Many adoptions are being taken place in America today. These
adoptions are not always of the same race, transracial adoption is very
popular among eager couples who are willing to adopt. Transracial adoption
is the adoption of a child of one race by a couple of another race.
Adopting children from different races has brought up many controversies
and the government has had to step in. There are mixed views on the case
of transracial adoption, some believe it is culturally damaging to the
child while others believe there is nothing wrong with it. The primary goal
of adoption officials must be to place the child into a home as quickly as
possible which will, in turn, minimize the effects that it will have on the
child , whether it be a white or black family that it is adopted by. There
is nothing wrong with transracial adoption a child can be loved by anyone
who is willing to love it because love is colorblind.
There are many minority children who are without permanent homes in
the United States, crossing the color bar is frowned upon by many people.
The debate over transracial adoption is whether or not it is in the best
interest of the child. The problem in today's society is that foster care
is preferred over transracial adoption. The reason being the children and
youth services would rather put a black child in foster homes of that race
instead of letting a white couple adopt it because they are white. They
believe that putting a black child in white family would culturally damage
that child, that they would grow up not knowing their heritage. They
believe that a parent of a different race is not as equipped to educate a
child about issues of their racial identity(McNair 1). They do not
realize putting a child through years of moving from foster home to foster
home would damage them because they would have no sense of family or love.
Letting the white couple who are willing to adopt the child would be in the
best interest of the child because they would give it a home, family and
love. Transracial adoption has a long history with many controversies.
Beginning in 1968, a law was passed permitting families to adopt outside of
their race. In 1972, an almost unknown black nationalist group called the
National Association of Black Social Workers became famous when they spoke
out against the practice of transracial adoption. They branded this type
of practice was "cultural genocide"(Republic 6). Even though the law
passed in 1968 was never changed, in only one year the number of
transracial adoptions was cut in half to 1,569. By 1975, it had been
drastically cut down again to only 800 (6). Another law regarding
transracial adoption was passed in 1980 stating that the Department of
Health and Human Services is required to monitor adoptable foster care
children every six, twelve, and eighteen months. However this practice is
never enforced(6). We realize that the government has recognized that this
is problem and in 1994 President Clinton passed the Multiethnic Placement
The Multiethnic Placement Act(MEPA) was proposed by Senator Howard
Metzenbaum, it was designed for many reasons. For one is was to prevent
discrimination in the placement of children on the basis of race, color of
natural origin(Multi 1). It stated that any agency that uses race as a
factor in deciding adoptive placements would be denied federal
financing(Republic 6). The major goal of the act was to increase the
number of children adopted because too many children were waiting too long.
A recent study revealed that in a three month period in New York City 262
children were legally adopted, out of those more than fifty percent had
lived in foster care for at least six years(Christ 2). Many of those
children were held back from being adopted because of racial considerations.
How can one hold a child for that long in foster care when there are
willing parents ready to adopt. Consider four couples who were willing to
adopt four black children who have spent time in the foster care system:
one a ten year old boy with severe learning disabilities, a two year old
girl with fetal alcohol system, a mildly retarded three year old boy with
cerebral palsy and a four year old boy who is one fourth black who was born
drug affected and was sexually abused. Each of the four couples who were
willing to adopt these children of their dreams were denied adoption
permission because they were white(Christ 1). It doesn't matter if the
parents are of a different race because studies have showed that children
raised by parents of different race have had normal culturally aware lives.
Sandra Illionga, a black woman who was adopted by a white family waited ten
years before being adopted she states "What were they doing during those
ten years growing my ideal black family from scratch"(Christ 2). So we see
these children who wait are put through a lot of stress from moving around
to foster homes. The government has realized that there was a problem
that is why they passed the MEPA act. MEPA will help by preventing
discrimination that can cause delays in or denial of adoptive placements
due to race or color.
Today there is split opinion on the adoption of children by a
couple of a different race. Many people are beginning to realize that
color doesn't matter. There are many organizations out there that support
transracial adoption and are helping with adoptions whether they are
transracial or not. One organization Americans for African Adoption was
started and is also run by Cheryl Shott. She herself is a mother of three
adopted African children. As of 1992 her agency has placed eighteen
children from Africa and one from Afghanistan with white families in the
United States(Vogue 12). Along with these supportive agencies the
communities and churches are give their support to transracial adoption.
The younger generations are more apt to be willing to adopt out of race
because they are the younger generation, they have experienced today's
society where interracial couples are becoming more frequent. Less support
is seen among the older generations than the younger ones.
The reason there are so many transracial adoptions today is because
of the abundance of white couples seeking to adopt and their isn't enough
white children for them to adopt. These couples are willing to adopt a
child of different race since the abundance ...
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