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  #1  
Old 08-03-2003, 06:09 PM
tman tman is offline
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why is it so hard to adopt African American children through state agencies???

Hello! I am a nineteen year old African Amnerican male. who was raised by causcasian parents. I am currently searching for my birthparents which is what brought me to this forum! But I have another question. Why does it still seem so hard in some states for caucasian parents to adopt African American children? My parents told me they tried several times to adopt aa sibling that shared my African American heritage but have always been turned down . The have inquired about older kids, sibling groups, and children with special needs but no one is interested. ( Kansas. Missouri, Pennsylvania, NC, California , New York , Ohio, Oregon, Idaho and many more states)They have adopted 3 timed since they adopted me but they are all non-african american. My parents shared this with mne and said they almost feel like they let me down. I do not feel that way . I am just sad for all the waiting African American children. There are so many on the websites and what is so sad is I notice many of them have suffered an adoption disruption already!Why don't they pay attention to a set of experienced parents who have successfully eaised an African American child?? I love my parents very much and I thank God everyday that he led them to me!
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2003, 08:22 PM
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Linny Linny is offline
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It has been our experience that even though state agencies are not supposed to place or not place children on the basis of ethnicity......it continues to be done. Three of our six children are adopted through the state. It seemed that every time we were interested in a child of AA heritage, something came up that we couldn't go further. Our caseworker located these three children for us (one single, two a sib group). Two of the children are very caucasian, one could easily be of Native American heritage; but who knows? We often argued that because our first two children were adopted from Asian countries and we had been in the military for many years, we felt somewhat versed in raising children of another race. It basically fell on 'deaf ears'.
We are both caucasian, and due to the state system and all it entails....along with older child adoption, we have returned to private domestic adoption. Our youngest child is almost two and is AA. We are hoping to adopt once more.....and have requested an AA infant.

Thank you for your insight. It is refreshing to hear of someone who is happy that they were adopted, and adopted by people who were not of their same ethnicity. It never bothered our two older children----who are now adults. It's nice to read that it apparently didn't bother you either!

Best of luck in your search....


Sincerely,

Linny
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2003, 08:45 PM
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Question Confused.....

Linny...in your post you say "two of our children are *very caucasian*" what do you mean by that? Are there varying degrees of cacusaian -er- ism? I am not being critical, I just wondered....its not a description I am familar with....Missy
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2003, 08:47 PM
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Wow, you ask a question that I have asked so many times. My husband and I entered the adoption arena wanting to adopt a child who was waiting. Our first three requests for inquiry's were on children who were AA. Our worker gave us a tremendously hard time asking us why we wanted to adopt AA kids and she even came out and quized us on all aspects. (this is after we went through this completely in our homestudy with another worker and had been approved to adopt transracially). I was looking on the MD site yesterday and one of those 3 kids was still waiting. He is two years older now. I don't think our worker ever got more information about those kids. And we met road blocks every step of the way. We just realized after a while that if we kept trying to adopt children in our state system, we would never be parents again...at least not to a child of color. So we contacted a private agency and were placed very quickly. But I have friends who still are waiting and waiting to adopt and being pushed away from adopting children who are AA. The saddest part is that there aren't enough AA homes or AA people seeking to adopt. So if they don't place transracially they are denying AA children families. It may be racism against Cauc. families being good parents to AA kids. But the saddest part of the racism is that AA children are being forced to grow up in foster care. We know that if we want to adopt again (and would like to in the future) we will have to do so privately, because we just won't ever get placed with children in the foster care system.

I am glad that you are so happy with your life. I hope that my son will be just as pleased with his childhood. My biggest fear is that I won't be able to provide him with all he needs.

Good luck to you in life
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  #5  
Old 08-05-2003, 06:28 AM
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My parents have been foster parents for over 25 years. And 18 years ago they picked up an AA premature baby girl from the hospital. She was hooked up to monitors to make sure she didn't stop breathing and she was born with crack in her system. Needless to say, she was the apple of all our eyes. She grew to be a normal little girl. Around the age of 3, my mom found out they were looking to find her a "forever" family. My mom let them know we were interested, they pretty much ignored her. Here is a little girl who has only known this family and they wanted to move her because we are white and the state said she needed an AA family. When it was apparent that they state wasn't going to let us adopt her, my parents hired an attorney and started to sue them. As soon as the attorney was in the picture, the state did a huge turnaround and allowed my parents to adopt her.

Then a few years later something similar happened. Again we were raising a beautiful AA baby girl. She was probably getting close to a year old when the case worker showed up one day and said they found a family for her. My parents said they wanted her, but they said it was too late they have someone else waiting for her and they took her that day! My parents had no idea they were looking for an adoptive placement for her. I'm sure the state agency remembered what had happened the first time, so they snuck around my parents. It was horrible. My parents were crushed and stopped taking in new kids for awhile. They considered to stop fostering all together because of how they were being treated.

I realize now things are different and are moving forward, but it's a shame when a child is denied the only family they know and love because of racism.

Tammi
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  #6  
Old 08-05-2003, 10:57 PM
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Missy:
I used the terms 'very caucasian'......to describe 'how white' they appear. They have very fair complexions, blue eyes, blonde hair. In comparison, the other son, was 'listed' by the state system as being caucasian, but certainly has olive skin, huge, dark brown eyes and brown hair. When children are listed or considered a particular ethnicity, it concerns me that they simply aren't labled as 'multi-racial'. But, I suppose in doing so, some people would not adopt?

One agency we are working with, will not allow couples to be on the multi-racial baby list, if they are not willing to adopt 'full race' children. Seems like a great idea to me, as, otherwise, we are splitting hairs to determine 'how much of a particular race' is within a child.

(I realize I got on the soapbox there.....but I hope I answered your question. )

Linny
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2003, 11:16 PM
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lucyjoy lucyjoy is offline
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There is an AA commissioner in MO who does not believe in allowing aa children to be adopted by caucasion parents. He believes they'll lose thier heritage. The SW said unless they have exhausted the entire list of available AA parents, their is no point in walking in his court room with a different race match(even then he sometimes sends them back in search of a different family.)

I also had to AA social workers who said they would not do trans racial assesments required for placement because they didn't feel it was right.

I also had one very racists worker who's final comment (I'll spare you the rest) was "we wouldn't want to put a white child into a black family to raise, just picture it" I'm still trying to figure out the problem.

While I do believe more effort needs to be put into finding AA adoptive families, sitting in foster care forever is a horrible alternative for any child. After my conversations with the racist social worker, I understand why this isn't happening.
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  #8  
Old 08-07-2003, 06:37 PM
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Thanks.....

Quote:
Originally posted by Linny
Missy:
I used the terms 'very caucasian'......to describe 'how white' they appear. They have very fair complexions, blue eyes, blonde hair. In comparison, the other son, was 'listed' by the state system as being caucasian, but certainly has olive skin, huge, dark brown eyes and brown hair. When children are listed or considered a particular ethnicity, it concerns me that they simply aren't labled as 'multi-racial'. But, I suppose in doing so, some people would not adopt?

One agency we are working with, will not allow couples to be on the multi-racial baby list, if they are not willing to adopt 'full race' children. Seems like a great idea to me, as, otherwise, we are splitting hairs to determine 'how much of a particular race' is within a child.

(I realize I got on the soapbox there.....but I hope I answered your question. )

Linny
[b]

Thanks for your informative post....I honestly hadn't ever heard that term before and was curious about it, mainly because I am an AA mom married to a Caucasian dad and together we have 3 "rainbow brite kids". The other thing I wanted to comment on is that despite being the color of Oprah I have 3 kids who are listed as Caucasian simply because their father is.....Here in Texas the race of the dad is whats given.
I also agree that its senseless for AA kids to be left in the system simply because there aren't enough AA families available. On the other hand I know a couple (AA) who have an adopted white daughter and the situation creates stares every where they go. Perfect strangers approach them and ask if she is a foster child or if they are babysitters....Its sad that *color* plays such an important part in our lives......Missy
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  #9  
Old 08-08-2003, 03:18 PM
redhedded redhedded is offline
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Missy. . .

We, too, are a rainbow family with my being very fair Irish American, my husband being Thai and our daughter African American. We have heard it all and have, more than once, been asked, like your friends, if we were babysitting. The audacity of others astounds me! While I am inclined to respond with a sarcastic question of my own, my husband has convinced me that walking away while one is in mid-sentence makes the biggest statement of all.
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  #10  
Old 08-10-2003, 06:12 PM
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To TMan: thank you for the positive words about your situation - today is our first day of having our hopefully-to-be-adopted foster kids in our home. One's an 11 year old caucasian girl, the other her six year old half brother who is half AA. The success stories will make any difficulties that much easier to soldier through, I'm guessing.

Weirdly we had asked for two white or hispanic kids given the ethnicity of our neighborhood and the fact they're going to contend with having two moms - we thought adding AA to the mix might be a bit much to ask of children.

However, we got matched with these two and the social workers for the county started out by saying they didn't know the little boy's ethnicity - they waffled and said well, maybe, but we don't KNOW. He's gorgeous and quite clearly AA.

Anyway, it's been our experience in southern California that if you are willing to take an AA kid, heck, a loving home is a loving home.

We've only known them in person for a week and they're wonderful kids. The boy proudly proclaims "I'm mixed!" - he's lived in an AA home for the past year and his foster mother's an angel. I'm hoping he'll adjust okay - it's so nice to hear from someone who did.
Thanks.
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  #11  
Old 08-10-2003, 08:26 PM
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Post AA children

In many areas especially around the 1960-1970 era, adopting AA children by caucasions was protested by the adult AA community. There was concern about (in some cases justified) CPS and other agencies that could remove AA and other ethnic children from bparents to give to childless caucasion couples. NA children were especially hit hard. Some religious and social groups felt that any NA or AA couple was less able than any average Cauca couple to raise a good citizen or more church members. There was also a certain "coolness" about adopting NA or AA children for some cauc couples, and agencies assumed a cauc couple automatically could provide superior childraising. Anyway as always everything goes too far. There are indeed many NA and AA children in need of a good home and parents, who's own are not and will not provide that for them. I can understand the state wanting to honor the wishes of a communtiy and ensure cultural pride and recognition, but children should not be left in limbo forever. Conscientious aparents can help expose their children to their cultural heritage, and befriend mentors for them. The idea was to protect the children from losing identity, and for ethnic groups to maintain aware populations and not be treated like meat for sale to the highest cauc bidder. Also to emphasize that NA and AA adults are not automatically lesser parents.
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  #12  
Old 08-10-2003, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lucyjoy
[b]

I also had to AA social workers who said they would not do trans racial assesments required for placement because they didn't feel it was right.

I also had one very racists worker who's final comment (I'll spare you the rest) was "we wouldn't want to put a white child into a black family to raise, just picture it" I'm still trying to figure out the problem.

While I do believe more effort needs to be put into finding AA adoptive families, sitting in foster care forever is a horrible alternative for any child.
[b]


I agree that no child should be left in foster care "forever" while a family of the childs race is found; but the problem as I see it is that AA kids were actually being placed with Caucasian families while there were AA families waiting, or before they were sought and found....that created the controversy here in Dallas years ago. There were guidelines and standards that made it very difficult for the average AA family to meet, such as credit, home ownership, $$$$$ in the bank, IRA's, an established 401k plan.... things that have nothing to do with loving a child.
Also, I think that if there were 2 sets of waiting parents ( one AA one Cacausian) and one white child that if that child were placed with the AA family, there would be an outcry.....that is the issue that I have a problem with. Its not even uncommon to see an AA child with a Cacausian family; but its rare that you'll find an AA family parenting a Cacausian child; biracial, yes white:he!! no...
IMO we have the same rate of sterility as any other race; our desire to parent is just as strong, so why aren't there more AA parents waiting to adopt??? Standards....we are by some states effectively shut out and for the waiting AA kids thats tragic; also, if AA parents when in announcing that they were seeking to adopt a white child, their file would be destroyed before their feet hit the street...Missy
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Last edited by Missy M : 08-10-2003 at 09:05 PM.
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  #13  
Old 08-10-2003, 09:22 PM
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You make a good point, Missy. Not long ago on the "John Walsh" show, these points were addressed. Included with the caucasian couple who were the only couple willing to adopt a very, very challenging AA child (and had to go to court to do so), was an African-American woman who had to go to court to adopt her caucasian foster child. Both situations had to go to court and both won!

It is sad that it takes this type of money and effort (court) in order to adopt a child to raise and love. I firmly agree that if a caucasian couple desires an AA or bi-racial baby (as we have)....then the same standard should apply in that if an AA or bi-racial couple wishes to adopt a caucasian baby....they should be allowed to do so. Everyone should be granted the same choice.

Just recently, I ran into another adoptive mom who told me about her family member---also an adoptive parent. Seems the family members (caucaisan) have adopted one child (older) of a sib group (AA) and have knowledge that the rest of the group is needing a permanent home through adoption (two more sibs). The current foster placement will not give a clear answer to whether they will adopt these children or not. (The foster parents are African-American.) However, their decision has taken them over two years! This is ridiculous. However, the caucasian couple have to continue to wait..........and the reason isn't clear. If, as it seems, the 'would be adoptive home with caucasian parents' is being made to wait for the rest of this sib group, because of 'color concerns'.....this is wrong. So wrong.

Sincerely,
Linny
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  #14  
Old 08-11-2003, 09:29 AM
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Duchie Duchie is offline
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AA Adoption

Hi All -

Back in 1989, my husband and I (both caucasian) went to a meeting in Northern California where there was numerous adoption agencies including private and state.

Note: When we originally applied for adoption in 1987, the state told us it would be 5-7 years before they would pick up our application.

Anyway - we had just been through a dreadful ordeal where we lost a child in South America (along with alot of money). After telling our story, the state agency at this meeting told us that if we were considering adopting outside of our race that the state could not help us because it was not considered "ethical" (go figure). We tried to explain that it didn't matter to us, but that we wanted a child to grow up in a loving home with loving parents and wanted to raise a child in a loving and nurturing home and family. We also tried to explain to them that I was an adoptee and was unsure of my exact race, so my husband jokingly told them that I was partially african american and to prove me wrong. (Gotta love him).

God was with us that evening, because one of the reps from Bethany Christian Services was there and asked us if we were serious enough to submit our portfolio (already had the int'l homestudy, etc).

We did and 3 months later were given the gift of a beautiful african american/indian son. He was 3 months old and just adorable. Today, he is a handsome, smart and caring young man who's ready to embark on high school. He's been a blessing to us each and every day. And to tell you the truth, I wouldn't have it any other way. Fate has a way of knocking on your door.

The state agencies here in California have changed significantly for the better where these children can be placed in loving homes where race is not an issue. I'm seeing more and more of it each day in our great state and proud to be among the many who just would like the chance to raise a family.

Blessings on you all!


Duchie
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  #15  
Old 09-16-2003, 12:09 PM
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Trenched Trenched is offline
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I'm kind of discouraged now, after reading all of these posts on transracial adoption. It seems to be kind of hopeless. Is it? My husband & I just finished our homestudy last month, & the majority of the children we're interested in are either bi-racial or AA. (We're Cauc.) We've sent our homestudy out to a dozen or so caseworkers, & with one exception, we haven't heard ANYTHING. Is it because of our race? Or is this normal? It's making us terribly anxious, & we just wish we knew what was going on. Some of these kids have been waiting years for permanency placements, so it seems that there would be a sense of urgency in handling their cases. Anyway, we're new to all of this, so any feedback is not only welcomed...but also appreciated!!!
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