Black like me

Black like me

Transracial adoptive parents subjected to torrents of criticism. 

I recently joined a Facebook group devoted to transracial adoption. I thought that by joining I would meet and have enlightening and fulfilling discussions with like-minded people across the globe on the subject. I also thought it would be a good platform to attract readers to my blog which is on parenting and, occasionally, when the topic calls for it, the fact that my husband and I are white and our children are black and adopted. The old adage of being careful of what you wish for is ringing so loudly it threatens to drown out the maxed-out volume of our home.

The transracial adoptions group is large, with over 6,000 members, based predominantly in the United States. My request to join was accepted and I was told to read the pinned post and then spend at least 48 hours reading past postings to get a feel for the group. I read the pinned post then introduced myself and added a link to a blog I wrote six months ago on our journey to adopt our first child. I immediately received comments and feedback, all positive, with many queries regarding the differences in SA/US terminology, procedures, etc. Then I was rapped over the knuckles, put firmly back in my box and instructed not to engage again until I had done the 48-hour homework.

So I did – and was flabbergasted: I was totally out of tune with a community I had thought would be caring and sharing. Instead, I found my American counterparts so sensitive to the issue of race as to border on the ludicrous. They seemingly have a need to label everyone. 

A very serious query was posted asking if members would take offence at the acronym WAP (Whte Adoptve Parent).

Little Sarah comes home from ballet super-excited: the recital theme is The Jungle Book and she wants to be a monkey. Mm explains in her very best children's vocabularythat she cannot be a monkey.  You would truly believe these people are under constant racial attack ... with radars scanning every millisecond for a real or perceived slur.

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Submitted by : Pete Swanepoel of MONTCLAIR on 2015-08-29 07:59:03
We adopted 15 and 13 years ago. I must say it was not such a fraught process. Maybe because we were foster parents for quite a while (and three kids) before adopting? Our son was kept in a "place of safety" till he was 6mths old when he could have been with us at 2wks - a great and unnecessary pity. We got plenty of the "waddabout his/her culture?" crap from ignorant unthinking people (at the time we smiled and ignored, but for their information, one kid had a Nigerian father, one had an Indian father, one had a mixed-race mother - the "concerned idiots" assumed all of them were "Zulu"). Its been a wonderful journey. It astonishes me how adoptive parents' race is thought important "for the child" and is allowed to trump "good people", which should be the real requirement. Good luck and well done!
Submitted by : Adrian Cullingworth of Pinetown on 2015-08-28 12:08:47
What a brave couple I salute you both for taking on this responsibility. Its a shame that the powers that be don't recognise your service to our aching communities. Just by reading your article I can tell that your decision's to adopt these kids was born purely out of love. How lucky these little guys are to have parents like you!


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