Caution: Liberalism at work.
The same folks who proclaim to support a color-blind America are aggressively pushing to stop non-black families from adopting black children in the name of preserving their “culture.” They are peddling a study, trumpeted by the NYTimes, which purports to show that de-emphasizing race in the adoption process is hurting adoptees. The identity politics crowd would rather have minority children languish in foster homes than have them placed with loving families who put compassion above racial boxes:
Minority children in foster care are being ill-served by a federal law that plays down race and culture in adoptions, a report released on Tuesday said.
The report, based on an examination of the law’s impact over a decade, said that minority children adopted into white households face special challenges and that white parents need preparation and training for what might lie ahead.
But it found that social workers and state agencies fear litigation and stiff penalties under the law for even discussing race with adopting couples. As a result, families often do not get the counseling they need. It also found that states have ignored an aspect of the law that requires diligent recruitment of black parents.
The report recommends that the law — the Multiethnic Placement Act, which covers agencies receiving federal dollars and promotes a color-blind approach — be amended to permit agencies to consider race and culture as one of many factors when selecting parents for children from foster care.
The report was issued by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a nonprofit adoption advocacy and research organization based in New York. Several child welfare organizations — including the Child Welfare League of America, the Adoption Exchange Association, the National Association of Black Social Workers, Voice for Adoption and the Foster Care Alumni of America — have endorsed the report.
The report points out that transracial adoption itself does not produce psychological or other social problems in children, but that these children often face major challenges as the only person of color in an all-white environment, trying to cope with being different…
…The report comes as the current federal law and polices governing consideration of race in adoption are being examined by the United States Commission on Civil Rights. It seems certain to add to the often heated debate among social workers and the public about the proper role of race in adoption, which has gone on since white couples began adopting minority children in larger numbers in the 1970s.
Christine M. Calpin, associate commissioner at the Administration for Children and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services, had not seen the report, but she said the law had helped minority children in foster care find permanent homes.
“I have not seen any research which suggests that federal law has not been beneficial to minority children,” Ms. Calpin said. “We have seen what happens when race is allowed to be a consideration. Children are waiting longer in foster care to be adopted.”
Congress passed the Multiethnic Placement Act in 1994 after several white couples said they had not been provided the opportunity to adopt minority children. The law prohibits delaying or denying a child’s foster care or adoptive placement on the basis of race or nationality.
The original law did allow race to be used as one of many criteria for evaluating parents for adoption. But two years later, after white couples said they were still being denied the opportunity to adopt minority children, Congress passed an amendment that said race could not be used as a criterion.
Supporters of the current law say it has led to an increase in transracial adoptions and a decrease in the amount of time minority children spend in foster care before being adopted.
An examination by The New York Times of the 2000 census — the first in which information on adoptions was collected — showed that just over 16,000 white households included adopted black children. Data from the Department of Health and Human Services shows that the adoption of black children by white couples has gone up each year since 1998, to 26 percent in 2004 from 14 percent.
Those who support transracial adoptions counter that race-matching or trying to find parents from the child’s ethnic group can delay adoptions of minority children and that the practice should not be resurrected.
“The research simply argues against the broad notion that transracial adoption doesn’t work out for children,” said Rita Simon, a sociologist at American University who has written several books on transracial adoption and helped get the Mulitethnic Placement Act passed.
This single study now being waved around by the race tribalists flies in the face of decades of research. Nina Shokraii wrote a damning piece for Reason magazine several years ago on the poisonous consequences of racial preferences in adoption:
Social workers across the country have a long-held practice of preventing the adoption of minority children by different-race parents, calling interracial adoption “cultural genocide.” Since the infants and children involved don’t have lobbyists, their voices go unheard as they get shuffled from foster home to foster home. Meanwhile, the social workers search for homes that will supposedly promote these children’s “cultural awareness”never mind the other ingredients, such as love and stability, that make childhood and life fulfilling.
Interracial adoption began in the United States after World War II and increased considerably in the 1960s as a result of the civil rights movement, which brought much attention to the dilemma of minority children in foster care. But in 1972, the Detroit-based National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW), concerned about the rising rates of interracial adoption, released a statement asserting that “black children belong, physically, psychologically, and culturally in black families in order that they receive the total sense of themselves and develop a sound projection of their future.” The policy was adopted by the Child Welfare League of America the following year and applied to all nonwhite children.
In 1991, NABSW reaffirmed its position that “black children belong to black parents,” claiming that interracial adoptees not only lose their heritage and become prejudiced against blacks, but also are harmed because their white parents are unable to teach them the skills necessary to survive in a white, racist society. The paper states that even “the most sensitive, loving, and skilled white parent could not avoid doing irreparable harm to an African American child.” With that, NABSW made clear that the color of a child’s skin, not his or her need for love and stability, would dictate whether and where a child got a home. Today, the NABSW has modified its position, tolerating interracial adoption, but only as a last resort.
By definition, “last resort” means minority children will suffer delays or denials of adoptions where their white peers will not. There are an estimated 500,000 children in the foster care system. The Washington-based American Public Welfare Association says that 40 percent of all children awaiting placement in adoptive homes are black, though blacks represent only about 12.3 percent of the general population. Furthermore, 67 percent of families interested in adoption are white, while 31 percent are black. Despite efforts to recruit more black families who already adopt children at a higher rate than whites, it is impossible to find enough black families to keep up with the needs of the increasing numbers of black children in foster care.
Black children tend to languish in the foster care system twice as long as white children, while white parents who would adopt them are turned away. This, despite studies and a general consensus among most child-welfare experts that the most important factor in a child’s wellbeing is an ongoing, stable relationship with a parent figure. And every white parent turned down brings the minority foster child that much closer to never being adopted.
At the same time leftists argue that racial determinism should rule the adoption process, they continue to push for same-sex adoption rights because the love of homosexual parents transcends a child’s need for a mother and father:
Single women and lesbian couples won landmark parental rights last night as MPs voted to remove the requirement that fertility clinics consider a child’s need for a father.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill will replace the rule with a “need for supportive parenting” after opponents were defeated in two votes by unexpectedly wide margins.
The Government had been prepared for defeat but won the free votes by majorities of 75 and 68. The decisions mean that the legislation will grant the most significant extension to homosexual family rights since gay adoption was sanctioned.
As mentioned above, the Child Welfare League of America is one of the groups leading to the charge to restore race as a factor in adoptions, but at the same time, crusades for gay adoptions:
In a New York Times editorial responding to the Florida decision, Dan Savage, an author, syndicated columnist, and adoptive father, wrote, “The real choice for children waiting to be adopted in Florida and elsewhere isn’t between gay and straight parents, but between parents and no parents.”
By prohibiting gay and lesbian people from adopting, there are unquestionably fewer potential adoptive homes for children. “If people are going to hold a narrow opinion of who can adopt,” [Human Rights Campaign official Lisa] Bennett says, “they are sentencing some children to a life without a loving home.”
Translation: No to transracial adoptions, yes to homosexual adoptions.
Who really cares about the children? The p.c. double standards speak for themselves.