Friday, March 4, 2011

Race and Adoption

I read with great interest an article the other day which noted that race should no longer be a key criterion for social workers seeking adoptive families for children in foster care in Great Britain, stressing that the priority must instead be to quickly find a child a new home. Issuing new advice to those working on adoptions, and dismissing critics including the National Association of Black Social Workers in the United States, Education Secretary Michael Grove, himself adopted as a child, is moving Britain closer in line to its European neighbors, who largely disregard a child’s ethnicity. What do you think?


Von said...

Disagree strongly.Ethnicity is important. White parents cannot teach children of colour to deal with racism.There are other issues all valid and taken seriously back in the '70's when this area was taken very seriously and children's heritage treated with more respect.

Chris said...

@Von I agree that ethnicity is an important issue to the family that adopts across race. This issue remains one that has been continuously studied.

Themes that emerge from most studies include the need for having same race toys, living in a diverse neighborhood, accepting as a parent you can only partially understand what the adoptee goes through, having multi-racial friends as well as providers (teachers, nurses, MDS) going to cultural events (Regina Kupecky).

Families who consider adopting transracially need to consider all of these and other ways to prepare their entire extended family. As adoptive families we cannot eliminate the racism some children may face, but we can, with strength and preparation do our best to educate ourselves, our extended family and our children how best to cope with the challenge.

Family is important to us all throughout our lives and we must be sure that each and every child has had every opportunity, including considering to be placed in a family of a different race rather than aging our of the foster care system. Additionally, older youth adopted from foster care do have a say in the kind of family they prefer and their racial preferences are usually listened to carefully by the courts and their social workers.