Setting back adoption 100 yrs--rant

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by TerryJ2, May 27, 2008.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Arrrgh! I cannot believe this. (see link below) If this goes back to the way it was, I will personally become involved in politics.

    I SO much disagree with-the National Association of Black Social Workers. They are in the news for their outrageous statements every few mo's. They are to interracial and transracial adoption what PETA is to animals--they shoot themselves in the foot with-their outrageous antics, and undo all the previous good they may have done at any given time.

    I also have never given $ to the Dave Thomas (aka Wendy's hamburgers founder) Adoption Foundation because they historically only supported closed adoption. Dave Thomas was the product of a closed adoption and therefore thought it was the only way adoptions should take place. My difficult child has never gotten away from the Wendy's counter without a lecture and reminder from me (it's amazing he still wants the food but when he's hungry, he's hungry and kids are passed masters at ignoring their parents' political tirades).

    Sure, it's a great idea to make sure parents know what they're getting into when they cross racial lines through adoption. But no matter what changes are made in the law, this movement only assures that parents will have to jump through more hoops and have to do more posturing and that fewer children will be adopted.

    This is one of the reasons we went through a private service and met the bmom in person. She agrees with-us wholeheartedly.

    Our foster care system is already broken. I fail to see how this will help. These people are do-gooders whose end product will only create more problems.

    Child rearing and adoption and education are all huge social experiements anyway --just look at how things have changed in the past 30 yrs, much less since our country was founded, and then consider that wealthy European children were raised by tutors and nannies and then returned home once they were "civilized."

    Here is the jist of it, and here is the link: (I italicized the proposed change.)

    "Recommendations for major changes in the much-debated policy were outlined in a report by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.

    "Color consciousness - not 'color blindness' - should help to shape policy development," the report said.

    Groups endorsing its proposals included the North American Council on Adoptable Children, the Child Welfare League of America, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the National Association of Black Social Workers.

    At issue is the 1994 Multi-Ethnic Placement Act - and revisions made to it in 1996 - governing the adoption of children from foster care.

    One part of the law directs state agencies to recruit more adoptive parents of the same race as the children. The new report says this provision hasn't been adequately enforced and calls for better funded efforts to recruit minority parents.

    The more contentious part of the legislation prohibits race from being taken into consideration in most decisions about adoption from foster care. For example, white parents seeking to adopt a black child cannot be required to undergo race-oriented training that differs in any way from training that all prospective adoptive parents receive.

    A key recommendation in the new report calls for amending the law so race could be considered as a factor in selecting parents for children from foster care. The change also would allow race-oriented pre-adoption training.
  2. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    I think that we should view people as people regardless of the color of their skin. If a family is full of love and a stable place for a child, that is what matters most.

    Maybe someday we will all understand that and the world will be a better place in so many different ways.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I couldn't have said it better.
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I think it is a very sensitive subject and I would be hard pressed to figure out a way to word, esp. legally, how I feel about the topic. I'm not sure I agree with what has been presented in the link, etc. I think it is clear that a loving, qualified family is the best bet for all children. Period.

    I do know that my adopted difficult child has told me that she would find it extraordinarily difficult if for example, she had been adopted into a family where both parents were of the same sex or if the family was non-traditional in some other way. Keep in mind, that difficult child does NOT harbor bias,etc. However, as she has explained it to me, she has endured a lot of hardship trying to cope with mean spirited individuals out there in the world who already are cruel to her for her differences. In addition, there is a certain sense of loss she feels just being adopted. To have an obvious difference in her family that would make it clear to the world that she is adopted, would just put more stress on an already stressful situation. Of course, difficult child understands fully that being adopted by a loving family of another race would be far superior and certainly welcomed and needed by any child vs. living in foster care. So, where is the line drawn? Is it reasonable to say that ideally an infant might be placed with parents of the same race? And if minority parents have not been adopting, that more efforts should be made to encourage them to do so? However, once a child is perhaps a year old (just throwing out a number), and still in foster care...the next available, qualified and loving home should receive the child regardless of race differences? Again, it is all very complicated. I never gave it a lot of thought until I heard the words come out of difficult children mouth. She is a person who is totally color blind. This is how she feels today as a young woman and one who is very intelligent. She speaks up loudly on this subject. She has been hurt deeply by the world and even though it is wrong and ashame that these things have happend, she said that especially thinking back as a young child, she would not want to have to tackle additional complications that being adopted into a family of another race could cause.
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    As a white parent of 4 black children, I can see both sides of the picture. My older children had been available for adoption for over a year (and in foster care over 3 years) when we adopted them. They needed a family - it didn't matter if we were purple. But, the sheer lack of preparation and support made our journey a difficult one -- and I am very good at searching out solutions. It would have been nice to have more classes on transracial parenting. I, too, shutter whenever the NABSW get involved. I don't think that race should be the overriding factor, I understand that when it was allowed to be a factor it became the #1 factor, but transracial parenting does have its own degree of difficulty and it would be better for all if more training could be mandated - even if all pre-adopt foster parents needed to be required to take the classes.
  6. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    This is definately one of those AAARRRGGGHHH subjects. On the one hand, I can completely understand wanting to match kids with families of the same race/religion/culture/whatever. On the other hand though....why make a child linger in the limbo of foster care waiting on the "right" parents when there is a perfectly acceptable family that wants to adopt and who just happen to be the wrong color/religion/culture/whatever. Stupid.

    A good friend of mine was a special needs teacher for years. There was a little boy in her class at one point, I'd say he was aroun 10 or so at the time. He was African American and Autistic. He was verbal but only to mimic, still in diapers and would get over stimulated from noise and excitable situations. He lived with a wonderful foster family who really wanted to adopt him. In fact, I believe they had had him for years. They weren't allowed because they were white. Not only had this boy been with them for a long time but with the Autisim, I'm sure it would have been pretty traumatic for him to be transitioned to a completely new family. This was years ago so I'm hoping that when he "aged out" of the system, they did an adult adoption or were able to keep him somehow.

    To me, you choose the best parents for the child based on their ability to care for the child, their desire to have the child join their family and the basic match requirements (similar lifestyles - active, sports, activities, etc, background checks, physically capable, all of the "usual" stuff) Heck, our difficult child, even though he is also white, looks nothing like us. husband and I are both brown eyed burnettes and difficult child is blond and blue eyed. What's the difference? If you adopt a child from a different race/religion/culture/whatever, you educate yourself. Do what you need to do to educate the child on their background but they are still part of your family.

    husband and I couldn't give a rat's patootie about a kids skin color if we adopt again. Granted, when we started the process before difficult child, we did decide to limit our choices to white kids. This was only due to the fact of the area we live in. We figured any kid we got would have been through enough and didn't need to have to deal with the idiots we have in this town. Now though, while the idiots are still out there, things have improved. If we were to adopt again, I don't think we would limit ourselves again. Besides....idiots are everywhere and are idiots for various reasons. We all have to learn how to deal with them.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree.

    My difficult child has been friends with-a neighbor girl since they were born. She is a yr older. She was a good friend for him because she was rough and tough and hard to bluff. :) She could dish it out AND take it. One day difficult child came home all upset because he said she didn't like him any more because of the color of his skin. I hit the roof and marched him right back out and told him there are plenty of people in this world who will be mean to him for that reason, but she is NOT one of them. Turns out they got into a "regular" fight and it was settled amicably.
    There ARE nasty, idiotic people out there and racism is still alive and well. But "sensitizing" adoptive parents is, well, parental. Every now and then you'll get a family that totally ignores their child's racial heritage, like an adopted blk woman who gave a talk in VA Beach yrs ago, who was raised in a Jewish white family and she ate matzo ball soup instead of chitlins, pigs feet and fried chicken. I don't know a single blk person who eats like that, and I live in the South! but she was very angry and said it took her yrs to find her identity. She had a point but no matter which family you are adopted into, you are a member of THAT family. Adoption is adoption.

    Maybe I assume too much, that other parents will expose their children to the wider world around them. I think parents who are too insular in regard to race, when they are involved in a transracial adoption, are the exception rather than the rule. Obviously, these adoption groups think otherwise.
  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I don't even have words.
  9. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Ya know, the way I feel is that there are the majority of potential adoptive parents that only want the same color child that they are, for fear of the questions or comments or looks. Those parents just want a child to love, regardless of the color of their skin should be given every resource possible to help them and no one should get in the way government or agency. I admire any family that takes children in, especially of a different ethnicity than their own or children with disabilities. Those are truly special people. Bravo to you all!
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you, but I don't feel like I took anyone in. I performed a purely selfish act because I wanted another child. Yes, it worked well for him and the bmom; everyone was happy. But I learned my lesson with-our border collie, not to take in animals or humans who are abused, or that you simply feel sorry for. The problems are endless. I just don't have it in me.
    (and I ended up with-a difficult child anyway, lol!)
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I know that is how I also felt when adopting a child...I just wanted a child to love. I do think if a person adopts a child from another race should have some training. It does concern me that the world can be so cruel, but it has got to help to be well prepared. Terry...I am sorry that your little difficult child (and you by default) experienced the pain of racism.
  12. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I didn't mean it that way.....I just meant just that you are taking children into your home to love (not just because of pity or sympathy) and give a home to a child, any child, out of love and desire to give them what you would have given a biological child.

    Selfish reasoning or not, Terry, it was out of wanting to love a child. What could be more unselfish than loving a child that was otherwise unwanted or uncared for?
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Color has NOTHING to do with it - really. I was adopted 43 years ago and until my 30s i was CERTAIN they were BOTH Martians. I was raised in a martian household, I was taught martian ways, I was schooled in martian culture - and even though I'm not biologically a Martian - I'm a good and decent person.

    After 43 years - when you read something like this - you have to wonder - BUT IF MY FAMILY HAD KEPT ME - would I be who I am? Probably not. So I don't think I missed out on my "ethnic" heritage - I just got a new one - and live like a Martian.

    You can substitute the word MARTIAN for any race, creedo, or ethninticity you care to. But I'll ALWAYS be a Martain because I was raised Martian.

    For anyone wondering - had I been raised by Earthlings - i would have become and Earthling - But I am just - who I am raised by Martians. (They think they have me fooled) ha!
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    LOL, Star. Good point.
    I told my difficult child about the proposal for legislation. At first he said it made sense, to match color to color. But then I started asking detailed questions like, "If you were adopted by people with-your skin color, would you ONLY listen to rap music? And if you were adopted by people with-my skin color, would you ONLY eat strudel?"
    He agreed that it was silly, but b4 I could get more of the thought process going, easy child interjected, "It's prejudiced!!!"
    Uh, yeah ...
    I also asked difficult child what would happen to kids like him who are mixed. He suggested a blk dad and white mom. Very clever. In fact, that's a great solution because it's the biological match, so to speak. But how many interracial couples out there want to adopt?
  15. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I think the biggest issue is that there are way more minority children awaiting adoption than minority families looking to adopt. So this proposal doesn't really matter. I think it's irresponsible for race to be taken into account and applied unevenly, and it's poor policy.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This group has always bothered me. Their proposals and demands don't make sense to me. I was raised by wierdos, will be a wierdo, and that is that. We never recognized race as a factor, I was stunned when I was introduced to racism in elem school - I really thought my parents were joking or lying when they told me some people don't like other people because skin color. I still feel like it is a bizarre thing to judge a person on.

    I wish it were possible for all of the children up for adoption to go to homes that are perfect for them - whatever they need. But this won't happen, no matter what this idiot group does. Though their demands might break the fostercare/adoption system a bit more.
  17. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Any hardline stance like this from any group just makes me nervous. There is too much potential for great harm to be done, no matter what the good intentions.

    I don't have any experience with adoption, but I certainly can comment from the family-of-different-races standpoint, for several generations back.

    My GFGfather's mother AND father were bi-racial (white+black)
    My GFGmother is of black, East Indian, Portuguese and white descent
    I am all of the above.

    My husband is white (English).
    Little easy child is mixed-race (strangely, he looks Spanish, which is one of the few ethnicities not accounted for in the bloodline)
    difficult child is white--half English, half Ukranian (from biomom). He is fair skinned with blond hair and blue eyes. And he calls me Mom.

    If they started making rules about who could be parent to whom, I would be very confused indeed. People make assumptions about how our family fits together. Sometimes when it's just difficult child and me, and he calls me Mom, we do get very strange looks from people. But...that's their issue, not mine. I owe them no explanations, and I do not fear their thoughts, whatever those thoughts happen to be.

    If parents are prepared to love and cherish a child, regardless of the child's race, then they should be allowed to do so. To such a large degree, racial identity is a myth imposed from outside by the people you grow up around.

    Yes, society has certain biases and will make assumptions. But when, like me, you fit everywhere and nowhere at the same time, you choose your own path. Very freeing.

  18. Star*

    Star* call 911

    YEAH - what Trinity said - because........

    WEll I'm green and I don't fit anywhere except in the field with that Jolly Giant.

    Kermit the frog said it best -

    It's not easy being green.
  19. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My cousin, who is a priest in South America, calls my family a rainbow family. My husband is Hispanic, my children African American, and I'm Caucasian (I guess that makes me a minority by being the only non-minority in my family).

    I know when we were adopting both children there were very few African American families adopting. When we were adopting easy child we waited only 3 months. The birth mom chose us and I was in the room when she was born.

    About a week after an agency in Florida found out we were willing to adopt African American, they called us about difficult child.

    There simply aren't many African Americans adopting. The thought that children shouldn't be adopted then by people who will love them just because they are of a different race makes no sense to me.
  20. Star*

    Star* call 911

    -Think about what they are trying to accomplish for a minute.

    They want parents to take classes before adopting a child, about that childs' ethnic culture. Right?

    Okay - you tell me HOW that gets accomplished in say a week of lessons or even a month of lessons.

    And WHAT EXACTLY is it that you'd teach an adoptive parent about another culture other than their own that would pertain to and change the way an established and sound adoptive family already exists? It's almost like backwards integration isnt' it?

    If you think about what the slide presentation may be like it's actually kinda funny.

    (cue suburban home with tree lined streets and fisherman walking around in the back if in the NE, or If SE - an adobe style home with cacti and tumbleweed blowing across the lawn, or if in the South - a plantation home like Tara with spanish moss hanging in the trees and dog woods in bloom, or if in the NW a grey overcast day with thunderstorms and lightning in the back) See - WHO is stero-typing NOW?


    This is a black family (family stands on porch and waives), this baby (close up of white child) is going to be adopted by this lovely family. (everyone smiles) But do they know this childs heritage? (family shakes head no) WHAT in the WORLD could help this little white baby be loved by this family even more? (family shrugs) "I know" says the caseworker - (cue straight laced caseworker) A month long class about white heritage. (family nods)

    I mean COME ON people - what could you learn in a month or two or three that would actually change the way this child is raised? And can you really learn about another culture to the point of mimic in a month? This is ludacris. I've lived my whole life around other cultures/colors/ethninticities and I'll NEVER be anything other than how I was raised.

    Even with classes on heritage - what they are saying is that with these classes you'll be able to understand a race different than your own and all of a sudden you'll know what it's like to be a white man, black man, Asian, Indian, Native? Never gonna happen. It's a waste of time. Terry was right it would set adoption back 100 years.

    When I was adopted there were "guidelines" in place so that the child blended in with it's adopted family. If you were next on the list to receive a baby and both parents were dark haired and dark eyed and the baby born was blond hair with blue eyes - you were not getting that baby from Social services. The next parents on the list matching the looks of the child got the baby. You would wait until a baby matched your heritage and looks. I know this for a fact because had my parents been allowed to have the next birth child on the list - I would be a blond haired blue eyed boy and not dark hair and dark eyes like my mom and dad with almost identical heritage. I'm glad though - A boy named Star would just be too far out.

    I think these people need to spend their time, efforts and money educating the people they have trouble reaching TO adopt a same color child, and increase awareness about that if they deem it a problem. Sounds to me like someone was very bitter about their adoption and has gotten some other like-minded people to think along the same narrow viewed lines as them. Sad really -

    If I felt mixed race adoptions were a problem? I'd go out and use my resources to make families of that race aware that I felt this was a problem. I certainly wouldn't attack the familes of ANY color that step up and WANT to love a child. They are morons and I think they are being led by a person with some very deep issues.

    Just my 38 cents.