Mothering Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
866 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The Adoption History Project ( <a href="http://www.uoregon.edu/~adoption/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.uoregon.edu/~adoption/index.html</a> ) is full of some really interesting articles.<br><br>
One of the articles is about Transracial Adoptions ( <a href="http://www.uoregon.edu/~adoption/topics/transracialadoption.htm" target="_blank">http://www.uoregon.edu/~adoption/top...aladoption.htm</a> ). A section of the article was particularly interesting to me and I wonder how others - particularly people who have adopted transnationally and/or transracially might respond to it. Here is the section (I bolded some sections):<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">The debate about transracial adoption changed course in 1972, when the National Association of Black Social Workers issued a statement that took “a vehement stand against the placements of black children in white homes for any reason,” calling transracial adoption “unnatural,” “artificial,” “unnecessary,” and proof that African-Americans continued to be assigned to “chattel status.” The organization was so committed to the position that black children’s healthy development depended on having black parents that its President, Cenie J. Williams, argued that temporary foster and even institutional placements were preferable to adoption by white families. This opposition slowed black-white adoptions to a trickle. In 1973, the Child Welfare League of America adoption standards, which had been revised in 1968 to make them slightly friendlier to transracial adoption, were rewritten to clarify that same-race placements were always better. The child welfare establishment never supported transracial adoptions.<br><br>
A number of new agencies, staffed almost entirely by African Americans, such as Homes for Black Children in Detroit and Harlem-Dowling Children’s Service in New York, renewed the effort that had started in the late 1940s and 1950s to find black homes for black children. In spite of successful efforts to boost the numbers of black adoptive families, objections to whites adopting African-American children were never translated into law. Minority group rights to children were legally enforceable only in the case of Native American children, and only after the 1978 passage of the Indian Child Welfare Act.<br><br><b>Since 1972, the numbers of black-white adoptions have declined</b>, but this may have as much to do with stubborn private preferences and prejudices among white adopters as with organized opposition or public policies that created new barriers to transracial placements. <b>International adoptions, after all, increased quite dramatically at just the moment when the transracial adoption of African-American children was becoming controversial.</b> They continued to accelerate throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, when Americans adopted more than a quarter of a million foreign children. <b>International placements have increased much more dramatically than domestic transracial adoptions.</b> Why? There are many reasons, but a simple one stands out. Most children have come from Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. They did not represent the specific kind of difference that had bothered Americans and had tortured their history most. Children adopted from overseas were not black.</td>
</tr></table></div>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,446 Posts
That is interesting to me, as my brother was adopted from Korea back in the 80's. I know my parents were not prejudiced against African Americans, but I wonder if they may have worried about other's prejudices--we lived in deep rural Virginia at the time, and when they had taken over a medical practice they found it still segregated. No signs, but there were two waiting rooms and everyone knew which one they belonged in. My parents tore down the wall between the two rooms. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
Anyway, they had good friends living just down the block that had adopted from Korea about 10 years earlier. So maybe they thought that it would be easier on a child from there, with another family in the community having paved the way, IDK.<br><br>
I have seen an increasing number of (white) families adopting from places like Liberia and Ethiopia in the last decade or so. I wonder how that plays into the bias/prejudice theory?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
866 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cappuccinosmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15432654"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have seen an increasing number of (white) families adopting from places like Liberia and Ethiopia in the last decade or so. I wonder how that plays into the bias/prejudice theory?</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Ethiopia is one of the top ten countries from which Americans adopt. But the total number of children adopted from the entire continent of Africa in 2009 is less than the number adopted from one country: China.<br><br>
Top countries:<br>
China (mainland) - 3,001<br>
Ethiopia - 2277<br>
Russia - 1586<br>
South Korea - 1080<br><br>
Top continents:<br>
Asia - 5,607<br>
Africa - 2,768<br>
Europe - 2,695<br>
(source: <a href="http://adoption.state.gov/pdf/adoption_visa_issuance_2009.pdf" target="_blank">http://adoption.state.gov/pdf/adopti...uance_2009.pdf</a> )<br><br>
To be fair, international adoptions, though according to sources cited earlier were on the increase for decades have recently decreased. There were over 22000 international adoptions by Americans in 2004, but in 2009 there were only 12,753. This is probably due to the economy since international adoptions are much more expensive than domestic adoptions.<br><br>
Domestic adoptions through public agencies during the same period (approx.) were much more common, but did not have as dramatic a change. In 2000, about 50,000 children were adopted. In 2008, about 55,000 children were adopted.<br>
(source: <a href="http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/index.htm#afcars" target="_blank">http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/s...dex.htm#afcars</a> )<br><br>
Domestic adoptions through private agencies aren't sharing data yet so we don't really know the stats on those.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Personally I think that a family who adopts transracially always has a responsibility to raise the child with a knowledge of and involvement in his/her birth culture. I don't think anyone disagrees with that these days! My aunt and uncle adopted an African American boy 14 years ago and immediately joined a black church in their community so that he could be raised around other African Americans and have AA role models. They also have the advantage of living in Seattle, where there is diversity that supports their transracial family. I think that if I lived in a small town with very little diversity I would be more likely to agree with the statement you quoted above, but since we live in a large urban area I hope we would be able to adopt transracially and offer our child the opportunity to participate in his/her racial community.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,737 Posts
As much as the highlights seem to want to blame black social workers for black kids not getting adopted by good white people...I think the issues is far far more complex.<br><br>
After all, international adoption is not just persued by people because they want a black baby or an asian people but the domestic system just wouldn't give them one in the name of trying to place kids in homes of parents by the same race. Sometimes people do not want to "risk" contact with the birth family. Some people feel like they can rescue kids with "greater need" internationally, since of course in America the kids have a much better shot (even if they age out of foster care) than in some third world country somewhere. (yes, I'm being tongue in cheek here, because American youth ARE exploited and trafficked)<br><br>
And how many times, even on these boards, have we seen PAPs who only want babies and not "damaged" kids (either prenatally or because they're older and have been exposed to the unknown). I've always wondered why some people who express that sentiment go on to persue international adoption (when to be honest, there's just as much of an unknown factor, and in certain areas even more likelihood of no prenatal care and as much of a likelihood of risky maternal decisions), but not all do.<br><br>
Then you have the problem of fear. Why are so many girls adopted vs. boys, especially in transracial adoptions? People always say it's because they fear the girls will be exploited more (I call bs on that, boys are prostituted and enslaved as well). Personally, I think there are deep sociological issues involved. Not just racial ones, but also gender-biased ones (do you want the boy to carry on a family name that doesn't belong to him? Boys are more dangerous, ect.). Are these articulated or even consciously thought of by most people? No, I don't think so...but I do think they are there for a very uncomfortable percentage of people.<br><br>
Let's be real here. Even if the black social workers organization (which has been used as a whipping boy in a lot of old school adoption "research", apparently that hasn't changed much) sang and danced and put black babies into white homes *first*--there would be still far less people who want to adopt a black baby domestically than internationally or other races domestically. Black older kids would still be very difficult to place.<br><br>
I am so sick of simplification of this issue. There are so many ingrained institutional factors here (and no, the black social workers are NOT part of *that* factor, if anything, they fight against it). It makes me feel ill that they're being scapegoated again.<br><br>
It's more complex than that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
We're adopting transracially and our kids social worker is black also. She has been wonderful and often tells our son how she picked us out just for him and his sister.<br><br>
Just a nice example of a great CPS SW.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,426 Posts
"I've always wondered why some people who express that sentiment go on to pursue international adoption (when to be honest, there's just as much of an unknown factor, and in certain areas even more likelihood of no prenatal care and as much of a likelihood of risky maternal decisions), but not all do."<br><br>
I wonder about this, as well. I'm pretty certain it's not a deep respect for the ideology of National Association of Black Social Workers has so many American families seeking a costly transracial placement overseas as opposed to a free race-blind placement here. But I think the single biggest factor may be that in many states, placement before TPR is the typical path to adoption, and the emotional risk of losing a child (to their abuser or one of their abuser's relatives, no less) is just too horrible to contemplate.<br><br>
I believe in domestic adoption (obviously), but I don't think people who can't face the prospect of the foster phase should give up on adoption altogether. The need for it most assuredly does not cease at our borders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,329 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Smithie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15440047"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm pretty certain it's not a deep respect for the ideology of National Association of Black Social Workers has so many American families seeking a costly transracial placement overseas as opposed to a free race-blind placement here.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
There were many reasons we adopted internationally and did not adopt domestically. But there were no "free race-blind placements" available, for sure. I went through the pre-adoption training in our county, and we were basically told that they would not place trans-racially, that the social worker would find a reason a family wasn't a "good fit." It's just not their practice here, or at least it's very rare, although of course it's technically illegal now to use race as a factor in placement. And since almost all of the children available for adoption through the public system in our state are African-American or American Indian, we clearly were not going to be successful going that route. (There were some white teenagers available, but we were not interested in adopting a teen.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,737 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Smithie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15440047"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But I think the single biggest factor may be that in many states, placement before TPR is the typical path to adoption, and the emotional risk of losing a child (to their abuser or one of their abuser's relatives, no less) is just too horrible to contemplate.<br><br>
I believe in domestic adoption (obviously), but I don't think people who can't face the prospect of the foster phase should give up on adoption altogether. The need for it most assuredly does not cease at our borders.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I agree, but I was speaking to the people who basically say they worry that the black kids available here are damaged goods, but will then happily say they're persuing adoption elsewhere (with just as much of a drug or prenatal problem as these people are imagining for the American kids, if not more). See, to me, that is evidence of very subtle cultural racism. Or the folks who say they don't want damaged foster kids (because of the unknown/damaging factors of being in multiple foster home or sub-par home environment) that might attack their bio kids, but then say they really want to rescue a child from an orphanage! It's that cognitive dissonance that just boggles me.<br><br>
Which is why I reject scapegoating the association over that. They're certainly neither the *cause* nor the greatest perpetrator of why kids of color languish in our foster care system. That also distracts us from many other questions we should be asking/dealing with (such as, why are they so overrepresented, which of course is extremely complex as well).<br><br>
But Smithie, I do agree that the most common "deep" reason that I have heard over many years for why people at least initially persued international adoption was fear over losing a placed child and a perception of more control over birth family contact (none). I do think that the latter is far less common now, with many afamilies pursing *more* contact and information even with resistance from agencies. But the former...I don't think that has changed.<br><br>
I'm not saying that is a primary motivation or that it's the only motivation, but it is something I have heard and read over and over and over again. Certainly said in prettier ways, but people really are fearful over uncertainty. Some people would rather love and lose in a shorter time frame, others would rather spend 5 years in limbo/waiting but know that once that the child is placed it's 99 percent a done deal.<br><br>
But that has nothing to do with it being the fault of a social workers organization as to why fewer children of color are being adopted from the foster care system, and everything to do with the preferences/risk aversion threshold of the adoptive family.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
866 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Smithie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15440047"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think the single biggest factor may be that in many states, placement before TPR is the typical path to adoption, and the emotional risk of losing a child (to their abuser or one of their abuser's relatives, no less) is just too horrible to contemplate.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Watching helplessly as a child is sent back to their abuser is indeed "horrible to contemplate" but it's not common.<br><br>
Most children in foster care are there due to neglect, which is often the result of parents' drug use, mental illness, or even just extreme poverty and ignorance. Those things can sometimes be corrected.<br>
If a child is born drug exposed and the birthmom abandons the baby after the birth so she can get a fix, would it be so horrible to foster the baby for a few months while birthmoms sister gets checked out and approved by CPS? No, it's not "just too horrible"; it's a happy ending.<br><br>
Adopting an infant through a domestic public agency is more "risky" than domestic private adoption, international infant adoption, or adopting an older child either domestic or non. But the risks come with rewards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,426 Posts
Diane B wrote:<br><br>
"I went through the pre-adoption training in our county, and we were basically told that they would not place trans-racially, that the social worker would find a reason a family wasn't a 'good fit.'"<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jaw.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="dropjaw"> That is appalling. I hope that organization and its ethically impaired leadership get exposed and prosecuted at some point. It's one thing to disagree with MEPA - but if you don't plan to follow federal adoption law, then a career with a public adoption agency is probably not the best life plan, KWIM? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><br><br>
Anyhow, add another reason to my list of why families might pursue a transracial international adoption - THEY don't prefer/require a same-race placement, but their corrupt local social service agency DOES.<br><br>
marsupial-mom, I agree that it's a happy ending when a child abandoned at birth gets a kinship placement after a couple of months in foster care. But as an adoption strategy? Bonding with a newborn and giving them over to somebody else? Definitely not for everybody. Not for me, at least not at this stage of my life. I agree that it's a workable choice for some people, but I really do think that some families are better off taking on the wait and expense of international adoption in exchange for the security of knowing that their child won't be taken away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
866 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Smithie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15446982"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I agree that it's a happy ending when a child abandoned at birth gets a kinship placement after a couple of months in foster care. But as an adoption strategy? Bonding with a newborn and giving them over to somebody else? Definitely not for everybody.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I wasn't suggesting it as an adoption strategy. I was merely presenting one example that debunks a major myth about foster parenting. <b>The reality of foster parenting is that it's hard to say goodbye, but it's not the end of the world, it's not a tragedy, and it's not "too horrible to contemplate." Please DO contemplate it.</b> Please DO go learn what foster parenting is really like. You won't hurt yourself or your future child by making an informed decision.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Smithie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15446982"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I really do think that some families are better off taking on the wait and expense of international adoption in exchange for the security of knowing that their child won't be taken away.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Domestic private adoptions (not foster-adoptions) are just as secure as international adoptions. Few birthmothers change their minds.<br><br>
Healthy African American and biracial infants are available right here in the US right now. <b>There are so many healthy newborns available in the US that hundreds are sent to other countries for adoption</b>.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top