By Elvys Morales Period 5
Every child needs a home. That is a fact that cannot be debated. However, there is a controversial factor that seems to play a role in the decision regarding the placement of a child. That controversial factor is race. Although taking the race of a child into consideration is unlawful, adoption agencies find themselves often conflicted about placing a child in an environment that might make the child rather uncomfortable. A colored child among a family of Caucasians does tend to raise a few eyebrows because of the obvious fact that he or she is not biologically related to the family. Adoption agencies acknowledge the fact that their primary concern is to find children nurturing and loving homes, but the opinions regarding race vary. Some believe that race should be taken into consideration; others believe that making race a factor is making it an obstacle between a child and a loving home.
Racial Identity and its effect on adopted children
1. Adoption agencies are not legally-allowed to take race into consideration when placing a child in a home. As a result of the Multiethnic Placement Act established in the 1900s, any effort to place children within their own race and prevent transracial adoption is prohibited. Adoption agencies are expected to prioritize the finding of a home for a child over preferences not considered essential to the wellbeing of the child. (role expectation)
2. A dysfunctional society is composed of unstable individuals. Adoption centers make finding a home for a child their primary concern to provide children that have had a rough childhood with a sense of stability.A stable child will eventually develop into a stable and law-abiding citizen, which promotes stability in society overall.
3. Children with no parents have a lack of guidance. Adoptive parents take on the responsibility of being the source of guidance for these children. In this way, they also indirectly promote functionalism in society.
1. White parents prefer to adopt white children over black children. (inequality)
2. The issue with transracial adoption is that the children often become assimilated into the culture of their adoptive parents. For example, an Asian girl can be adopted by Caucasian parents, assimilate to their American culture, and develop issues with racial identity. Her physical attributes and her cultural practices will clash, and the girl is likely to develop confusion over which ethnicity to identify with.
3. "Adoptive parents of black children should recognize and combat the pervasiveness of institutional and individual racism. They should ensure that black children are connected to appropriate black role models, and are not racially isolated." Inequality is a direct result of racism.
1. Most social workers have different perspectives regarding transracial adoption. Some believe that avoiding strange looks in public is not as silly as it sound because it does play a role in how a child perceives himself, while others focus on simply placing a child in nurturing and permanent home. As a result of trying to do what is best for a child (manifest), adoption centers often end up not being able to find a child a home because of the race of the child or parents. (latent)
2. There are two potential families willing to adopt a black boy. One is a Caucasian couple, but identifies with the African American culture. The other family is African American, but identifies with the Caucasian community."Which is the best family for Shawn?"
3. A child adopted in a family of a different race has to make a decision about what ethnicity they will choose to identify with. Children are obligated to make this decision based of their physical attributes or customs they have learned.
Race does not matter in adoption. The primary concern of adoption agencies and social workers should be to find a child a loving home. Making racism a deciding factor in unreasonable. There are far too many children lacking parental figures in their lives. To make racism a deciding factor is to create a barrier between a child and his or her right to a loving family. There is a strong relationship between race, culture, and ethnicity. However it is important to be able to distinguish between the three. Race is determined by physical attributes, culture by the customs one chooses to practice, and ethnicity is the culture with which an individual choose to identify with. Of these three, race is the unreasonable to take into consideration when deciding where to place a child. Considering the race of a child is equivalent to taking into consideration factors such as weight and height of a child. These prejudicial beliefs are ignorant and adoption centers are enforcing them by letting race be a determining factor. Another thing to take into consideration is how children that are not adopted affect society when they turn eighteen and are no longer the system’s responsibility. A child with no parent is likely to develop into an unstable adult. Unstable adults lead to a dysfunctional society. Approximately 70% of people in prison have been in a foster home at one point in their lives. There is a strong correlation, and this statistic should not be ignored. While children as individuals matter, people need look at the bigger picture and see how this affects society as a whole.