don't think about it though.
I have a friend who is 1/2 black and 1/2 white whose first dd's dad is white. The child looks white, and the mama has had people ask is she adopted her (since the mama obviously is black) she answers "Yea, right a poor black woman being able to adopt a white child." Anyway, I would be quite offended if someone assumed my children were adopted just because of the color of their skin.
I actually did have a woman years ago ask me if my dd was mine. When my dd was younger she had lighter brown hair, with beautiful ringlets, huge blue eyes. I have almost black straight hair and brown/green eyes, so she didn't look that much like me. I was pretty put off that the woman had asked. I mean was it not possible that I was married to a man with light hair and blue eyes (which I am).
If it was a racist thing it would piss me off even more.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#29 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 02:19 PM
 
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You know, I have been asked if my eldest was adopted or a step child because she looks nothing like me and it never offends me. This could be because I am adopted and don't think being adopted makes me any less my parent's child. I just see it as another way to build a family, not anything insulting.

MM
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#30 of 136 Old 06-17-2004, 02:26 PM
 
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Quote:
On the other hand, when I see a "white" woman with a child with Asian features, I do have a tendency to wonder if the child was adopted from China, especially if the child is a girl.
Quote:
think about this but I assume Asian children are adopted if they are with white women.
As a white woman married to an asian man, with a biracial dd I have to admit this really bugs me. DD looks a lot more like me than I thought she would (her hair is really light), and people still make assumptions, even if I'm out with dh. Why is it that adoption is always considered the default? Why is it such a stretch to imagine that a white woman might have had sex with a nonwhite man?

And for the record, I am NOT saying there is anything wrong with adopting transracially - my dh was adopted when he was 3 by a white family.
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