Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Black Parents Adopting White Children

We're used to the opposite, but The Grio reports on black parents adopting white children:
Mary Riley knows what some people have to say when they see her and her boys. But, the 68-year-old Georgia resident says simply: "I pay no mind to that."

The stares, the occasional negative comments and the questions are a fact of life, she acknowledges, for as long as she raises them.

Riley, 68, is black and her three sons -- Austin, Dustyn and Justyn -- are white.

* * *

Most transracial adoptions involve white parents adopting black children and the controversy surrounding that isn't new. However, despite this influx of transracial adoptions, the number of black families adopting outside of their race is almost unheard of -- in some opinions, rightfully so.

The issue is thorny for different reasons. Chief among them is the argument that with a disproportionate number of black children available for adoption, there is no reason for a black person to adopt a child outside of his or her race.

* * *

When Riley first got the boys they were 5-, 7- and 9-years-old. Two years into her new role as a foster parent, the courts terminated parental rights of the boys' biological mother and father.

Without a parent or guardian to claim them, the boys would be shuttled back into government care where they would join the more than 400,000 children in the foster system -- with 107,000 of them waiting for adoption.

"I didn't always think about adopting, but when I got these boys I fell in love with them and got attached to them," she says. "I couldn't let them go, and I was afraid they were going to get separated from each other."

Bethany Christian Services, one of the largest adoptions agencies in the country, arranged the adoption for Riley. It finalized in April 2010.

Snarky remarks and curious reactions were not enough of a deterrent for Riley who says she would do it again in a heartbeat.

"Sometimes people stare at us and ask questions," Riley says. "But, I accept these boys and they accept us, so I ain't worried about anybody else."
In my travel group to China to adopt Maya, there was a hispanic couple.  Someone in the group asked me, sotto voce, "Why don't they just adopt a hispanic child?"  Hmmm, why is it strange that they are adopting outside their race and not so strange that the rest of us, the WHITE rest of us, were? The unspoken assumption was that there were plenty of hispanic children available for adoption, and that for most, including the speaker, transracial adoption is a second-best option, an option of last resort. From the child's perspective, that is often so.  But coming from a transracially adopting parent?!  Yikes!

5 comments:

Linda said...

Why is ANY 68 year old allowed to adopt ANY kid? That is just flat out insanity, no matter what the 68 year old's race.

Anne said...

When I worked for CPS, I had a black foster parent who adopted a white child. This child was older, about 9 or 10. She had been severely sexually abused and sexually acted out with her sister to the point that the two had to be placed in separate homes for the younger child's protection. If the foster parent had not adopted her, the likelihood is that she would never have been adopted.

cookingbabycook said...

I have been going to class about adoption and fostering children I still want to do this I feel that god has put this on my heart I think the only thing I am a little scared about because we are a black family and the Little girl that I want is white so if any one can help me in what books I need to read it would help a lot thanks

Padres said...

I am a black man, and my (Hispanic) partner and I adopted a baby who was *biracial*, but came out with blonde hair, blue eyes, and Caucasian features. If we didn't know her black birthmom, we would not have believed it. It was a leap of faith, and strange dealing with people's opinions, but this child needed us and the life she would have had would have been unbearable. She is completely our daughter now.

What if said...

I'm a black man who is seeking to adopt a white female and I have prayed about it and my only answer so far is if it's God will