Should Race Matter?

When my husband and I made the choice to adopt we were not picky. The questionnaires that you have to complete for the adoption process were very detailed. You have to decide if you want a boy or a girl, Caucasian, Asian, African American, Indian or any of the other ethnicities or races in the world or a child who is mix raced. You also have to consider if you will accept children with disabilities and what ages you would accept. Out of all the questions the race and ethnicity questions were the easiest we just checked YES all the way down. We do not think that a child’s race should really matter. We did talk to some people we knew of different ethnicities than us, we are Caucasian, to see how a child of their ethnicity would be treated if they were raised by us.

We were pleasantly surprised to hear their reactions. Not one person said that their race would have a problem, does what we look like on the outside really matter?

If this was the 1960’s we may not have had to consider whether we would adopt a child of a different race but this was 2003 and we were not expecting to encounter any racial problems. We found out quickly that not the entire world agreed with our opinions.

Before we got matched with the children we now have we had been put in for a sibling group that was African American. We thought the kids were two of the cutest things we had ever seen. We could picture watching them grow and loving them. Unfortunately when we started showing their pictures around we were shocked to hear some of the comments that we got. People who we worked with or friends of ours that knew that we were adopting, assumed that we would only adopt a child to match us. We heard comments like “OH, they are cute but aren’t they a little too dark?” These comments really took us back. We were not expecting these comments and were not really prepared to respond. How do you explain that you do not see a color you just see a child who needs a family to love?

Read more about our adoption journey:

Why we chose adoption

It’s not like it is in the movies

What kind of child would you like?

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About Tammy Woolard

My name is Tammy and I am 40 year old mother of 3 wonderful children who came to us through domestic adoption. Although we did not have any fertility issues we chose adoption because there are so many kids that did not ask to be born but truly want a family to love. We did research on adoption choices and decided on domestic adoption through CPS. You would be surprised the differences between each agency. The adoption process is nothing like you see in the movies. I am also a 5 year breast cancer survivor. When I was diagnosed my kids were 3, 5 and 7 I did so much research I may have driven my Dr. a little crazy but that is ok it is my body not his.