5 thoughts on “Do you believe that interracial adoptions should be allowed?

  1. It’s great if you want to make a child who’s already had to adjust to a new life even harder, because the world is not color blind, and transracial adoption isn’t going to change that. Who has to bear the brunt of this wishful thinking? The child. And race is also tied to assumptions about culture. And is the other race parent really going to be able to pass the child the necessary skills to deal with that disconnect and lack of cultural knowledge? Poorly at best.

    What is the motivation of adopting transracially? Because they’re cute babies? Because the adoptive parents are fascinated with other cultures? Does this have anything to do with what’s best for the child?

    Being a transracial adoptee was not a wonderful thing. It was a world of tension, ridicule, not matching anyone, not belonging anywhere, and somewhat disturbing to be a walking billboard for my parents’ charity. Being a transracial adoptee means always having to explain your situation. Being a transracial adoptee means being sentenced to forever being reminded you were obtained unnaturally. Being a transracial adoptee means having to tell yourself, “I was chosen. I was chosen. I was chosen,” every time you’re feeling pain. That’s just the harsh truth, whether you love your parents or not. It’s unnecessary and avoidable. Racial matching is not being racist – it’s being kind to the child.

    Yes it can be done. But it’s a messed up thing to do. It was especially hard for my African American adoptee friends separated from that strong and vibrant culture: there is no substitution for that. To be an oreo is to be culturally killed and cut off from everyone who looks like you, but you still have to pay for your skin color.

    People just don’t think. THEY just want to feel good about what THEY want to do to make the world better. Children should not be the social experiments of privileged Utopian fantasies.

  2. What I find interesting about the “race” question is that it hides the “class” question, meaning, in the U.S. we are not allowed to discuss race and/or class in any significant way. Discussing both race and class would go very far to poke holes in the arguments in favor of transracial adoption, as much as an economic and political argumentation of this institution would go far to break it down as just another means of class transference from the Have Nots to the Haves.

    The nuns at my orphanage here in Beirut told us that they would segregate children based on skin color; darker babies went to America. At least Europeans are honest in their racism, instead of trying to hide behind ridiculous ideas and ideals of colorblindness. The history of the United States is a history of racism pure and simple; transracial adoptees, as stated above, should not become the bogus proof of the idealized absence of such racism in American society.

  3. Inter-ethnic adoptions should be more encouraged as opposed to “interracial” adoptions, I think. Ultimately, in my view, adoption should be a last resort for a child whose family is experiencing some kind of distress or tragedy. But if an adoption is the only recourse for the survival of the child, then it should be as open and transparent as possible, and an exclusive option within the child’s own immediate or extended family, or ethnicity, or nation. Continuity of family relations and affirmation of identity through those relations should be of utmost importance to further a more healthy development in the child.

    To this day, the word “interracial adoption” describes a coerced transference of power from ‘heathen’ to ‘Savior’. The dynamic that’s been instituted by the supporters and enforcers of interracial adoption come from the near universal assumption within their heads that the child’s birth parents and community are irreparably damaged and/or diseased, so the only “right” thing to do is to sever ties between the child and his/her relatives and place the child with an economically well-off and ideally nuclear hetero-normative family.

    Such a forced transition from the familiar to the foreign robs children of their birthright, as well as a more secure sense of being in this world.

  4. I’m coming back to this question (I’m coming back to a lot of our old questions) because it seems to be asking in a sidelong manner “Are you a reverse racist?”

    And we are thereby forced to answer the question assuming that adoption is a given, and a beneficence, and we are explaining (yet again) why we want to “keep the children institutionalized/without families/etc.”

    I’d like to ask a (rhetorical) question of adoptive parents: Would you support the abolishment of the local property tax–based allotment of funding to public schools if it meant an across-the-board improvement of schools statewide? And even if it meant some “giving up” for your children so that other children might “have” in the first place?

    I believe there is only one state that currently provides for such equality via state-based funding of education.

  5. Since Daniel points out how a failure to discuss class masks/creates a failure to discuss race, along with the charge of reverse racism comes a charge of “reverse classism,” which so far as I know doesn’t generally have a name, except in the variations on “so you want the child to starve to death?”

    The implicit part exposed by this involves the premise–fundamental one in industrialized capitalism–that money (affluence, wealth, or to quote American Express, “membership has its privileges”) provides a valid, to say nothing of adequate, substitute for community (or “tribe”).

    Without this doxa, it becomes incoherent to insist that total cultural dispossession can be offset by some sort of material well-being (never mind all of the cultural baggage and shit that comes with that territory).

    And because most (white) people who adopt have the anti-culture of capitalism as their backdrop (if not also their background), then they cannot even grasp what they are taking from a child, seeing only the “lack” or “poverty” or “squalor” or “privation” and the like.

    It’s no wonder this has become central to the US experience (“anti-culture”) because the original colonizers (i.e., non-Native Americans) and numerous subsequent waves of immigration presuppose (even when in relatively mass numbers) the (usually violent) severing of ties with “tribe” or “community” and the attempt in the New World to make it on your own, by making money.

    Even now, I could see how I would plausibly ask my adoptive parents, “What made you think that providing well for my mere material well-being could substitute for community, that your love in and of itself could suffice?”

Adoptees, what do you think? We welcome your replies!

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