“If you want a black baby, you could get one in six weeks. You’ll wait a lot longer for a white one.”
That’s what an acquaintance of mine told me recently as she explained the adoption process at her private adoption agency. At first, I was pretty shocked by that statement and her explanation that many white would-be parents refuse to adopt a child of a racial minority.
But she also told me that it’s not usually about prejudice. Adoptive parents are trying to do what they think is best for the child, and they worry about adopting a black or other minority child into a white family and a white community.
This idea started an interesting conversation between my husband and me about how a child of a racial minority might be affected by such an adoption. We would like to adopt at some point, so the questions are not purely hypothetical.
Especially in a place like Utah, where black residents are few and far between, would a black child in a white family feel isolated? Would that child have any positive role models with the same skin color? Does that really matter? Would we, two blond-haired, blue-eyed white people, be able to help a black child cope with racism?
In the end, our conversation boiled town to two main questions: Is it unfair to plop a child of a racial minority into a white community and a white family? Or, is it more unfair to deny that child a spot in your home simply because of the color of his skin — even if you have the child’s best interest at heart?
What do you think — what are the challenges in interracial adoption? What are the pros and cons of such an adoption?