Friday, March 26, 2010

Transracial Adoption

Recently I have been researching transracial adoption for Gladney's website. It is an extremely interesting subject because people are very divided over the issue. Some argue that children adopted transracially miss out on learning about and experiencing their culture and heritage. Others argue that children adopted transracially have a loving family and welcoming home, something they might not have received had they been forced to wait in foster care to be adopted by a family of the same race.

An interesting story on transracial adoption, "Transracial Adoptions in Oklahoma Mean Rewards and Challenges" features some of Gladney's own speaking out on behalf of transracial adoption. Intern Allie Reed also found some interesting articles that provide pros and cons to adoption, as well as tips for families that are transracial.

Below are some interesting things I have learned through my research on the issue:

The first recorded adoption of an African-American child by a white family took place in Minnesota in 1948.

Sorry, I am a history major so I had to throw in at least one historical fact! Now on to more interesting things:

The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 treats all Native American lands as if they were separate countries within the United States. As a result, in most cases the consent of the birthparents alone is not enough to adopt a child—you must also obtain the consent of the tribe.

In 1994 and again in 1996, the federal government passed laws that forbade racial consideration as the sole reason to deny a prospective adopter a chance to adopt a child of another race.

Reserch has shown that children adopted transracially have a strong self-esteem and a positive sense of their identity. However, adoptee Phil Bertelsen made a documentary about his experience growing up in a multi-racial family and his search for where he belonged.

All in all, both sides of the debate have valid points on the part of transracial adoption. Take a look at some of the articles and think about it. Transracial adoption is clearly not going away and neither is the debate.

Lauren

2 comments:

  1. The debate of transracial adoption is interesting but I think if we just look at the numbers especially for transracial adoptions involving African American children there should be little debate. The rate at which AA children are going into foster care is higher than the rate of AA people adopting so transracial adoption is a necessity unless we think letting children stay in foster care until that age out is a good thing. I think we all agree it is not.

    So instead of debating it I think we should try and improve transracial adoption and support those who have.

    I am a transracial adoptee and there are some very vital things we need to do to be sure the child is raised in a way where their culture is included, respected, and honored.

    I have loads of ideas.

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