Transracial Adoption – a Brief History

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Nora Long author of “Transracial Adoption” defines transracial adoption as: “the practice if placing infants and children into families who are of a different race than child’s birth family” (1/3). After World War II transracial began to be practiced placing children (Vietnamese, Korean and European) from war torn countries with white families in the United States. The focus was on placing a child(ren) with loving parents. In later years it was discovered that just as many ethnic minority children (African American, Native American and Hispanic) in the United States were without homes. Domestic adoption agencies began placing these children with white families also. Between 1968 and 1972, approximately 50,000 black and biracial children were adopted by white adoptive parents. At the time, adoption of black children by white families was thought necessary due to the increasing number of black children in foster care and the seeming lack of black adoptive families. In the early 1970s, transracial adoptions gained in popularity as the number of available white infants declined and the number of prospective adoptive parents continued to grow. In 1968 The National Association of Black Social Workers Inc was formed. NABSW’s goal was to take a stance on many issues including transracial adoption. The practice of transracial adoption was severely challenged in 1972. At the national conference of the North American Council on Adoptable Children, the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) issued a formal position opposing transracial adoption, citing concerns that such placements compromised the child's racial and cultural identity, amounting to a form of cultural genocide. The NABSW expressed concern that black children raised in white homes would fail to develop effective coping strategies to deal with racism and discrimination, and would experience subsequent identity conflicts, as they grew older. The NABSW also challenged traditional adoption...
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