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Transracial adoptions by White Celebrities on the rise

by Robert Randle  
10/02/2010 / Parenting

Pop Super-Star performer and "Material Girl" MADONNA is probably the first well-known celebrity to adopt a non-White child, followed by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman [when they were together]. After them, it is Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt ("Bradgelina"). Following their lead are: Hugh Jackman (aka "Wolverine"), Katherine Heigl ("Grey's Anatomy"), Jean Smart ("Samantha Who"), Sandra Bullock, and even Julia Roberts ("Pretty Woman") wants to adopt a little Indian girl; not such a surprise since she is a practicing Buddhist, by the way. With Sandra Bullock, it just might be 'Art imitating Life' because of her starring role in the movie, "The Blindside."

The issue is not to criticize or demonize Whites who want to adopt a Black child, and it is doubtful that the adoption agencies and Foster Homes will suddenly find that all their children of color have mysteriously disappeared ("raptured") to suddenly reappear in all the available White households. Based on the latest adoption statistics, of all the Black children in the foster care system, 32% of the 510,000 children in foster care are now Black. According to the New York Times, 26% of adopted black children in 2004 were adopted by mostly white parents and in a 2000 census, 16,000 households had adopted black children. This may not be all that surprising because the records of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers of Disease Control (CDC), 2008 Vital Health Statistics Series indicate that 84% of white adoption seekers would prefer or accept a Black child.

One could ask the question as to why not adopt another white child and provide him/her with a good home, education, financial security, affluent lifestyle, happiness and all the rest? Of course, one cannot dismiss the psychological implications and difficulty of being in an environment surrounded by people, no matter how loving, who don't look like you do; which is the concern expressed in a 2008 study by the Evan B Donaldson Adoption Institute. In an earlier opinion posited in the early 1970's by the National Association of Black Social Workers, it branded trans-racial adoption as "cultural genocide." They further state: "We affirm the inviolable placement [right] of black children in black families where they belong physically, psychologically and culturally in order that they receive 'the total sense of themselves' and develop a sound projection of their future." Can a non African-American parent raise a Black man-child into manhood, and will they be able to explain things that they are [should be] accustomed to on a personal level?

As a final point, since the main concern is adoption by the "RICH & FAMOUS," what has not been considered is when, say, someone like Ellen DeGeneres & Portia DeRossi, Melissa Ethridge or Rosie O'Donnell should want to follow suit in the same manner, what then? Perhaps before either a celebrity or average person decides on such a personal commitment they should watch the movie, "Losing Isaiah" to introduce them to some things they might want to consider beforehand.

Robert Randle
776 Commerce St. #B-11
Tacoma, WA 98402
September 30, 2010

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