Bygbaby.com MindspillWhen it comes to interracial adoption, I have mixed views because I see this very touchy. I am not only referring to White families adopting Black children, but any “minority” child adopted by a White family.

What I appreciate is that a family is acting selflessly by taking in a child that needs to be loved & cared for. These families most often seem to be better equipped and patient to deal with the child’s needs. Most importantly, most adopting families have a scratch.

What I have concerns with are cultural & intra-racial issues that may not be understood by a White person, no matter how aware they think they are. Example: like White parents being able to deal with racism in terms of explaining it to their child when the time comes & why the child is different. I often wonder if adopting families educate the child about their own culture & expose them to people/groups/activities that can help them understand themselves & embrace their own heritage etc. Although the child may be removed from their “cultural” environment, I think it is important for them to be proud of “their” culture and heritage etc.

Minotity adults that I am familiar with who were adopted by White families tell me that they have no real connection with their culture because they were not exposed, so they have to seek out information as an adult. Some have mentioned that they are/were not upset with their adopting families for holding back information because they think that the parents did not withhold deliberately.

I find the topic of international adoption interesting because I think it’s great to save kids around the world from poor conditions but what about saving kids here at homehome. I am not sure of the statistics but, there are so many children within our borders that need the love of a welcoming family; Black, Yellow, Red, Brown & White.

In the spotlight is Agelina Jolie who adopted 2 children first her Cambodian son Maddox & most recently her Ethiopian daughter Zahara. One of my associates recently commented that she did not like the way Brad Pitt carried Zahara around like a little monkey & my associate stated that she thinks that the Agelina & Brad adoption thing is just for show. I have not seen Brad carrying the girl so I will not speak on that piece but I will say that I think the couple seems legit (even though Brad dogged Jennifer out).

While I do have mixed felling about interracial & or international adoption, the bottom line is that there is one less child in the world suffering. After all they say love is color blind!?!

I found the story below today, which inspired my rant: enjoy!

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As more white Americans adopt Africans, experts point out social realities
By: Nara Schoenberg

Chicago – The youngest of seven children, 1-year-old Safia Lindholm-Nimrod knows how to steal the spotlight.

First, she monopolizes her mother with grins and giggles. Then, she focuses her chubby-cheeked smile on her father, demanding – and receiving – the biggest and longest hug when he comes through the door at the end of the day.

Finally, she lands in the arms of her sister Ella Lindholm-Uzzi, 11, who twirls her until she squeals with joy.

None of this would be terribly remarkable, except that Safia has only known these people for two months.

Born in a thatch-roofed hut in Ethiopia , placed in an orphanage by a single mother who couldn’t afford to keep her, and adopted by an Evanston , Ill. , couple before her first birthday, Safia (pronounced SUH-fee-uh) is part of the first major wave of African adoptions ever in the U.S.

Ethiopia became the first African nation to hit the U.S. State Department’s list of the top 10 foreign countries from which Americans adopt in 2004 – the year before Angelina Jolie brought home her Ethiopian-born daughter, Zahara.

This year, the numbers are on pace to increase again, by about 20 percent, to 530 adoptions, according to State Department data.

And while Ethiopia still trails nations such as China , the undisputed leader with 8,000 children arriving here in 2005, Russia with 5,000, and Guatemala with 4,000, observers say that the increase is significant.

“People are finally thinking of adopting from Africa ,” says Meghan Hendy, executive director of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services.

Among the reasons: In a continent where adoption by strangers isn’t widely accepted, Ethiopia is the first nation to open its doors to large-scale adoption of healthy babies and toddlers by Americans.

Celebrities such as Jolie, movies such as “The Constant Gardener,” and a flood of news reports have helped by drawing attention to war, poverty and AIDS in Africa .

Read the entire story here

Top 10 countries from which Americans adopted in 2005:

  • China – 7,906
  • Russia – 4,639
  • Guatemala – 3,783
  • Korea – 1,630
  • Ukraine – 821
  • Kazakhstan – 755
  • Ethiopia – 441
  • India – 323
  • Colombia – 291
  • Philippines – 271

Adoptions from Ethiopia

  • 2005 – 441
  • 2004 – 289
  • 2003 – 135
  • 2002 – 105
  • 2001 – 158
  • 2000 – 95
  • 1999 -103
  • 1998 – 96
  • 1997 – 82
  • 1996 – 44
  • 1995 – 63
  • 1994 – 54

African American Adoptions Stats

  1. In the United States, 32.7% of African American families with children under 18 years of age live below the poverty level.
  2. 30.6% of African American children live in female-headed households with no spouse present and 2.6% of African American children live in male-headed households with no spouse present.
  3. In 1997, a total of 598 African American or biracial children were adopted by white parents through U.S. public adoption agencies. In the same year, 201 African American or biracial children were adopted by white parents through U.S. private adoption agencies or attorneys.
  4. Between 1991 and 1999, rates for African American teenagers dropped by 30%.
  5. Currently 20.7 per thousand victims of child abuse and neglect are African American.
  6. Approximately 568,000 children are in out-of-home care. (i.e., family foster care, residential group care, and therapeutic foster care); 42 % of these children are African American.
  7. Of the 118,000 children waiting for adoption or having a plan for adoption, 50% are African American.
  8. Approximately 60% of children in public kinship care are African American.
  9. Although African American youth account for 15% of the U.S. population, they account for 26% of juvenile arrests, 31% of delinquency referrals to juvenile court, 44% of juveniles detained in delinquency cases, 40% in residual placements, 46% of juveniles transferred to adult criminal court, and 58% admitted to state prisons.
  10. African American students account for 14.8% of the general population for the 6 through 21 age group, compared with 20.2% of the special education population in all disabilities. 18.3% are diagnosed with a specific learning disability, 34.3% are diagnosed with mental retardation and 26.4% are diagnosed as being emotionally disturbed.
  11. The nation’s African American population totaled an estimated 34.9 million as of July 1, 1999. African Americans made up 13% of the total population. Since April 1, 1990, the African American population has increased by 4.4 million people, or 14%; meanwhile the total U.S. population has grown by 10%.
  12. Although African American youth account for only 15% of the juvenile population, more African American juveniles than white juveniles were murdered between 1988 and 1995.
  13. Of the 46,000 children adopted from the public foster care system in 1999, 43% were African American.

Source

African/African American Adoption Resources

Adoption History Project
Source: U.S. State Department
African American Adoptions Online
Sunny Ridge Family Center
A Child’s Hope
Americans for African Adoptions