Debunked, the Myth That Black Children Need Black Parents

By Doughty, Steve | Daily Mail (London), August 27, 2001 | Go to article overview

Debunked, the Myth That Black Children Need Black Parents


Doughty, Steve, Daily Mail (London)


Byline: STEVE DOUGHTY

BLACK children do not suffer from being adopted by white parents, research suggests.

Despite years of insistence by social workers that black children should where possible not grow up with white parents, in practice racial differences have no bearing on how well the child grows up.

What matters is the relationship between the child and the parents who adopt it, a study found.

Children of the same race are just as likely to reject adoptive parents as children of a different race.

The findings are a major challenge to the assumptions that have become the orthodoxy of the adoption system in Britain. For years it has been made difficult for white couples to adopt black children in need of a loving home.

Despite promises by the Government to end political correctness in the adoption system, social workers still strive to find exact racial matches for children in care. They are instructed that transracial adoptions must remain 'exceptional'.

However, such guidance reflects the preoccupations of social workers rather than the realities of raising a child, the study by Dr Amanda Baden suggests.

It shows children are unaffected by whether they were brought up in a black or white culture.

Dr Baden examined the lives of 51 American adults who had been brought up by parents of a different race.

In the U.S., as in Britain, most such adoptions involve black children growing up with white parents.

Social workers have opposed transracial adoption on the grounds that it deprives black children of knowledge of black culture.

Dr Baden told the American Psychological Association, however, that most of the research on which social services thinking is based had been carried out on children.

If black children suffered doubts about their identity, it only started to happen when they were in their early teens, she said. Some black adopted children did adjust badly within the culture of their parents. …

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