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Most people would agree that the family context is vitally important for a child’s spiritual, emotional, moral, relational, and social development.  The Greeks coined a term eudaimonia which means well-being.  The family fosters the well-being or the flourishing of children.  And society benefits from children who are raised in the family context – a child’s first social and educational environment.  It’s in the family that children learn gender roles, conflict resolution, emotional management skills and what it means to be a community member.  If this is true, and I believe it is, why the fuss on white couples adopting black kids or white families adopting Asian kids or why the fuss over cross ethnic and cross racial adoptions?  I can think of a couple of reasons.  One, whites might be accused of acting like the “messiah.”  Some have said the white messiah complex is portrayed in the film, “The Blind Side.”  A rich white couple ‘rescues’ a homeless black boy from the streets.  Second, Americans still have hang ups with race and ethnicity.  For example, blacks would argue that whites have no business raising black kids – because their cultures are polar opposite among other things.  It is odd for many Americans to see cross-ethnic and cross-racial adoptions because it does not fit our worldviews.  Generally, we don’t have a category for cross-racial and cross-ethnic families.  Do whites consider themselves the ‘savior’ of non-whites?  To be sure, there is some of this going on.  However, one thing the film “Blind Side” taught me was that kids flourish when they are raised in a functional family environment.  This does mean there will not be hiccups along the way but every child deserves and needs to be loved and the family provides that place of nurture.  Don’t we want this for all children? I wonder if there would be so much fuss if non-white couples adopted white kids or Asian kids, etc.?

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2 Comments

  1. As a white parent of two black children, I agree with you! However, I do know that trans-racial adoptions are complicated and that it isn’t a simple “for or against” issue. Things that muddy the waters:

    1.) The U.S. is in need of some drastic adoption reform. There is a lot of ugliness going on behind the scenes in both international and domestic adoptions. There are documented and substantiated human rights violations in China, India, Guatemala and Ethiopia (I’m sure other countries as well. These are the ones that I am most familiar with). In many cases adoptive parents are willing to pay substantial amounts of money in order to complete an adoption and bring a child into their family. Where there is money, there is corruption and children and their biological parents are vulnerable. Our #1 responsibility as human beings is to support natural families and keep them together. What circumstances are preventing a mother from caring for her child? What can we do to support her and the child and NOT disrupt their bond and family unit? Young pregnant women in the U.S. are still victims of coercion from certain agencies and adoptive parents. We do need to be protecting these women and helping them to parent when able.

    2.) Adoptive children have unique emotional needs. There is a “Primal Wound” that is caused when a child is separated from his or her birthmother (This is actually the title of a book worth reading). Children adopted by parents of a different ethnicity face even greater challenges. They will never just “blend in”. There are some really great adult adoptees that blog about the difficulties they had growing up as a minority living with white parents in an all-white community. We do need to recognize that this pain exists and take steps to protect our adoptive children so that they grow up healthy and strong. Here’s a blog that I recommend by an adult who was adopted trans-racially as a child : http://heartmindandseoul.typepad.com/weblog/

    I have a lot more to say about this but I’m going to have to save it for tomorrow 🙂 Sorry to drop a bunch of points and then not back them up! I promise that I will add some helpful links later. I’ll be without a computer tonight, though. Warning: I can talk about adoption, foster care, and race relations for hours on end! To be continued…

  2. Veggiewarrior is me–Suzanne G.! Wanna talk vegetarianism, too?!


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