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Generally, when we think of adoption, we visualize a same-race, same-culture family, to the point where the fosterage isn’t even obvious. But how does society view the families who don’t “match”? The controversy surrounding transracial adoption stems from the desire to preserve a child’s culture, while also providing them a sound, structured home life. Although opponents of multicultural adoption argue a child will lack self-identity if placed in a racially diverse household, stability and a permanent home ultimately overshadow a child’s cultural background.
Generally, in any sort of matchmaking, shared factors are seen as beneficial and promote success, which is also true for adoption. A social worker’s job is to find a home for a neglected child as quickly and efficiently as possible, paying little attention to race. A successful and fast adoption is more helpful to the foster home, family, and child being adopted. There is no denying that having a same-race family is ideal, as there are often negative consequences that come with transracial adoption, which includes more scrutiny than those who participate in same-race adoptions (“Advantages of Transracial Adoption”). However, seventy-three percent of formal adoptions are done by whites, and sixty-one percent of those available for adoption are not (Ravitz). Due to the unbalanced numbers of races wanting or needing to be adopted, minority children will suffer from a longer wait time, and some may never acquire a family. There is an idea that transracial families are incapable of diffusing a child’s culture with their own; however, most multicultural families succeed and often strive in incorporating different customs into the child’s upbringing.
Self identity and cultural awareness are indeed important, and transracial adoption is actually shown to expand children’s cultural horizons (Guberman). Multicultural families are given the opportunity to learn and embrace culture more than most families do. And again, many of these transracial families take this opportunity and run with it. Many challengers of mixed race adoptions argue that these children will experience heightened levels of racism. However, children of transracial adoptions are often embedded with the knowledge that they are different, and this upbringing leads to acceptance of other people and their cultures.This awareness of the child’s uniqueness often creates a positive identity for the child and expands racial awareness for the entire family (Guberman).
The ultimate goal of all adoptions is simply to find a loving family, as orphaned children are often twenty IQ points lower than those in foster-care, and oftentimes face issues including attachment disorders and developmental delays (“Facts and Statistics”). Interracial adoption, specifically, gives people an opportunity to essentially save a child from poverty-stricken areas or third world countries. Not only this, but transracial adoption provides an opportunity to promote and raise awareness toward adoption and promotes the integration of races within society. There is concern that children of transracial adoptions will grow to resent their parents for taking them away from their true culture, yet studies prove that multicultural adoption is an effective option and most children end up as happy and healthy as other adopted kids (Pro’s and Con’s). As mentioned earlier, most families incorporate culture accordingly, through celebration of festivals, arts, and cultural events specific to the child.
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