Considering race in adoption: Does it matter?

Filed under: Adoption, In The News, Going Green, Resources

When considering adoption, how much thought or emphasis is placed on race? Well, that may have very much to do with the family planning on doing the adopting. To the adoption agencies who are supposed to be color blind because of a federal law, however, things may be about to change. A recent report on the subject, however, claims that downplaying race during adoption--as these agencies are instructed to do--ultimately underserves the children being adopted.

The report studied a decade of material concerning children of color adopted into white households. Among the findings were that white parents were not prepared for future challenges of raising a child of a different race, and that both social workers and state agencies were afraid to even bring up the subject of race with prospective adoptive parents.

The report is strongly suggesting the federal law, known as the Multiethnic Placement Act, be changed to allow agencies receiving federal funding to consider race and culture when choosing parents for foster care. According to one interviewee, Shannon Gibney--who seems to have put it best--"...you can't just say we're all human or love will be enough." The downside of letting race play a role in adoption? In the eyes and experience of some, foster children wait longer for adoption. This is sure to be a controversial topic setting the Internet from abuzz to aflame. Your thoughts? Especially if you've adopted a child of a different race or culture, I'd love to hear about your experience. Is the law a help or a hindrance--or does it even matter?

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