Posts Tagged ‘Black Family’

Since We’re on the Topic, Let’s Talk Blacks and Adoption of Black Boys

     I recently read somewhere that Sapphire, the author of “Push”,  is working on another book that highlights the crisis regarding the over abundance of black boys in foster care.  It really hit me because, as I have mentioned on a number of occasions, I represent (well I used to anyway) children in the foster care system as an attorney in New York.  And what was troubling for me as their attorney, was not only the unbelievable number of Black children that filled the foster homes but the fact that the agencies were so unjustifiably willing to take these children from their homes, disrupting and destroying an otherwise functional family.  And no, the child protective workers were not always “just doing their jobs”, nor were they “erring on the side of caution” (given the fact that the federal statute requires that such agencies MUST implement “services” to the families to avoid removal).  Read my related blog post from my firm’s website, http://www.traceyabloodsaw.com/blog/2008/allegations-of-child-abuse-when-is-removal-of-the-child-justifiedMany of them were just puppets on a string, doing what the system is designed to do, destroy these families, and yes, particularly Black families.

     Regardless of the reasoning, justification or legitimacy the end result is a foster care system, not just in New York, that is overwhelmed by its population, mainly Black population.  My recent post about Blacks being the only ones who should be adopting Black children, prompted several responses here (and on other blogs, Facebook, etc.) about the lack of interest Blacks have in adopting Black children.  This, as many were emphatic in stating, leads to many Black children unfairly being left in loveless, sub par, inadequate foster homes if it were not for Whites adopting them.  Well, my response to this was  1) adoptive/foster parents abuse and neglect these children too (I have seen these cases firsthand) and 2) the motive or intentions of these adoptive parents is “suspect” to me, particularly because they choose to adopt abroad and because Black girls are chosen way more than Black boys. 

     So Sapphire got it right!  There is a crisis going on right now, concerning the proliferation of Black boys in the foster care system.  Let’s look at some data:

-although Black children make up only 15% of the national population, they make up almost 40% of the foster care system population (US Dept of Health and Human Services), while in states like D.C., Maryland and Illinois that number is doubled

-depending on the state, Black boys  make up more than half of the foster care population (see childwelfare.gov factsheets)

And although, according to Adoption.com, Blacks are allegedly more interested in adopting than Whites, 45% and 36% respectively, whether they actually adopt is a different story.  Not to mention, I believe this number varies depending on the source, which is supported by another article published on their site.  (http://library.adoption.com/articles/the-colors-of-adoption-black-vs.-white.html

     The issue is this:  We all know that the odds of a child getting the love, attention and nurture he so desperately needs being  in a foster home, versus being with an adopted family, are minimal, why aren’t we doing anything about it.  What is stopping YOU, single Black women, single Black man or Black couple,  from rescuing these children from this disastrous circumstance?

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 (http://blog.amnestyusa.org/us/knock-on-congress-door-to-stop-pregnancy-related-deaths/) 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.

Little to No Traffic for Online Search of “Black Family”

     I know we have been inundated with news reports, articles, blogs, etc. about  Black family, Black love, Black marriage and Black relationships/dating, in the past few months.  Topics ranged from the negative images, the paucity of any images, on the these issues in the media or the arts; the regressive or dysfunctional state of the Black community; the recent trends, studies, data and statistics regarding these-and the list goes on and on.  The point is, everyone and their Mama has spoken a word or two about what is going on with the Black family

     The thing I found most interesting is that I have been doing some extensive research on the internet recently and guess what!  there is little to absolutely NONE traffic on these very topics.  I mean I used every tool available to do a keyword analysis, web traffic analytics and other such mechanisms and apparently not many people care to know what is going on with the Black family.  Well, I should say that not many people in the world of Google, Yahoo or other major search engines, care to know.  This is alarming, no wait….it’s downright a travesty!  How can this be?  I mean with Monique winning an Oscar for partaking in the portrayal of a matriarch in the most dysfunctional Black family, while Sandra Bullock is regaled for playing the White mother who saves a wayward Black kid, if nothing else this should have sparked some more interest.  I mean the Black family is on perpetual attack and no one cares!  Am I the only one who feel like a pandemic is plagued our community?  Does anyone else care that if we do not infiltrate the media sources with our concerns, our demands, our downright insistence that we change the direction that the Black family and therefore the Black community will become extinct?  We are an endangered species do you have any idea what this means?

Black Single Mother Household Worth Millions to Advertisers

     Last night the 2010 Superbowl aired and it made tv history by having the most viewers ever!  There were several tv ads, many of them were Frito-Lays where they advertised Doritos.  One of the Doritos commercials, which was actually rated as one of the favorites by Superbowl viewers, was very controversial to many of us!  Yes, it was the one where there was a Black single mother whose son slapped her Black male date for checking out his mother as she walked across the room.   These depictions have been proliferating in the media, in musical lyrics, movie scripts, television scenes, etc. and now television commericals.   And this was not just any Doritos commercial, but a Superbowl ad that Frito-Lays paid millions to air with several million viewers watching.   This is what these marketers are subconsciously engraining in society’s psyche, that Black single mothers is the “norm”. 

     We all know that data and statistics indicate that only 1 out of every 3 Black children born, as 2002, are born to married couples, the other 2 of 3 are born to single mothers, allegedly more than double that of White children.  However, the reality is that there are more White single mothers than Black single mothers, the difference is that many of those White single mothers are divorced whereas many of the Black single mothers were never married.  Furthermore, Black boys raised by single mothers  are more inclined to go to prison, drop out of school, live in poverty and become dependent on drugs/alcohol as opposed to White boys raised by their single mothers.  The Black single mothers have a much tougher time rearing their sons because of their limited resources and limited support system, non-preferential treatment by state/local governments, sex discrimination by employers and negative societal expectations whereas their White counterparts do not have half of these obstacles to deal with.  This only goes to support my stance that our children need both parents, whether it be in the home or as an active parent in their lives. We are going to perpetuate the destruction of our children’s lives, and therefore the future of our community, if we allow this image to become so acceptable and so mainstream that it’s replete in music. television and movies.  We all have a duty to end it NOW!