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Transracial Adoption

 
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2008 05:56 am
dlowan wrote:
What worries me is how people in this area seem to have such trouble holding in their minds multiple factors, and how thinking polarises into black and white.

E.g Race has no effect/race is supremely important.

This is reflected the extreme swings in social policy I have observed in my career.....

I believe you can justify the extreme swing towards "don't consider race, ever". You can justify it, not by claiming that race doesn't complicate the relation between parents, children, and the rest of the society they live in. On that, I would agree with you. Rather, the way to justify it is by observing the horrible abuses of state discretion that have happened in the past. These abuses, which have been going on until quite recent times all over the English-speaking world, are much worse than the children's identity problems under a race-blind policy. And that's what makes it a bad idea to sneak the concept of "race consciousness" back into the process.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2008 07:00 am
Speaking as the parent of a child who hits all the right demographics who still doesn't quite "fit in", I completely get where dlowan is coming from.

As an adult it's easy to say things like this don't matter but kids look for ways to exclude each other. It's easy to talk about teaching our kids to be inclusive but there are grown ups out there who don't teach their kids that and they don't want to.

At my house we are very sensitive to foster care/adoption issues but that didn't prevent Mo from getting hysterical one day when I told someone our dog was a mutt. "He's not a mutt, mom. A mutt is something nobody wants, you know, like a foster kid."

WTF? This, in my polite, upscale, liberal neighborhood?

This stuff is out there.

Fortunately we have people like dlowan who dedicate themselves to picking up the Humpty Dumpty pieces.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2008 07:34 am
boomerang wrote:
"He's not a mutt, mom. A mutt is something nobody wants, you know, like a foster kid."

WTF? This, in my polite, upscale, liberal neighborhood?

Just for my own understanding: What makes you think it's the neighborhood? Why not some kid in school trying to hurt him? Why not Mo himself thinking about how his bio-mom dumped him at your place and concluding, quite reasonably, that she and her family didn't want him?
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2008 07:41 am
Because it's a neighborhood school.

I suppose he could have come to that conclusion on his own but I really don't think so. He certainly has never heard that kind of thing about foster kids at home. He does know that being in foster care is never the kids fault. That's why this surprised me so much.
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JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2008 10:36 pm
Chumly wrote:
I wonder how my cat must feel, being adopted by a human family......what must he think when he sees we have no fur!

The trauma, the horror, the pure awful alienation of it all.


Then you've gotta let him see you in the shower, Chumly.
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JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2008 11:04 pm
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
All cultures share common fundamentals based on the human experience. This is what children need to be taught, not that there is something superior to a more narrow culture based on race, or geography.


I cannot, for the life of me, even begin to convey just how important a point this is. Thanks, Finn, I'm ecstatic that you said it.


I knew it, Finn, I just knew it. Smile
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2008 04:49 pm
ebrown_p wrote:
Well Finn... I have never seen you express such a liberal opinion before.

See, I have no problems supporting you when you take reasonable positions.


I have no problem with liberal thought, just the thoughts of Liberals.

Liberals are pushing race conscious adoption because their thinking is confused, at best.

As for your support, thank you but I take many more reasonable positions than you think.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2008 05:05 pm
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
ebrown_p wrote:
Well Finn... I have never seen you express such a liberal opinion before.

See, I have no problems supporting you when you take reasonable positions.


I have no problem with liberal thought, just the thoughts of Liberals.

Liberals are pushing race conscious adoption because their thinking is confused, at best.

As for your support, thank you but I take many more reasonable positions than you think.


You have to be kidding Finn

In the early 70's... when my politically liberal parents were building an interracial family...

... many conservatives were still defending laws against miscegenation.
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2008 05:20 pm
dlowan wrote:
What worries me is how people in this area seem to have such trouble holding in their minds multiple factors, and how thinking polarises into black and white.


E.g Race has no effect/race is supremely important.


This is reflected the extreme swings in social policy I have observed in my career.....


One minute this is the most important, another minute the other is....what happens in the child welfare world, at least here, is that a policy is adopted, with the best of intentions, based (hopefully) on current knowledge. This policy affects everything...eg here, possible family re-unification is privileged above considering the need for a child to have a permanent home.


This was a major shift away from permanent removal being something that happened more easily, because everyone got to see the downside of permanent removal.

Now, we are seeing the dangers of the current system......I suspect we are in danger of another broad-stroke shift that throws the good parts of the current system out with the bad...


This is why I am kind of fanatical about the dangers of people thinking there is a RIGHT solution.....there isn't a right solution, there is only the best solution we know how to offer a particular child with the resources we have.


I would love to see the same world some of you guys want to see........but wishes and dreams do not make realities go away, and I am not sure that these kids are the best people to experiment with.


My saying that will make some of you think I am against trans-racial fostering/adoption.....I am not. I have just been part of a fight that has been excruciatingly difficult and savage to get an aboriginal kid with the best possible carers....who are NOT aboriginal.


However, for some of our kids in some situations race etc WILL be a factor.......and I have seen so many kids for whom it was, that I am simply not prepared to deny its part in proper planning. And these were kids from very loving adoptive families.



It is not about whether culture is inborn...that is laughable...it is about how a kid feels, and whether their being different from their care family is noticeable to them, and what that difference comes to mean to them. There are multiple factors which will affect this.


Of course a loving family is of pivotal importance, as I said in my first post.......but there are many factors involved in placement decisions.



I find it quite distressing how often the discussions here about these things is so simplistic and manichean.


I would love to have some of you guys join us in the crucible of the real world of making these decisions, and see how long you thought there was a simple way of knowing the best option, and that you could always be right...


You've answered your own question.

That social policies swing back and forth is a direct result of their being dominated by Liberals who cannot abide mere maintenance, but must always lay claim to their own piece of brilliant innovation.

No adoption, regardless of race, is guaranteed to be smooth and without problem, but guess what? No life is guaranteed to be smooth and without problem.

It bothers me quite a lot when people cite the problems of transracially adopted children "even" when the adoptive parents have lovingly taken the child into their family. Every kid has problems but very few indeed are worse than living in a "family" wherein they are not loved.

White kids who touch the nappy hair of black kids don't do so because they were adopted by white parents, they (and how many can there really be??) Do so because they have never seen a kid with wooly hair. If this is so horrid an experience for black kids, then the argument can be made that black families should never move into white neighborhoods. Somehow I doubt Liberals are prepared to make this argument.

Liberals also tend to angst over choices. "How can we be sure we made the right one, when no perspective is valid?"

They also seem to insist on 100% success.

Fundamentally, there is nothing more important to a kid than that his parents love him. Even in such cases, kids suffer, but if you want to give a kid the best chance at happiness, put her in a family that welcomes and treasures her membership.

Not my intent to generate partisan squabble, but whether one calls them Liberals or something else, the people that care more about the periphery than the core are wrong in a very fundamental sense.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2008 06:54 pm
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Not my intent to generate partisan squabble...

Then you're doing it wrong.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:
... but whether one calls them Liberals or something else, the people that care more about the periphery than the core are wrong in a very fundamental sense.

Well, if it doesn't matter what you call them, why did you call them "liberals?" Why not call them "conservatives?"
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2008 07:03 pm
Quote:

Liberals also tend to angst over choices. "How can we be sure we made the right one, when no perspective is valid?"

They also seem to insist on 100% success.


This definition of "Liberal" doesn't describe the liberals I know (and I thought many of the people I know were liberals).

Quote:

but whether one calls them Liberals or something else, the people that care more about the periphery than the core are wrong in a very fundamental sense.


I agree with you about them being wrong... but I have always called them Conservatives.
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2008 08:03 pm
joefromchicago wrote:
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Not my intent to generate partisan squabble...

Then you're doing it wrong.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:
... but whether one calls them Liberals or something else, the people that care more about the periphery than the core are wrong in a very fundamental sense.

Well, if it doesn't matter what you call them, why did you call them "liberals?" Why not call them "conservatives?"


Toughen up Chicago Bub. I called them "Liberals," not "liberals." If you need a discourse on the distinction just ask, but otherwise I assume it's clear.
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2008 08:10 pm
ebrown_p wrote:
Quote:

Liberals also tend to angst over choices. "How can we be sure we made the right one, when no perspective is valid?"

They also seem to insist on 100% success.


This definition of "Liberal" doesn't describe the liberals I know (and I thought many of the people I know were liberals).

Quote:

but whether one calls them Liberals or something else, the people that care more about the periphery than the core are wrong in a very fundamental sense.


I agree with you about them being wrong... but I have always called them Conservatives.


And you have been wrong.

We can disagree whether the bogeyman under the bed is a Liberal or a Conservative, but those who challenge transracial adoption are far more likely to be Liberal that Conservative.

And on a much more fundamental level, Liberals will never be the heroes of The Core.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2008 05:34 am
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Toughen up Chicago Bub. I called them "Liberals," not "liberals." If you need a discourse on the distinction just ask, but otherwise I assume it's clear.

Well, unless you're saying that all of these "Liberals" are members of the Liberal Party of New York, then I suppose you will have to explain the distinction.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2008 07:51 am
A similar issue is same-sex couples who want to provide stable, caring families to children who need them.

I consider my position that children shouldn't be denied a family because of prejudice to be the liberal one.

Finn, is you position consistent (or have you lost "The Core(tm))?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2008 09:57 am
Bookmarking this fascinating thread, though I'm afraid I'm doing so only right at the time it's devolving into partisan quibbles.

I have no personal experiences with any of this. As a complete layman, Dlowan's nuanced, ambiguous take however sounds commonsensical. If I understand her at all correctly, the thing to take away is that there are two opposing considerations, both of which you must juggle in your mind at all times when making these decisions, as just plumping for one or the other as The Truth can create no end of trouble, as it has in the past.

On the one hand, yes, race plays a role in the problems an adopted child will face, that's just a fact of the society we live in. It should therefore be one of (many) things to take into account in seeking parents for children. Insisting on not taking it into consideration at all out of principle, when it's the child who might face real problems over it, seems a little dogmatic.

But on the other hand, no, it shouldn't of course be the overriding criterium. It should definitely not be used to the point where kids end up just remaining in child homes for longer, because there are no adoptive parents of the right race available. And you should also keep a keen eye out for the pitfalls of going too far in taking race into account, for example by assigning a child to adoptive parents who may be the same race but are otherwise just not very suited for adoptive children.

Dlowan, did I get that roughly right?
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2008 02:06 pm
nimh wrote:
Bookmarking this fascinating thread, though I'm afraid I'm doing so only right at the time it's devolving into partisan quibbles.

I have no personal experiences with any of this. As a complete layman, Dlowan's nuanced, ambiguous take however sounds commonsensical. If I understand her at all correctly, the thing to take away is that there are two opposing considerations, both of which you must juggle in your mind at all times when making these decisions, as just plumping for one or the other as The Truth can create no end of trouble, as it has in the past.

On the one hand, yes, race plays a role in the problems an adopted child will face, that's just a fact of the society we live in. It should therefore be one of (many) things to take into account in seeking parents for children. Insisting on not taking it into consideration at all out of principle, when it's the child who might face real problems over it, seems a little dogmatic.

But on the other hand, no, it shouldn't of course be the overriding criterium. It should definitely not be used to the point where kids end up just remaining in child homes for longer, because there are no adoptive parents of the right race available. And you should also keep a keen eye out for the pitfalls of going too far in taking race into account, for example by assigning a child to adoptive parents who may be the same race but are otherwise just not very suited for adoptive children.

Dlowan, did I get that roughly right?


No, as usual, you're out to lunch, Nimh. Smile
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2008 05:09 pm
aidan wrote:
Congratulations on the adoption of your son Finn- I know he will bring you so much joy. Please express my congratulations to your wife as well.


Thank you very much aidan.

I must have been unclear though because we adopted him 26 years ago, but you are right, he has brought us much joy.

He has also brought us frustration, anger, guilt, and worries, but the less frequent moments of pure joy have overwhelmed the rest.

And if he were of another race than us, I fully believe the equation would be the same.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jun, 2008 11:26 pm
joefromchicago wrote:
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Toughen up Chicago Bub. I called them "Liberals," not "liberals." If you need a discourse on the distinction just ask, but otherwise I assume it's clear.

Well, unless you're saying that all of these "Liberals" are members of the Liberal Party of New York, then I suppose you will have to explain the distinction.

Still waiting for an answer.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Jun, 2008 06:16 am
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
aidan wrote:
Congratulations on the adoption of your son Finn- I know he will bring you so much joy. Please express my congratulations to your wife as well.


Thank you very much aidan.

I must have been unclear though because we adopted him 26 years ago, but you are right, he has brought us much joy.

He has also brought us frustration, anger, guilt, and worries, but the less frequent moments of pure joy have overwhelmed the rest.

And if he were of another race than us, I fully believe the equation would be the same.


Laughing Yeah - I guess I DID miss that - I thought you had just recently adopted...and I do agree with you about that entire equation-as a mother of two teen-agers -all I can say is YEAH!

But I do think the race thing does add a few twists and turns (as does the adoption, or any sort of difference). Hopefully none of which can't be survived. I do think it's important to ascertain the adoptive family has the thinking and coping skills to think those things through- so I don't think that asking questions is a bad thing.

A lot depends on why a couple is adopting. And why they might be open to adopting a child outside of their own race. Do they see this option (a black child) as something they might be settling for because they can't afford to pay the expenses or endure the wait for a white child?

Because the truth is that black children are more readily available, and since that's the case, the whole process is much less costly.
Another aspect that I find interesting is that there is no discussion about international transracial adoption. People pay tens of thousands of dollars to adopt children from Asia, Romania, and even South American countries when there are children in America languishing in foster care...
why? I think this might speak to the fact that a lot of people truly ARE more comfortable with building their family in a way that precludes that specific black/white mixture. But maybe these people screen themselves out (by their choice)...maybe that should be the screening process right there. Maybe they know they couldn't cope with the issues or don't want to or whatever.

In terms of the whole liberal and conservative thing - looking at it from the aspect of same sex couples and adoption- I adopted at the same time two gay male partners adopted their daughter. I loved those guys to death - but I remember thinking...'If a family with a woman and a man -had been available- which was the case certainly- I know for sure, as after I adopted my daughter I worked for that agency and had this discussion with the administrator - I think that little girl deserved the chance to have a mother. It made me sad to think that she would not have the chance to have a mother in her life because of a politically correct decision social workers had made for her.
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