If the parents are white, and the kids...aren't.

Carol

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I was watching a Law and Order rerun last night. A black boy had been placed with a white foster family because his birth mother was a crack addict. The birth mother, who had since cleaned herself up, hatched a scheme to try and kidnap her son back.

Her trial, which accounted for about half of the show, was mostly social commentary. "White women place their kids with nannies while they go to Betty Ford, but black women have their children taken away from them while they wait in line for a bed in city rehab."

This story was of interest to me because a relative of mine is interested in adopting children. There are more children of color waiting for adoption than there are white children. Plus, while my relative is white, she lives in a majority-black county. Do the math and...the child or children that she adopts will most likely be children of color.

I don't have an issue with this. I have biracial cousins in the area so I'd wager that most of my family wouldn't have an issue with this either. And I bet most people here on MT would have an issue with this.

But it does make me wonder about different attitudes.

Does anyone think that its a bad idea for white parents to raise kids that are racial minorities? If so, why?

(This is a sensitive topic...please, no flames for anyone here)
 

MA-Caver

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How much more so of a touchy subject if it were a black couple wanting to adopt a white child?
Sadly racism still exists though in my area it's not as prevalent as it was when I was growing up say 20+ years ago here. Yet it still exists. What I'm seeing however is a change towards WHOM the whites here are being prejudiced against. But it is another topic.
Yet my observation of it is, that it seems that white people MUST have somebody (of color) to hate or they're just not happy. :(

When I was in Utah I saw numerous white couples with black babies. In a desire to raise a child from infancy it seemed the quickest way to go because there's not a demand for them... or it's cheaper as a white infant is considerably more expensive to adopt than any other race, because of the high demand.
My eldest brother and his wife adopted 5 children from Central America, mainly because (again) it's cheaper and the process is a lot faster and the children can be gotten at any age desired. Now they've got 5 lovely brown skinned children being raised up in white values/culture (so to speak).
No I do not have a problem with it, these children were undoubtedly from the poorer sections of their native homeland and would've lived in a life of extreme poverty and squalor rather than in relative comfort and a half million dollar home, ... interesting comment I should make ... our uncle did before he passed away... told my brother who gave him the news "well.... at least they ain't black." My brother told me that it took almost everything that he had not to rail against my uncle over the phone or to hang up.
Racism is still there.

I guess the only concern of a white couple raising a black child is that the couple MIGHT not expose the child to it's own cultural heritage, or live in a predominately white neighborhood and the child isn't exposed to children of like color... no, that's not necessarily true but I think the gist of what I'm trying to say is there.

I've got black friends at work that I can talk racial subjects with freely and I can ask them their view point... I'll post again when that's done... might be a couple of days because I'm nursing a cold and might have to miss a day or two.
 

Cryozombie

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I guess the only concern of a white couple raising a black child is that the couple MIGHT not expose the child to it's own cultural heritage, or live in a predominately white neighborhood and the child isn't exposed to children of like color... no, that's not necessarily true but I think the gist of what I'm trying to say is there.

This was my only thought, although I wouldnt limit it to black and white. I see it like this... Skin color is skin color... Black White Green (Hey I saw the new Star Trek, rrrraaawwww!) whatever... people are people to quote Depeche Mode.

BUT... are you depriving a child of thier culture/heritiage if you are of a different one from them? Maybe, if you are not up on the intracacies of their heretige? Sure, quite possibly. However... If I had the choice between growing up "in the system" as it were, or having a family of a different heretige who loved me? Guess what my choice would be?

So I guess it's really a non-issue, to me.
 
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Carol

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What if you don't know what the child's cultural heritage is?

If a famiily adopts a child from, say Guatemala, they know they are adopting a Guatemalan child.

However if a family adopts a child inside the U.S., there is generally nothing said regarding the birth parent's identity.
 

girlbug2

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Let's see, my cultural heritage is mainly German, Irish, and Czech. The only German cultural heritage I know anything about is how to say "please" and Thank You in German. We didn't eat particularly German food at any time, nor did my grandparents don leiderhosen and play traditional German songs on the accordian. I had even less exposure to my Irish heritage and my Czech heritage. More than anything, I was raised by Midwestern cultural standards...shame on my parents!!! I must have been quite deprived now that I think about it.

I think it's silly to worry about whether or not American kids of any color get exposure to their cultural heritage, whatever that really means. If you're born and raised here, guess what, you're American. There is the internet and libraries for looking anything you want to about your roots when you're old enough to care about it. But in the meantime, IMO there are much more pressing issues involved in being good parents, whether biological or adoptive, than artificially contriving to expose kids to "cultural heritage".

Only in America would we even think twice about such things. In the poor countries these kids are coming from, I guarantee you they're far more concerned about getting decent meals and clothing to fret about such things.
 

Big Don

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My sole first cousin on my mom's side is black. We aren't. He is black, because his mom cheated on my uncle. Both his parents, even though they divorced when he was five, have always been loving and supportive. People, though, are, mostly asses.
If they want to adopt a child, that is GREAT, regardless of what they or the kid look like.
They just need to know, they will be hated by morons of all colors, political persuasions, etc.
 

tellner

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My mother in law is from China. My father in law's family moved up from the South after the Civil War, and his fraternity was kicked out of the national body for admitting him in the 50s. So you can guess how much of his tan comes from a booth.

While my wife was growing up she was White. Her family was American living in East African. So they were Mzungu - Europeans. She didn't realize she was Chinese or Black until she moved back to color-blind America.

A friend of ours is paler than I am which takes real natural talent and hard work. He spent eight years as a street Capoerista in Brazil. While he was there he was Black because of where he lived, who he hung out with, what sort of Portuguese he spoke and so on. Eventually he decided he wanted to be White again and returned to the States.

Until late into the 19th Century Irishmen in the UK and the US weren't "White". They were Irish.

But Jews are more closely related to Northern Iraqis than they are to Europeans and are White (except to Dolf and His All-Boy Marching Band).

The genetic variation between human populations is generally the same as that within them which means that race is scientifically meaningless unless you're talking about the San and one or two other groups in godsforsaken parts of Africa. Jesse Helms (may his evil name and memory be erased) is biologically (and spiritually) a brother to Louis Farrakhan. And neither of them is "Original Man"/"Covenant People".

So please, tell me what the hell you mean by "parents are white, and the kids...aren't". You're not making any sense except in the narrowest artificial tribal sense.
 

elder999

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Hmmm.

This whole thin is nuanced and silly; as Mr. Tellner has ably pointed out, race is largely a social construct-wholly dependent upon where you are, and rarely more important than right here in "color-blind" America.

I'm Polynesian/Native/African/White(??!) American, though if cornered on it, I'll usually self-identify as "black." Legally, I'm "half" Indian (which half? :lol:) My kids' mom was probably mostly Germanic-she was adopted, so it's largely a mystery, and her mom is F.O.T.B. Italian, so she often also identified herself as "Italian," but no one ever really knew....

So, I'll see you one better: what if the kids are "white," and the parent....isn't? I can tell you that it largely doesn't matter, except occasionally to some really stupid white people: in department stores,sometimes in police cars, and rather famously (and poetically) in airports.

Each of the Albuquerque team's poems touched on the subject of racial confusion.
Aaron Cuffee's individual piece about growing up with a white mom and a black dad covered this topic.
"I could never understand black and white," he began, "I only saw shades of pink and brown."


Stupid ****ing people.They're everywhere, I tell you.:lol:
 
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bluekey88

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I'm of Irish, Scottish decent with a wee buit of German thrown in....I'm whiter than white bread. My wife is from Italian and German stock. We foster three boys, one white, one black and one Cambodian. These three foster boys all have significant special needs (all three qualify as mentally retarded. Two have severe autism and one has downs syndrome.

From years of parenting them and dealing with the unique blend of our cultures with theirs, dealing with their families and their differing levels of inv9lvemenet in their lives (and their differeing attitudes towards us), dealing with our neighbors, the socail/welfare ssytem, etc...I've come to some conclusions...take them for what they are worth.

Love trumps everything. It may sound trite, but love and compassion heal. Real love is unconditional.

culture is important. It informs us as to where some behaviors are coming from and it allows us to understand and empathize. It informs us to certain behaviors. However, creating a shared culutre within th efamily is even more improtant that the culture outside the family. The culutre within the family changezs with each new addition and subtraction.

Race is gneerally unimportant except where cyulture is concerned. Skin color is just color. Sadly, others don't always get that. Even in this day and age, I've caught crap for having a mukti-racial family....with special needs. i don't get it, but that's the way it is and i try not to dwell on it

In the end, everyone needs to feel loved. Everyone needs a hug. Everyone needs to feel safe. Everyone needs boundaries. Everyone needs to be pushed to become better than they are and to live to their full potential. Everyone will sometimes resent being pushed, but hugs are a great way to mollify that.

Parenting is hard.

The differences between those with special needs and those without are few. We all have the same capacity for emotions and the same needs for food, shelterm safety, love, companionship, acceptance, etc. However, where teh differences exist, they are profound.

Don't get hung up on the differences.

Everyone likes to play catch.

No matter how old you are, no matter your cultural/racial background, no matter your level of intellectual functioning....farts are funny.

Even severely autsitic kids like to play rock band.

Kids with special needs are hard on the furbniture. they break stuff faster than you cna fix it. It is best to continually remind yourself that it jsut stuff...stuff can be replaced, people cannot.

Sometimes, things can't be fixed.

Just because a person cannot talk does not mean they do not understand everything that is happening. It does not mean that they cannot communicate.

I coulsd go on...but I've already gone on too long.

Sorry to sound preachy....race should be less of an issue in foster care/adoption than the ability for peop;e to live in loving families.

Peace,
Erik
 

harlan

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I'll get back to this after I've asked my black siblings. Oh, wait...only half-black. But American Black isn't 100% black. But theirs is Jamaican black...so that at least 100% black...right? So, white mom and 'black' dad, and that makes them...what...black/white, black...why not white?

Oh...but the tv show is about adopted kids...they aren't really one's children...birth children are ones real children...right?

This kids view growing up in a ghetto was that there were plenty of mix and match situations of black, white, extended family and the study of kinship could get every kid a Master's degree. TV portrayals of society *cough propaganda* aside, I didn't see any Betty Ford options for poor white folk. The key aspect that the show seems to have missed is that the underlying factor is....money. Not color. Money, and the current, socially approved values associated with the dominant culture that controls it, and the various strategies employed to validate 'identity' within those confines.

It's class warfare. Black, white, red, yellow...the only color missing is...green.
 
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RandomPhantom700

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Methinks we need to shift focus here a bit. Yes, race is a social construct, as the actual genetic difference for skin color is negligible. This has already been pointed out. So in the societies where skin color doesn't carry social histories and stigmas, interracial adoption would be a non-issue.

But that is not the case with the U.S. and other Western societies. One need only look at the varying costs for white vs. non-white babies to see this. My concern, if I were to adopt a black or asian or a child of any race that looks different from me, would be them asking, at whatever age, "Daddy, why do my friends look at me funny when they see that you're white?" And, for reference, I have both Irish and Hispanic heritage, but my skin-color favors the former. Although I do tan well. :p

Noble as the adoptive parents are for choosing to adopt a child regardless of color may be, the kids are going to grow up knowing the difference between black, white, hispanic, mulatto, etc. Sooner or later, they're going to realize there are difference, socially-constructed or not. I think that's a bit closer to the issue then an academic discussion of the relative triviality of skin color.

Oh, and please don't take what I've written as being against interracial adoption. I actually admire the choice and am considering it for myself when I'm in a position to take on parenting. My only point is that if you do select to adopt a child of a different race, the issue will eventually come up, socially-constructed or not.
 

MA-Caver

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Race is generally unimportant except where culture is concerned. Skin color is just color. Sadly, others don't always get that. Even in this day and age, I've caught crap for having a multi-racial family....with special needs. i don't get it, but that's the way it is and i try not to dwell on it
Well as Elder pointed out there are still stupid (white) people who still think that way, and will give you crap about it. Though they may not always be exclusively white and that just says that we as a people, as a species still have a ways to go.

In the end, everyone needs to feel loved. Everyone needs a hug. Everyone needs to feel safe. Everyone needs boundaries. Everyone needs to be pushed to become better than they are and to live to their full potential. Everyone will sometimes resent being pushed, but hugs are a great way to mollify that.
Amen

Parenting is hard.
The differences between those with special needs and those without are few. We all have the same capacity for emotions and the same needs for food, shelter safety, love, companionship, acceptance, etc. However, where the differences exist, they are profound.
True, yet people seem to see difference as the strange, odd and not for what they truly are familiar and unique. Because in an same race family there are still... differences between the siblings and parents... it's just not pigmentation.

Don't get hung up on the differences.
Amen.

Everyone likes to play catch.
No matter how old you are, no matter your cultural/racial background, no matter your level of intellectual functioning....farts are funny.
:)
Even severely autistic kids like to play rock band.
Bet they're damned good at it too. :D

Kids with special needs are hard on the furniture. they break stuff faster than you can fix it. It is best to continually remind yourself that it just stuff...stuff can be replaced, people cannot.

Sometimes, things can't be fixed.

Just because a person cannot talk does not mean they do not understand everything that is happening. It does not mean that they cannot communicate.
:)

I could go on...but I've already gone on too long.

Sorry to sound preachy....race should be less of an issue in foster care/adoption than the ability for people to live in loving families.
Peace,
Erik
This post of yours has gone to my "top ten best posts of the year" list... it wasn't preachy (not to me anyway), it's thoughtful, insightful and spoke volumes of experience and most loudly... from the heart.

Indeed race shouldn't be an issue at all when it comes to children and who raises them. That the ones who adopt should be screened for their ability to love, care, protect and nurture fully as if the child were their own.
No, race shouldn't be an issue but "they still walk among us"... the stupids the narrow minded.
The integration of adopting children could be an important step in getting rid of the racial stereotypes and hatred that still festers like an infection in our respective societies.
This kids view growing up in a ghetto was that there were plenty of mix and match situations of black, white, extended family and the study of kinship could get every kid a Master's degree. TV portrayals of society *cough propaganda* aside, I didn't see any Betty Ford options for poor white folk. The key aspect that the show seems to have missed is that the underlying factor is....money. Not color. Money, and the current, socially approved values associated with the dominant culture that controls it, and the various strategies employed to validate 'identity' within those confines.

It's class warfare. Black, white, red, yellow...the only color missing is...green.
Actually I think that GREEN is the dominate and deciding color in matters of adoption. It's not skin.
You hit the nail on the head there fella.
 

morph4me

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I was watching a Law and Order rerun last night. A black boy had been placed with a white foster family because his birth mother was a crack addict. The birth mother, who had since cleaned herself up, hatched a scheme to try and kidnap her son back.

Her trial, which accounted for about half of the show, was mostly social commentary. "White women place their kids with nannies while they go to Betty Ford, but black women have their children taken away from them while they wait in line for a bed in city rehab."

This story was of interest to me because a relative of mine is interested in adopting children. There are more children of color waiting for adoption than there are white children. Plus, while my relative is white, she lives in a majority-black county. Do the math and...the child or children that she adopts will most likely be children of color.

I don't have an issue with this. I have biracial cousins in the area so I'd wager that most of my family wouldn't have an issue with this either. And I bet most people here on MT would have an issue with this.

But it does make me wonder about different attitudes.

Does anyone think that its a bad idea for white parents to raise kids that are racial minorities? If so, why?

(This is a sensitive topic...please, no flames for anyone here)

How can it be a bad idea to take an unwanted or orphaned child and love him and raise him? There are stupid, ignorant peope who will have problems with anything, trying to live by their ideals and standards is like trying to stop the tides. There are problems in raising any child, the problems will be different for an interacial family and they'll deal with them, just like everybody else does.
 

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My pale, freckled, red-haired cousin has a son whose father is African-American. The child resembles his father-brown skin, tightly curled black hair. Apart from the racist donkey-holes who say snide things to my cousin (and, btw, those donkey-holes are both white-skinned and brown-skinned), the lack of family resemblance has occasionally caused some confusion.

Personally, I have no problem with loving parents of any race (or sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, etc.) adopting needy kids of any race. The point is to provide care for the child. Parents who make their kids their priority are good parents, no matter what color they are.
 

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My civilian job is that of an assistant prosecuting attorney, handling my county's abuse, neglect and dependency cases. For over a decade now I have been seeking to remove children from bad situations, and seeking to terminate parental rights more often than I would like. My county is about as average as it gets. We have a medium sized midwestern city situated close to to larger cities, and a couple of smaller towns and a rural area as well. Our population likewise is average, with people of all races and socio-economic spheres represented.

With that in mind, I will simply say that it is my opinion that the statement "White women place their kids with nannies while they go to Betty Ford, but black women have their children taken away from them while they wait in line for a bed in city rehab" is quite inaccurate. Wealthy women, of whatever color, go to Betty Ford. Poor women struggle for rehab. Oddly, it has been my experience that drug involved black women will often have more extended family and friends willing to step forward to assist by taking custody while they go through rehab. Typically, unless a drug involved white female has immediate family willing to step up, their children will end up in temporary custody. I have never run the numbers for our county based on race, but we see many children that are black, white and bi-racial coming through the system.

As for the adoption question itself, all I can say is that we need more people willing and able to take on the role of both foster and adoptive parents and who are able to look past skin color, not to mention developmental issues. Quite frankly, as long as a child is of average intelligence, they have the ability to immerse themselves in their cultural background to the extent they desire once they begin to mature. I think it is appropriate for adoptive parents to allow and even encourage exploration, but it is by no means incumbent upon them to push cultural immersion.

Originally posted by tellner:

The genetic variation between human populations is generally the same as that within them which means that race is scientifically meaningless unless you're talking about the San and one or two other groups in godsforsaken parts of Africa...
So please, tell me what the hell you mean by "parents are white, and the kids...aren't". You're not making any sense except in the narrowest artificial tribal sense.

While you make good points from a genetic point of view, I think your comments are virtually utopian in nature, wishing to discount the psychological and sociological impact of color, community and the "artificial tribal" nature of humans. Humans, like other animals, tend to group with others like us, either in skin color, ideology, or whatever. Historically, or perhaps from an anthropological point of view, the features of another person (skin, hair and eye color, their mode of dress, etc...) were likely the quickest, easiest, and surest way of identifying someone not of our tribe or clan, and thus likely to be an enemy. While we no longer typically have the need for such quick identification in most situations, the fact that such an instinctive response is still present in us seems to be obvious to me. Whether it is a white female who finds herself in the presence of a group of black teens or a black man who finds himself in the midst of a bunch of "rednecks," or even an uneducated "hillbilly" among a group of wealthy country clubbers, and any number of other scenarios you care to think of, the perceptual signals create very real physical responses geared toward flight or fight. Instinctively, we recognize the difference from our "norm," and we respond accordingly. Quite frankly, I don't think the "genetic similarity" argument would hold up in any of those situations either.
 

punisher73

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Originally Posted by bluekey88
Race is generally unimportant except where culture is concerned. Skin color is just color. Sadly, others don't always get that. Even in this day and age, I've caught crap for having a multi-racial family....with special needs. i don't get it, but that's the way it is and i try not to dwell on it
Well as Elder pointed out there are still stupid (white) people who still think that way, and will give you crap about it. Though they may not always be exclusively white and that just says that we as a people, as a species still have a ways to go.

Stupid knows no color. Please don't make it seem like ONLY white people have a problem with interracial (oxymoron in itself since there is only one race--human) relationships. I have seen heard it from all types of people and colors.
 

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Yet my observation of it is, that it seems that white people MUST have somebody (of color) to hate or they're just not happy. :(

Really? Who do YOU hate? Or do you maybe want to use a smaller brush?
 

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speaking AS an adopted person, I have some thoughts on this one.

If i was going to adopt a child, I would just be happy to have one. If I ended up with a black child, i wouldnt care. if someone told me that as a white person, i shouldnt be raising a black child, i would prob think about kicking them in the junk for being stupid.
 

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Here's the deal. One of my nieces is bi-racial ,( what a stupid word), she is not of african-american decent. She is however as black as the ace of spades, and she is the coolest little girl you will ever meet. That being said. The cultural issue did arise at one point. What about music? My little sister told her ex-boyfriend at the time, "My brother probably knows more about that than you do." What about this thing, and that thing, and in the final analysis, She's American and that is her culture, that is her heritage. In my family were mainly German, Irish, and Cherokee. But, it doesn't matter, she gets the same culture experience we all get.....The American Cultural Experience. That is what matters. All the rest is ********. Really. My sister as a white woman gets more CRAP! From black people, than anybody else. Seriously. Dirty looks and the whole nine yards. She brushes it off, my niece doesn't even notice, unless some dirt bag decides to make a scene which has happened more than once. Once with about 10 girls. Got physical. My other sister was there, I was there, my father was there, 4 on 10 it was even. LOL! Seriously though, on the other side of that, there have been those that were tremendously helpful. Understanding that it is what it is, and little white girl needs some help in the hair department. Cause let me tell you something, black peoples hair is really hard to take care of properly. It's not like mine, or most of the people on martial talk, and if you haven't dealt with that hair, you would be lost. So, it's like a 50/50. SOme people are cool with it, and will give helpful hints and suggestions, and others are appalled by it, and pissed off, ready to go to blows. I think personally that color should not enter into it, when your thinking about giving a kid a home. As long as there is love, that is all that is necassary to create a wonderful, loving child and future adult. All the cultural crap, and racial ********, kind of falls to the way side when there is love in the mix. Like my driller Moe told me, " When you have love in your house, it doesn't matter. Everything else falls in place." And a truer statement I have never heard when it comes to the family unit. Whether it be a natural family or an adoptive one.
 

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