Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Black Girl, Light World VII: Interracial Adoption




The thing is… adopting children from Africa *is* a fad in America, usually by White people. And my question would be “If, on the whole, White Americans cared about Black children that need families, why aren’t they adopting Black American children, the least likely children of all in America to be adopted?” This is not to say that you don’t care; what you told anonymous is true for me too, I don’t know you. But I think one of the reason that question was asked is because there is a lot of concern with Black children being adopted by White Americans, with good reason. Even well-meaning White parents cannot prepare their Black children for what it means to be Black in America. And often times those well-meaning parents have not dealt with the racism/prejudice/etc. in their own lives—that every American inherits if they don’t make a completely conscious, committed, and thorough effort to counter—before embarking on this venture, and that’s why they go so far away to adopt Black children. There is still a stigma on black people, especially African Americans.
I am not denying that many people feel a calling to certain area or people in that area, and from what I’ve read of your blog, East Africa seems to be that place for you. But as someone who cares, a better way to respond to anonymous’ question would be to address those concerns: yes, you understand that many people still have prejudicial ideas and they pass them on to their children, and anyone adopting children outside of their race needs to be extremely conscious of that *in themselves* and be ready to deal with whatever comes up, even if it touches on their own reasons for adoption, before/while they go ahead with this choice.
(Honestly anyone who is going to be a parent needs to be doing this, no matter their race or ethnicity, but the effects are exacerbated by interracial adoption and that’s a whole other blog post.)