Articles

I read through this article that talks about why adoption was halted in Vietnam recently. It sheds a little light on why our Nepal adoption was stopped, although I think Nepalese adoptions were not on the [crazy] scale that Vietnam adoptions were at during their shut down. You can see in this article that it is frustrating for all sides of the issue, and that so many of the problems lie in our high expectations of 3rd world countries (which is  a really good thing) but also something that is hard to change. Unfortunately though, it’s the parents and the kids that get screwed, the countries only look bad.

Another article I found (it’s from People in 2005- so feel free to take what you will) is about how many African American babies are getting adopted in Canada and Europe. I find that amazing. With all of the Americans (including myself) that are trying to adopt outside of the US, we can’t even get all of our own American babies adopted to American families. Beginning the domestic adoption has really opened up my eyes to the state of my own country.

Then, I came upon THIS article about how adopting a black baby (specifically a boy) is significantly cheaper than a white child. In the article (which was written in The Economist in May 2010) they state, “It’s about $8,000 cheaper to adopt a black baby than a white or Hispanic child and girls tend to cost about $2,000 more than boys.”

I find this crazy. In the small world we live in today I have a hard time understanding why this is the case. (amount of money aside…) No matter what, your adopted children are not biologically yours, but their personalities will be formed because of their surroundings (aka: their parents). So why does race play a part? Why do we as Americans (I’m generalizing here, so please don’t get mad) make sure that when we adopt, our kids look like us, yet Canadian and European families are less likely to care about skin color? Could it really be just because of the one reason that I am scared to adopt a black child? (the hair! No, seriously, I’m going to do my absolute BEST to figure out my child’s hair, and show them how beautiful it is!)

No, I have to say that this can’t be the only reason Americans don’t want to adopt black babies. But I wish it was.

Whew. Enough reading for one day.

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3 thoughts on “Articles

  1. As someone who had the priviledge to work in domestic and international adoption I can answer some of those questions honestly. Yes, it is so true that black boys are the “cheapest” if you adopt within the US. I worked in Mississippi with a prodominately black population. Mississippi is considered a “baby harvest” by agencies in the US. Most of our couples that adopted black children came from out west or up North.

    In many areas of the US there still exsists a racism and a fear as to what your child will grow up to be and the fear of reverse racism and growing a child of another race in a hostile community (there is still a lot of hostility in the media about this also). However, this is disappearing more and more. It will take more education and more awareness for this to even out. As far as Europeans and Canadians adopting more children of color, they do not have the history that the US does and the negativity of the media to deal with (there is still some rascism though, it may not be towards black children… gypsies for instance).

    I also worked with those who did want their kids to look like them. I have to say (though I am not one of them), the people who feel this way have a right to this feeling (most of these folks deal with infertility and do not adopt because they have a heart for it). Here are some examples of why that is: They grew up with racism in their family… even though they are not racists themselves (really), they do not feel like they can bring a child of another race into that family (heard that one several times). Or, they have had a dream and a picture in their own heads for so long of their child that it is not possible to change that picture within themselves (this was from someone who had been through a ton of fertility treatments and was still working through things)… you really do have to consider where these people are coming from. If they were forced to adopt a child that did not look like themselves then it would not be a good environment for those children. They will have to deal with the wait and frustration of getting what they want.

    I personally think that it should not matter what color, race, or gender a child is. In the States you get to choose so many things. Country, color within that country, gender, exact age…. etc. In Europe you do not get so many choices and it is much (let me repeat that….MUCH) harder to adopt so we do not have the luxury of be so picky. Europeans also adopt children that are much older than Americans do. No, I do not think it is fair that a girl in Russia can be many thousands of dollars more than a boy, or that more girls get adopted per capita than boys, or that black boys are “cheaper” than other children…. but it only takes one person in your community/family/church/school to “break” these “rules” and an avalanche of knowledge, understanding, barriers and stereotypes are broken. You may be the pebble that brings down more mountains!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  2. Thank you for your insight into this Laurie! I do understand all that you said, and I believe that people who only want to adopt children of a specific race mean absolutely no harm… I just wish a cultural shift would happen to make it so that people wouldn’t have to think that way… and that there wouldn’t be discrimination that they would need to fear.

    I guess I’m an idealist, huh? 🙂

    Sometimes I’m not as much of a pebble but more of a bolder. I guess that can be good and bad!

    Take care, and thanks again!

    Erin 🙂

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