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Interracial Adopting

By cssmallwood Apr 11, 2013 1575 Words
White Mother, Black Child
In an ideal society there would be no need for adoption, because all children would be born into situations where their parents could provide loving homes and keep them forever. There are a variety of reasons why people adopt. Their reason may be to help a child who is in the system and hopefully give them a better life. Many children are forced to live with grandparents or extended family because their parents are not able to care for them. The practice of adopting may not be for everyone. The process is long and other factors deter people from adopting. Adopting a child of a different race increases the deterrence of people wanting to adopt. Interracial adoption is becoming very prevalent. The practice has been controversial, with some groups arguing it’s culturally destructive for a child to grow up with parents of another ethnicity. The child’s well being should be the greatest priority. This practice has had a great effect on the United States. These actions date back to 1945. Since then, groups and organizations were formed to give their viewpoint on the subject. The government has even intervened multiple times. The” Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case made laws prohibiting transracial adoption declaring it unconstitutional” (Herman) .The decision to adopt transracially has been campaigned and encouraged white families to adopt African American children in the 1950’s. This allowed the child to be influenced by factors that were not race related and also gave parents the opportunity to introduce the child’s culture to them. Adopting has the ability to give the foster child a better way of life, which will make them extremely appreciative. Ethnicity should not be a consideration when matching adoptive parents with children needing homes. The well being of the child is most important. The first few years of a child's life plays a great role. They form a base for a good education, self discipline, and social skills. In a foster care system children may not receive the individual attention that is needed. A one on one relationship is not accessible. “More than 500,000 children are in foster care in the United States. Most of these children have been the victims of repeated abuse and prolonged neglect and have not experienced a nurturing, stable environment during the early years of life” (AAP Policy). Proper rearing shows to improve a child’s chances of reaching his or her full potential. Adopted children are more likely to receive a good education and have access to resources that are more attainable. However, children who aren’t infants or toddlers are less likely to be adopted. The reason for this is most people want to nurture and have the full effect of the child’s upbringing. The children who are left behind can stay in the system and may remain there until they turn 18. At this point in their life they are put into the real world with minimum experience and resources. A child who’s been adopted is given more attention and chances of success are heightened. Also being adopted will give children financial support that they wouldn’t ordinarily have for schooling or extracurricular activities. The average child or teenager faces many challenges in life. And foster kids have even more to deal with. Many of them tend to be emotionally hurt and distressed. Being in the system doesn’t allow children to get attached and express feelings. This can cause many problems as they grow up. It can disrupt maturity, communication skills, and human interaction. Children with attachment disorders don’t have the ability to trust and love, so they often grow up to take their rage and pain out on society. Children are put into foster care as a result of society's concern for their well-being. The entire time spent by a child in a momentary care system should be therapeutic but may be harmful to the child's growth, and development. Repeatedly moving from home to home causes stress and challenges the child's ability to cope. With these emotional complications, children would be extremely thankful to have a stable home and a loving parent to adopt them. There’s commonly a surprise among the public when a local and well known white family adopts a black child, some debate will be present. Some cities Department of Human Services make an effort to encourage interracial adoption. Although race is not overlooked when adopting, over the last few years it’s become a secondary factor."We don't really say that you have to be a certain race," said Cheryl Ransom-Garner, the DHS commissioner. "You just have to have love in your heart and to want to care for children who come from a traumatized situation."(Bunch) A good amount of children are adopted each year. Within this good amount there’s an extreme minimum amount of Races adopting an ethnicity different from their own. Numbers continuously show that it’s easier to place white children up for adoption than children of another ethnicity. In 1994 Congress passed federal laws based around adopting. There purpose was to encourage more interracial adoption. Even with a great number of supporters and legal action the practice is still controversial. The National Association of Black Social Workers - argue that it's culturally destructive for a black child to grow up in a white household. This should not be the main focus when attempting to get needy children a stable home they can prosper in. In reality the adopted child whose parents are a different race than theirs will face challenges. The Donaldson Adoption Institute focuses on improving adopting policies. Children will have a hard time being accepted by their peers, communities, and even their parents. This organization specializes in cultural education for adopting parents who adopt interracially. They encourage self esteem in children and teach them how to defend themselves concerning racism. The parents’ role is to promote interaction with the race of the adopted child. People who decide to adopt transracially should be prepared to have the proper cultural sensitivity. Also need the training to assist their child cope in their community. Simply, a parent can handle the situation better if they make an effort to understand the child’s necessities and be aware of racial discrimination. The worst thing is for a parent to be oblivious to a child’s natural needs and ignores racial conflict. Testimonies from people who have adopted interracially give firsthand accounts of the lifestyle. A white family by the name of the “Perrins” adopted two African-American children. Hannah a six year old girl, and Charlie whose seventeen months old. The family sais they’ve never heard racist comments about their family. "The only time was in Chicago," says Laura, (the mother)"This Caucasian man walked by and said, 'You should stick to your own kind.'" The mother said. The family keeps culture in their children by decorating their house with African art and seeking out African-American role models. "Hannah just discovered that she's different," says Laura. Hannah made a statement about her skin color. When this happened the Perrins informed their children about their background. Brenda, a mother living in Vancouver who adopted an African American child, sais “When he walks into a room, he is with two white parents. I must be aware of that, yet not let it run our lives. I'm always on the lookout to make sure he is not in situations that are overtly racist. The challenge is to do that while encouraging him to be a kid." These testimonies show that there are challenges when adopting interracially but it is possible. African American children are not the only race being neglected. Native American, Asian, Latino and Spanish groups also are greatly affected. Families choosing to adopt a child of a different background are encouraged to learn about their child’s traditions, including cultural foods and celebrations. For example Parents adopting a child of Spanish decent may want to learn to speak Spanish and rear that child in a bilingual home. Families also may join playgroups or other organizations that will allow the child to interact with people of their ethnicity. These groups could be found at church or other religious organizations. If you know of any other children the same as your child, play dates are an appropriate way to expose race. Interracial adopting may seem discouraging but it’s greatly needed. Many organizations and laws have been made to allow this to happen. The American Adoptions agency promotes interracial adopting by reducing the cost and shortening the waiting period. The experience can be easier and more enjoyable by allowing the children to interact with other people and children of the child's ethnicity. Teaching by Reading books or watching television shows about the child's culture. Consider taking a foreign language to learn the child's native language. Having them exposed to many and all races. Finding mentors and role models of the same ethnicity so they have confidence in their identity. And cook ethnic dishes from the child’s culture. The most important thing to do is to confront racism; by not doing this the child could become insecure about themselves. As the child grows up, parents should be ready to answer questions their child will have concerning their ethnicity and identity. A child adopted by someone of another race may be the best thing for today’s society. Children will grow up aware of cultural differences and gain a tolerance for others customs.

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