Should Black Children Only Be Adopted by Black Parents? No, above All Else, a Child Needs a Loving, Permanent Home

By Johnson, Gordon | Ebony, September 2008 | Go to article overview

Should Black Children Only Be Adopted by Black Parents? No, above All Else, a Child Needs a Loving, Permanent Home


Johnson, Gordon, Ebony


Over the past 48 years, in numerous states and from my first job as a Cottage Parent at a juvenile justice facility to my current work as president and CEO of Neighbor To Family, Inc., I have worked with tens of thousands of abused, neglected and abandoned African-American children. And I have seen many of them made whole again through the care provided by Black, White and mixed-race adoptive parents.

Above all else, I believe that a child needs a loving, permanent home where he or she can be nurtured and guided to a responsible adult life. I have never seen any evidence--through my own experience or in the research--that suggests that any particular racial or ethnic group has a corner on those qualities that make for a good, loving parent.

That said, when conditions warranted foster care or adoption, I have always endeavored to keep children within their own family and/or neighborhood culture. Foster care and adoption, even in the best of circumstances, is a traumatic, disruptive event; the more we can do to minimize the trauma, the better the child's chances for a bright future.

But we also know the hard reality that African-American children are disproportionately represented in the foster care system, and that they languish longer in a pre-adoption limbo. When I became deputy director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in 1979, the state was confronted with a crisis of unprecedented scale. More than 700 Chicago-area Black children waited while the agency was unable to find adoptive parents.

As we struggled for solutions, my boss and I approached Father George Clements, a Black Chicago priest. Clements' adoption in 1981 of a 13-year-old boy who had been a longtime resident of an orphanage drew worldwide attention to the fact that Black children were trapped in the foster care system for inordinately long periods. From those meetings came the One Church One Child program, a plan to use the pastors of African-American churches as spokespersons to reach the community. The goal was for every Black church to identify and recruit potential adoptive parents.

Along the way we had to change negative attitudes, both in the Black community, which had grown to distrust the state agency, and among my staff. I found that my veteran staff members could be especially reticent to change long-held practices. They often appeared to prefer keeping waiting children in long-term foster care rather than looking more broadly for loving adoptive families.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Should Black Children Only Be Adopted by Black Parents? No, above All Else, a Child Needs a Loving, Permanent Home
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.