Only Blacks Should Adopt Black Children

     Recently ABC World News edition did a segment called “Race and Adoption” on the moral question of whether White people should be adopting Black children.   There was a Black man on the segment, Phil Bertelson, who was adopted by a White family and was discussing how he felt as a child being the “outsider” in the relatively large family, which was mainly White.  In addition, the National Association of Black Social Workers’s Sonia Batiste Roberts expressed her concerns with this not so recent trend, stating that Blacks deserve to be placed with families who “look like them”, share common culture and who can relate to them.  Well, of course this ignited a debate, although not a massive one, at least amongst the hosts and guest co-host of ABC’s The View.  Host Joy Behar and guest co-host Vanessa Williams somewhat agreed with Ms. Roberts’ view while the rest of the panel of hosts saw the humanity element in the interracial adoptions and dismissed any criticism of interracial adoptions.

    We can all agree that ideally, any child living in a home remiss of love, nurture and stability should not be deprived of the possibility of getting all of these merely because of race.  However, first off, I would like to personally mention that there are some adoptive/foster parents who are abusive and neglectful too.  I have represented several adopted children, in Family Court in New York, on cases ranging from child support non-payment to child abuse or neglect and the circumstances were just as egregious as the ones that were with their biological families.   Not to minimize the magnanimity in taking in a child that you have no blood ties to, whether bound culturally, ethically or racially or not, but these adoptive parents do not always have good intentions.  But for me it goes along the same line of interracial marriages, I don’t think it does anything to strengthen our lineage or our community, let alone one’s sense of self and sense of pride to condone miscegenation.   It’s enough that we live in a world where education, the media, the arts, news, etc. are mainly from a White perspective, I don’t trust that a White family would make every effort to expose a Black child to their own cultural perspectives on the real world.  Now, you may not see the need for having a sense of belonging or identifying, when faced with the horrific option of living without love or the basis needs to sustain.  However, it is exactly the lack of confidence, low self-esteem and feeling of isolation that perpetuates this “self-hate” that is replete in our community as manifests itself in poverty, poor health, sub-par education and destruction of Black family.  Only we know what we need and only we will ensure that we get it!

     Furthermore, today on CNN there was a segment titled “Pregnancy and Deaths” which mentioned the number of pregnancy associated deaths and how that number has soared in the past decade.   The problem is not just the fact that there are now 9.5 deaths per 1,000, but the fact that that number almost quadruples for Black women to 32.7 deaths per 1,000 is more troubling.   The reasons mentioned are the increase in C-section births, but the reasons that are most pertinent to Black women is the rise in late age pregnancies and diabetic women having babies.   Although these numbers may not be that alarming, we’re talking a mere 3%, however it is when you consider the fact that according to Amnesty International ( half of these deaths are preventable.  I say this to say, that not only do Black women have other issues (which we will address on later posts) that interfere with their desire to become a mother, there is the not so popular option of adoption.  For some reason it’s a thought furthest from many Black women’s minds to consider adoption when they are trying to start a family.  I can assume that costs, eligibility or stigma can be some of the concerns.  But in today’s society, these concerns may not matter as much as they used too.  For instance, I know that although there are some costs associated with adoption, those costs are, in some instances, nominal.  As a family law attorney I know for a fact that some adoptions are actually subsidized by the government and go a lot smoother than one might think.

     The bottom line is that there is always a way to become proactive.  I don’t believe in just bringing up the problem, I pride myself in being part of the solution.


  1. KS Said:

    “For instance, I know that although there are some costs associated with adoption, those costs are, in some instances, nominal.”

    I’ve never heard of an adoption costing less than $20,000. My husband and I always wanted to adopt until we actually researched the financial reality. Not an option for us.

    • tabloodsaw Said:

      Well that’s because you were probably looking into private adoptions. First of all, each one is different. Second, if you go directly through the city/state there are minimal, if any, costs.

  2. kasdaniels Said:

    Two points here:

    1. Why is it we probably wouldn’t blink an eye to spend thousands on a new car but when it comes to adoption the cost is just too high?! I have found that there are several more affordable options for adoption out there. Like the response says above… if you choose a foster-to-adopt situation you can receive monthly subsidies.

    2. I totally understand the points of this article. Very valid. But here is a haunting figure… In my area the number of families waiting for a caucasian baby were 8+ as of January 2010 (they only allow a pool of 15 which fills up quickly). For an AA or biracial child only 1 family (which statistically they never have enough families willing to adopt). What do you propose for those precious children when there are not enough families willing to adopt them? What if there are only caucasian families in the pool for AA or biracial babies? Is it better to be foster raised than to be adopted into a interracial family?

    • tabloodsaw Said:

      I understand and do have my issues with that, particularly because I represent those children too. But I have a problem with their motives in spite of that.

  3. kasdaniels Said:

    Could you elaborate more on motives? Are you speaking of the adoptive parents motives?

  4. tabloodsaw Said:

    Yes I am. Why are there so many more Black boys being overlooked here in this country as options? Why is the choice to adopt abroad than right here?

  5. kasdaniels Said:

    There are many factors that contribute to making a decision to adopt abroad. I had once thought I would look outside of our country to start a family. It wasn’t until I was educated on the process of adopting domestically that my feelings changed. I agree many children are overlooked here in the states… and not just black boys either. I think every child deserves a home and parents to love them… no matter their color of skin. No doubt cultural differences will make for a very tough road (I am not ignorant to this fact), however, I do think it can be done in a way that allows a child to thrive. I also think a strong black woman, as yourself, could help women willing to open their hearts and home to a child of another race… you are in my eyes the perfect resource.

  6. tabloodsaw Said:

    Thanks. I appreciate your candor and openness. I do teeter on the edge, as I stated I represent children in Family Court who are in foster care. I do try to encourage individuals to help in some form or another and will continue to do so.

  7. WhiteDevil Said:

    Only blacks should be adopted by blacks. Its good to see that.

    You make a lot of good points. Whitey won’t raise a black boy in a way that teaches him his culture. LOL

    I love this blog.

    • kasdaniels Said:

      WhiteDevil –
      …in a perfect world this would, in fact, be ideal. All babies would be born to families that could raise them and provide a stable home. But as you know, this is obviously not a perfect world and there are babies (of all colors) born everyday without prospective homes. Sometimes race just shouldn’t be the issue, a loving, nurturing, God centered home should be our top priority for these children.

  8. Bonnie Said:

    I am the mother of two adopted children. Both are bi-racial. My daughter’s birth mother was white and blonde like me. My son’s birth father was white, like my husband. What would say about them? Bi-racial children statistically are adopted even less than AA children. Would we be less than ideal to raise them even though we represent at least half of their ethnic/cultural make-up? My son was born with cocaine in his system because his birth mother free based the whole time she was pregnant. Her 4 other children were removed by the state and finally placed with her grandmother (great-grandmother of the children) until the grandmother said no more. Who can blame her? At the time of our son’s birth she was already raising 4 children under 5. I hold a masters degree in counselling and many hours of doctoral studies in counselling psychology. I think you will find that the instances of abuse are still greater in biological families than in adoptive families. It is horrible whenever it occurs. In an ideal world all children would be born into loving healthy families who would nurture them and raise them to be strong and healthy individuals. But we don’t live in a ideal world. Why would it ever be better for a child to languish in foster care or an orphanage (they still exist) than to be raised by a loving family? I do support the idea that Black families need to adopt more children. I just can’t agree that a child of colour (no matter the mix) is better with a family whose skin better matches theirs.

    • tabloodaw Said:

      I know that many feel the way you do. However, part of the problem within the Black community is that they have no identity, which plays a huge role in self-esteem, which plays an even larger role when it comes to how they view the world and their importance in it. Of course an abandoned child is better off with any family than none, but the preference should still be with the same race.

      • Bonnie Said:

        But who decides which race is better for a bi-racial child. That’s part of my problem with this. Both of my children are part White. Why is it wrong for them to then be raised in a white family? I’m not trying to argue with you, really. I do understand your point and find it commendable. I wish that more Black families would adopt. I just think it is ridiculous that we live in a world where they are automatically Black because one parent is Black. Why aren’t they automatically White because one parent is White? We acutally moved to NZ, my husband’s country of birth, because there is a real sense of color blindness here. We wanted our children to be raised in a society where they would never be excluded because of the color of their skin, or because they don’t fit in to either group. The worst response I faced in the US was always from Black women–when I was out alone with kids. I think because they assumed my partner was Black. I even had a lady tell me one day how she hoped we were happy that we had created a child who would never fit in either world. I didn’t bother to tell her they are adopted, because they are still bi-racial which is what upset her. I think that is really sad. In NZ, my kids aren’t White or Black. They are just kids. They look like half of the other kids of mixed Pacific Island races and I doubt anyone will ever ask them “what are you?” And as much as we will make an effort to teach them about being part African American and make sure that they have Black friends/companions (we do have lots of Africans and Solomon Islanders in our friendship circles)–I don’t think they will grow up feeling as if they have missed anything. I pray that they won’t. I hope that being raised in a country where race is not such an issue that they will simply mature in happy, healthy humans.

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