Transracial Adoption

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The Bennetts are your typical, all-American family. Joan picks her daughter Mara up from soccer practice every school day at four. After a quick shower, the fourteen-year-old Mara does her homework. Occasionally, she sets the difficult algebra questions aside until her dad Perry gets home. Some days, Mara finishes early enough to help her mother prepare the evening meal. The whole family sits together for dinner, talking and recounting their day. They go to Church Service every Sunday morning. In the five years that they have been together, the fact that Mara is African American while Joan and Perry are Caucasian has never made them feel less of a family. The Bennetts could very well be the poster family for transracial adoptions. They are living proof that adoptive families of racially different parents and children can provide stable, warm and nurturing environments for growing up. Despite success stories like the Bennetts, transracial adoption continues to be viewed with concern. A 1994 survey of state adoption agencies showed that only four percent of all adoptions include parents and children of different races. Thousands of minority children continue to languish in foster care, despite the number of parents eager to adopt a child. Many prospective parents are even discouraged by foster care agencies from adopting children outside their own race. To get around this, some parents had to resort to privately arranged adoptions (Lewin). One reason for the reluctance is a mistaken belief that transracial families are less stable and more difficult for the adopted child, than an all Caucasian or all African American household is automatically a better option. This notion, however, is belied by study after study, showing that 75 percent transracially adopted preadolescent and younger children adjust well in their adoptive homes (Silverman 1993). Over the last two decades, one study found that that most children adopted across racial lines do well in...
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