Transracial Adoption

On February 9, 2010, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

Ensign Adam Cole holds hands with a Haitian girl during an assessment visit by Sailors assigned to the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy. Normandy is supporting Operation Unified Response after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake caused severe damage in Haiti Jan. 12. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker/Released)

If you have been watching the news, you have heard of the 10 American missionaries who were arrested after they attempted to take 33 Haitian children to the Dominican Republic. I would like to think the missionaries meant no harm, but I find it unsettling some of those 33 children have at least one parent. A piece at TheRoot.com weighs in on transracial adoption. What do you say?

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  • http://inventingliz.blogspot.com Liz

    My daughter – adopted from Ethiopia – has a living birth parent. International adoption is complicated. While I am extremely grateful to be a parent through adoption and I love my daughter, I feel extremely sad that her birth parent was in a position where giving up a child seemed like the best choice. The issue in Haiti was not so much that the children had living family, but that their families were not given accurate information about what they were agreeing to – many thought their children were being taken so they could get an education and would return to Haiti eventually. And as someone else mentioned, every country has laws and guidelines and paperwork that must be completed in order for adoptions to happen, none of which seems to be the case with this group of children.

  • http://www.happygirlhair.com Joyful Mom

    What this group did is not adoption. Linking the word adoption with the criminal acts of these 10 people is inaccurate, irresponsible, and damaging to legitimate, legal adoptions for children who need families. It also hurts families who have already adopted transracially.

    Every time their crimes are compared to adoption, people associate the two and begin to see international adoption in a different light. People with no understanding of the complexities of international adoption don’t, or can’t, necessarily distinguish the difference between the illegal actions of one group and that of the institution of adoption. And that makes life harder for my family and for countless others.

    • http://www.honeysmoke.com Percola

      I think the reason it has been connected with adoption is because of race. I don’t know if we will ever know what they intended to do with those children.

      • http://www.honeysmoke.com Percola

        It didn’t help when the missionaries at first said the children had been orphaned. I am not sure I want to know what they intended to do with the children. They are asking the U.S. government to help them, but it’s quite difficult to negotiate on their behalf when it appears they have broken laws in another country.

  • Blanc2

    The actions of those 10 should, I think, be distinguished from transracial adoption in general. Those people willfully ignored the laws of Haiti, and they arrogantly pushed aside the human issues, the connection of these babies to their communities, in an opportunistic attempt to get some babies, presumably to start some sort of fringe religious cult. Their protestations about having good intentions and not being aware of the laws in Haiti ring patently false. Every country has laws about adopting its babies, and every idiot knows this. These people are not naive do-gooders. They are manipulative, calculating cultists.

    • http://www.honeysmoke.com Percola

      That makes me wonder how many others were successful, not just in Haiti but other countries.

  • http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com Kristen

    We have adopted from Haiti. I am outraged over the 10 Americans. But I am also outraged at how their ridiculous behavior has been linked with legitimate adoption. Haiti has always had very stringent and ethical criteria for adoption.

    That having been said, I think that transracial adoption can be challenging, but it has been a wonderful experience for us so far. It has rocked us out of our comfort zone and brought us so many new experiences and friends. We are very conscious about raising our children with healthy black identities and most importantly, very open to seeking help and admitting we can’t do it all on our own.

    • http://www.honeysmoke.com Percola

      That’s a good point about how this matter has been linked to legitimate adoptions. The controversy shows how far we have yet to go in terms of race in this country.

  • http://www.fierceandnerdy.com Ernessa the Happy Feminist

    I have absolutely no problem with transracial adoptions IF the child doesn’t have living parents or IF that living parent is a drug addict. I find the actions of these so-called Christians despicable. At best, what they did was stupid. At worst, it was calculated. And considering the fact that they blatantly lied when first picked up, I am leaning toward the latter.

    People are racist. The need to adopt won’t make them less so. And many children will have to come to terms with having racist parents. However, parents who isolate their children from the native race infuriate me. Why confuse the child? I do think there needs to be a set of guidelines for transracial adoptions. I think the countries that allow these adoptions should set make it mandatory that these parents either return to the country for guided visits every other year or so or do the equivalent at home.

    How cool would it be if social workers in this country encouraged parents in that regard?

    Though, I understand that adoptive parents want to raise their children EXACTLY as they would have if they had been able to give birth to them, I think it does children too huge a disservice to completely ignore their cultural backgrounds.

    • http://www.honeysmoke.com Percola

      I admit I don’t know the rules about transracial adoption. If parents don’t have to revisit the country, I certainly hope many of them do so that children can form healthy identities.