Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Adoptions of Color

With over 500,000 (mostlyblack) kids in the American foster system, I applaud anyone who will step up to care for America's unwanted children. This number don't even count for the millions of African kids orphaned by aids. Are the middle and upper middle class African American families simply ignoring this crisis? Are we investing more into our pricey life styles of sports utilities, flat screen tvs and fashion to even care for one of our own?

It is heart breaking when I hear that other cultures have to adopt our kids because so few of us are willing to do so. Madonna and Angelina should not have had to adopt their black kids if African Americans enjoying the American dream were paying more attention to this matter.

The first thing we have to do is to change the way we think about the topic. It is amazing how much of a taboo topic it is in our community. How can someone think that they can't love a child that they didn't carry for 9 months? Not only is that heartless but also not true. We love people all the time who didn't come out of our bodies. We love our spouses, friends, nieces, nephews and so on.

I don't pretend to be perfect in this area because I have not adopted myself but it is something that I plan on doing in the near future. I am just curious to know what others out there think of this matter.


Anonymous said...

This area is a sticky one for me, because I have seen the negative side of "color" adoption and it "AIN'T" pretty. The situations that I have seen involve women who don't know what Love is. They know they can't pay the bills, or are addicted to some form of narcotic (be it over the counter, prescribed or dealt from the street) or looking for something, but they can't (sometimes won't) take care of the child. Unfortunately the child ends up in the system. Because of the history between African Americans and Caucasians, I have mixed views on this. I see alot "color" adoptions and it bothers me a great deal. The children are usually unkempt (in terms of hair, dry skin, chapped lips). If one pays to have the car detailed, buys a coat for the dog (along with a haircut and nail polish for the poodle), researches these purchases before they are made (in regards to the type of car and type of dog) then it seems that adopting from another culture should be viewed in some similar manner. RESEARCH should take place to say....hmm How do I take care of this child's hair, skin, etc. I hear the love thing often, but I have dealt with the children in some of these scenarios and "Love" is not enough,it does affect them. An educated adoption with an understanding that I am going to love this child, nurture this child and learn about the culture of this child is different, instead of the excuse or nonchalance encountered. that I have heard often. The employees in some agencies do not view the children as important either. Easy to adopt no one is interested in them, etc. NOT TRUE!! Also alot of agencies deliberately do not post in African American communities, etc. It's the latest "TREND." Sad. There is a story featured in one of the television news magazines (ie, 48 hours, 60 minutes, etc.) about this very thing. It was featured in 2006 I believe and shared the experience of an African American doctor who was adopted. She echoes what I frequently see. Let me end this. Sleep deprivation has made me continue longer than what I should have. Thank you.


CiBilla said...

Sleep does a body good!

To amend my original ramblings. If adoption is done with an

1) acknowledgment/awareness of the cultural difference

2) a learning of this culture by parents who in turn teach the child about his/her culture

Then it's a wonderful thing. More power to anyone seeking to enrich the life of another, especially children. Unfortunately I have seen too much of the other side and this type of arrogance is deplorable across the board (be it same culture or different culture adoption).