Meaningful Mondays #2: Adoption in Black and White

From NPR story (link below): “The cost to adopt the Caucasian child was approximately $35,000, plus some legal expenses. “Versus when we got the first phone call about a little girl, a full African-American girl, it was about $18,000,” Lantz says. The cost for adoption of a biracial child was between $24,000 and $26,000.” http://www.npr.org/2013/06/27/195967886/six-words-black-babies-cost-less-to-adopt

My mom’s life work was caring for children. As a social worker she was a child welfare advocate. She often bucked the system and did things not the way the state of Cali wanted her to do them, but they way in which she knew would be best for the welfare of the students.  She was amazing to watch. She walked the walk and talked the talk of child welfare and protection. I would have followed in her footsteps, but social work called me in another direction. She would take any child, of any race, ethnicity, ability, etc. regardless of cost. AND she knew fully that some children would live in her groups homes longer than others because of his/her race or ability.

Adoption and foster care often carries a stigma by those who do not understand the needs of children and families.  I feel this NPR story may add to the difficulties and misunderstandings people have about adoption and foster care.  The NPR story is not shocking to me, but may be to some.  It is difficult to place children with disabilities, severe behavior problems, and non-Caucasian children in loving and caring homes.  With the latter there is the debate about whether children of color should only be placed with families of the same race and ethnicity….http://www.nabsw.org/mserver/PreservingFamilies.aspx

There are many U.S. children who are in need of a loving home. I hope this story does not turn adoption into some stigmatized affirmative action program in which people take pity on children of oclor or only adopt African American kids because the cost is lowest (in some states).  I hope people adopt and foster because they have enough love, room, and resources to welcome a child or children into their homes.

I hope the NPR story (and the continuing NPR series on Race, http://theracecardproject.com/ helps to bring awareness of the needs of individuals, families, and especially children of color.

Get informed: http://www.nationaladoptionday.org/ National Adoption Day

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