The downfalls of ethnic adoption


Rahjia Evans Crockett, Staff Writer

When adoption became legal in the US during 1851, most people saw it as a benefit for the kids being adopted. While it is a major benefit for those being adopted, there are also downfalls to adoption, especially in cases of ethnic adoption, that need to be considered.

Nearly 73% of adoptive parents are white adults, of which are less likely to adopt white children. The children they adopt often consist of African American, Asian or Hispanic descent. These white families extend their homes to kids of color or different raced kids without knowing how living in a white household will affect them.

Adopting parents should always educate themselves and their adopted child about who their child is regarding their ethnic background in order to make them feel comfortable with who they are. Ignoring a big part of a child’s ethnic background like parents who choose to not see “color,” can make the adoptive kids feel invisible.

Consider this: kids who grow up in homes that follow this concept of “not seeing color,” never get to face who they are because their families chose to ignore it. Confronting cultural backgrounds but also reassuring kids that they are accepted will benefit these kids more than anything else.

Sunny J Reed, a woman of Asian descent who was adopted when she was younger expressed that how she felt adoptive parents should approach discussions of race at home.

“Parents can begin by talking openly about their child’s race. Acknowledging differences is not racist, nor does it draw negative attention to your child’s unique status in your family. Instead, being honest about it places your child on the path to self-acceptance,” Reed explained.

Many kids develop their social identity by knowing who they are. Being around a different race of people for a long period of time could cause kids to get confused because the families set examples of what they need to be, not of who their child is.

Most would suffer from Racial Identity Crises, which is failure to achieve ego identity during adolescence. The stage at which this occurs is cohesion vs role confusion. Identity foreclosure is the stage most ethnic adopted children experience. Their white or different raced parents ignore who they are but while doing that they give them an example of what they should be. This leaves the kids with no alternative to be different.

The parents force images on their kids which prevent their kids from making their own choices or being able to grow as a person which results in Identity Diffusion, which is the stage that causes kids to fall into depression and have little to no self-esteem.

To conclude, adopting parents should consider the race of their child and how important it is for them to know who they are. Educating their child about who they are will help their child develop throughout life and will also teach them how it is okay to be different from your loved ones, not just through ethnicity but as they grow and learn.