Should White People Transracially Adopt?
I get asked this question at least once a week. I want to say "of course! Race shouldn't matter at all! It's all about love and family!" But being black adopted into a white family, and frankly just being black and living on this earth, I know that answer isn't realistic. Every time I am asked this question though, I struggle to answer it. I've met other adoptees who straight up say "no. white people should not adopted transracially, period". Then there are the people who aren't adopted at all, know nothing about adoption, but want to throw in their input anyways, but nobody asked them. For me, I'm kind of torn. On one hand, I believe anyone that has the capability and desire to adopt, should adopt, and that the race of the baby you get, shouldn't be a factor. But on the other hand, the black hand. The hand of the transracial adoptee, I know that there are a lot of white people who adopt children of color for the wrong reasons, amaking it really hard to root for white adoptive parents. Over my 25 years of life, I've come across various types of WAPs (white adoptive parents), that make me question if white people should be allowed to adopt across racial lines.
First, you have the naive white people. The colorblind ones. If you haven't read my piece on why color blindness is complete bullshit, I suggest you do so. These white folks, are the ones who adopt kids with the mindset that race doesn't matter. Sounds great, but it isn't. They believe that their love is strong enough to move mountains and shield racism. Their love is a force-field. When their black child get called a n*gger, they won't be effected, because that love is just so strong racism can't rock on their block. While their ignorance is adorable to someone that ain't me. It's not reality, and it's harmful for the adoptee. I think the majority of white adopted parents have this mindset, whether they mean to or not. Honestly, it's understandable why you may believe this is the best mindset to have, but being colorblind just contributes to the erasure and oppression of pocs.
Next, you have the Creepy Fetish parents. The parents who fetishize pocs or mixed families. These parents are usually self proclaimed allies who think that the cure to racism is mixed babies/families. So they adopted children of color to stroke their own fragile ego. It's as gross as it sounds. Unfortunately, I know more parents like this than I care to admit. I don't want parents like being allowed to adopt any child, let alone children of color. Adoptees are not here to be your tokens.
We also have the White Savior Parents. Similar to the Creepy Fetish parents, these are parents who adopt pocs as a charity case. These are the parents who tear up at those"One penny could feed the ugly dark baby in Africa" ads. So they run out to adopt as many poor brown kids as they can to save the world and give themselves a pat on the back. I don't think I need to explain much why this is extremely gross and problematic. The short version is that, these parents view us as property, not people. And...well we know how that turned out last time.
Lastly, there are the racist parents. Seems ironic right? Well, they exist. A little too commonly for comfort, in fact. There are a lot of WAP who are racist, yet adopt or foster children of color. Some do it for money, some do it for the power dynamic, some take pride in being the authoritative white person over a brown child, some may actually believe they're not racist. Regardless of their logic, they are racist. Madonna is someone who falls into this category. For me, at least. I wrote a piece about her and why she shouldn't be able to adopt. Basically she has a long history of racism and anti-blackness. She's literally called her son "my nigga" on her public Instagram, yet she was allowed to adopted two more black children. Disgusting. Her and other parents like her, get some sick thrill out of being racist well essentially "owning" pocs. It's so disturbing, but at least her kids will be able to afford therapy.
Now, I said I was torn about this question. Meaning, although I am always reminded of reasons why white people shouldn't adopt across racial lines, I am logical enough to see positive reasons. The main one being, people need homes. There are way too many children in the adoption and foster care system, they need homes. I do really believe that if you can adopt and want to, then you should. There's also the fact that statistically speaking, it's primarily white people who are able to afford adoptions, will pass all the requirements, and will get placement. Furthermore, the amount of children of color surpasses the amount of white babies up for adoption. Partially because of just pure population numbers, but also because white, blue-eyed babies are in high demand, and brown babies, especially black ones, are not. I say all that to say, if you're wanting to adopt, white or not, chances are you're going to end up with a non white child.
The question then becomes, if you're ready to adopt and only brown kids are available, should white parents just say no to a child who deserves a home due to skin color? Honestly, my answer is yes...depending on a few things. If you are one of the parents I listed above, I absolutely would rather that child grow up in the system alone, than to be with a shitty creepy family. Other aspect to consider is how willing WAP are willing to work to make change. I say this all the time, I don't expect WAPs to know everything about raising children of color. I really don't, but you're willing to learn and make changes, does matter. If you're stubborn to admitting racism exists, that white privilege is a thing, that you need to make your family multicultural, then don't adopt us. You're not doing us any favors, or going to be providing a safe or stable home for children of color. However, if you're "woke", you understand your place, your role, and you have a willingness and determination to make your home the best safe place for your brown child that you can, then go ahead and adopt. I wished we lived in a better world that i wouldn't even have to think about answering this question, but unfortunately we're not. Bottom line is be open minded and have a deterimination to create change.
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