Adopting and Advocating for the Special Needs Child: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

By L. Anne Babb; Rita Laws | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10 Transracial Adoption

We feel and act like any other normal everyday family, so we keep
forgetting that we don't look like one.

-- Timothy Laws-Rodriguez, age 12

Triansracial adoption is one of the most controversial issues in adoption, second, perhaps, only to the open adoption records debate. There is no single take on this issue that satisfies all of the people all of the time. This chapter offers both an overview of the issue, and a practical how-to for parents who have already or who are now adopting transracially. Specifically, the chapter is divided into these sections: the history and the controversy, and what adoptive parents need to know.

Transracial adoption is the adoption of a child of a race different from the adoptive parent. In America, this almost always means Caucasians adopting minority-race children. Adult members of minority groups are seldom encouraged to adopt transracially. This one-way transracial adoption exists partly because a disproportionately high number of minority race children are waiting to be adopted. However, racism is also undoubtedly to blame for the lack of transracial adoptions involving the adoption of Caucasian children by minority race parents. Some of the same agency workers who allow Caucasians to adopt children of color, hesitate to allow Caucasian children to be adopted into minority communities by adults of color.

Transracial adoption, in principle, is allowed only when waiting children do not have access to same-race placements, however the supply-and-demand Principle found in economics is also a factor. There is a much larger supply of young at-risk mildly disabled children and small sibling groups of color, than

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