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Report Says Black Children Not Served By Transracial Adoption

May 28, 2008 08:02 AM
by Cara McDonough
Child welfare groups want ‘color consciousness,’ not ‘color blindness’ to shape U.S. adoption policies.

30-Second Summary

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The report, released by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, recommends major changes to the 1994 Multi-Ethnic Placement Act.

The Associated Press reports that critics of the law, which prohibits race from being taken into account in most adoptions, say it places too much emphasis on “color blindness” and not enough on race-oriented education.

White parents adopting a black child, for instance, cannot be required to undergo race-oriented training, possibly accounting for the fact that minority children adopted transracially develop more behavioral and other problems than those adopted by parents of the same race as the child.

“The view that we can be colorblind is a wonderful, idealistic perspective, but we don’t live there,” said Adam Pertman, the Donaldson Institute’s executive director.

The crux of the problem may be that a disproportionately high number of black children are in foster care. U.S. laws require discounting race in placing those children, but some believe race, or at least race education, should be a major factor.

The National Association of Black Social Workers, for instance, recommends “placing children of African ancestry with relatives or unrelated families of the same face and culture for adoption.” The group supports the changes suggested to the Multi-Ethnic Placement Act.

Headline Link: Report suggests major changes to adoption laws

Background: Adoption and race in the United States

Opinion & Analysis: Overseas adoptions, and losing idealism

Related Topic: Adoption in the gay community

Reference: The report, the Multi-Ethnic Placement Act and adoption agencies

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