Last month I was watching with interest a debate that was going on Adoption.com The question was raised, “Should African Americans only adopt African American children because of the need for homes for African American children?”
This is an interesting discussion and I thought it would be an interesting one to continue here. Do African Americans (hereafter I will us the abbreviation AA) have a responsibility to adopt children of their own race? It is a known fact that adoption agencies and social workers have trouble placing AA children. Even parents who decide to adopt transracially may avoid adopting an AA child. As a result, a large number of AA children wait for families and many will never find a home.
One side of the debate (which seems to be led by AA adoptive parents who have adopted AA children) feels that it is vital that AA adoptive parents adopt the waiting AA children. They believe that they have a responsibility to their race. The other side of the debate says that there are children of all races that need homes and that there is no reason why AA families can’t adopt transracially. They say that people should adopt the children that they feel drawn to and that race should not be a deciding factor.
Everyone within this debate seems to have a definite idea about this issue. I believe that there is merit to both sides and that you could argue each one. My heart goes out to any child who waits and personally I am drawn to African American children partly for that reason. However, it does seem to be a form of racism to say that African Americans can ONLY adopt children of their race. Shouldn’t everyone let their heart guide them to their child and not the color of that child’s skin?
To me, it seems best to go back to the answer that I give people when they ask me why I’m adopting internationally instead of domestically or why I’m adopting from a specific country. Here it is: Each person needs to make their own decision when they decide to adopt. There are so many factors to consider and so many options to look into. When it comes down to it, no one can tell you what to decide. Instead, it is a choice you make within yourself once you have looked at every angle and thought about every option. Everyone deserves the right to a carefully thought out decision and we should support their decision, whatever it is.