Friday, December 11, 2009

White Couples Who Adopt Black Kids

Photo: www.gaadoptionlaw.com

This seems to be the new trend, doesn't it? Especially in Utah. I sometimes wonder how many of these parents do it because it's trendy...? I don't like the idea of using children as accessories. Like, "Look what I got! A black baby! Ain't I such a humanitarian?" That's the impression I've gotten from some, but I sure hope that's not the case with most. Even movies have started to make fun of the idea (i.e. "Bruno"). Did Angelina Jolie start all this? Ha ha.

I'm not trying to generalize, because I personally know more amazing white couples with adopted black kids than the type of people I've described above. And... of course... I'm white myself (ha ha). So, that's not my point. It's just that I've talked to many a black person who has been wary of the idea in general, and their concern is for a reason. The consensus tends to be that it's good if you're taking the kid out of a bad situation. And race shouldn't matter in general when it comes to who is a part of your family. But there are obvious differences that white couples need to consider before taking that leap and bringing a child of a different race home. Cultural and physical differences are two that come up a lot in these conversations.

If you're going to take a child out of the culture they would have been raised in and try to raise them in another, there's obviously going to be some different challenges with making sure he/she grows up knowing about their heritage. They'll need other black friends and adult role models in their lives – they can't rely on the media or their white friends to tell them what kind of person they're supposed to be. If you adopt a black kid from Africa – teach them about Africa, expose them to other Africans... if you adopt a black kid from New Orleans – teach them about New Orleans, expose them to New Orleans natives. It's a part of who they are and it's important. Adopted kids may already have a hard enough time knowing that they belong. If they look differently than anybody else in their family, neighborhood, and school... they're going to have an extra hard time both feeling comfortable in their own skin and fitting in. At the same time, don't try to make them the same as all the other kids in their classes either, because they're not. Teach them to love who they are, and don't make them solely into who you are.

And don't even get me started on the physical differences! I already talked about hair, but holy cow... let me say it again. Please don't let your child go around with a head full of unbrushed hair. When other black people see it, they are embarrassed for them. I'm embarrassed for them. I see so many little black kids out here going around with natural dreads in their hair – not because that's the style that they wanted, but because their white parents didn't know how to teach them how to take care of it and it matted up that way. Before you adopt a black child, learn how to take care of their hair. Or find a salon that you can take them to every other week. It's a big deal... and a lot of these kind-hearted, let-me-reach-out-to-this-poor-colored-child white parents don't give their kids' hair a second thought when they accept them into their family. That's a problem. And while I'm on the topic, black kids need lotion. Ha ha. It's sad that I have to tell people that.

The point is, don't be hesitant about adopting black children. Just like I was never hesitant about marrying my husband or wanting to adopt black or biracial kids myself. If a child is up for adoption, they need a good home and you just might be the one to give it to them. Just be prepared. That is all. :)





4 comments:

  1. I love how frank you are about it all. Its very refreshing. I was the minority in my neighborhood and I remember visiting Utah and we'd ask our mom why there were so many white people everywhere. And then we'd get excited to see a black person cause it made us feel at home.

    And as far as hair care and lotion- many white people just don't understand :)

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  2. Honestly, I came across your blog by mistake. I dont know you but I think this is horrible. I dont think anyone REALLY adopts a child to be "trendy" as a white person with a white husband we tried for 5 yrs to have a child. 3 failed IVFs. We invested emotion, time, money and everything else that goes along with the aching of wanting a child. ANY child! We adopted our son (who is black). As you know when completing your forms it asks you everything as though you were picking a car! All we wanted was a child to love we could care less what color their skin was. We even were willing to bring a child into our home with a disability. We live in Utah, my husband is Mormon I am not. The sad and harsh truth is there aren’t many "white" babies available for adoption that is why it may appear to be a "trend". I can tell you are angry, bitter and hurt about not being able to have your own right now because I was there too. You need to come to terms that this is your path and not look for reasons why "other people" or "mormons" can have kids and you cant. It happens to all races and religions. It may be hopeful for you to know that after we adopted our son two yrs later I became pregnant by much surprise! We now have to beautiful sons who have both white, black, hispanic and all sorts of other races and nationalities as friends. We have brought up both our sons (now 6&4) to know about both of their heritages. We did not go into blind, infact our adoption agency even gave us the resources on how to explain and teach our son about his biological background. You need to have a better outlook on this and not be so judgmental and jump to outrages conclusions because you yourself are struggling with "why me". Its rude, mean and untrue to accuse people of wanting a child to be “trendy".

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  3. Interesting post Alice. I have wondred myself the intent of people adopting children from a race different than their own. I imagine you ahve both type of parents out there. One's who don't give it much thought, if they have the money etc and those like the person who commented on this post who spent a lot of time thinking about what it would be like to adopt a black child.
    Our friends are trying to adopt right now. They said they would adopt any race. These people are loving and would take culture differences into consideration.
    Good luck with the adoption process.

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