Post Racial Adoption Society

This post is part of the Grown In My Heart Adoption Carnival. Anyone can join in.  If you’ve got something, anything to say about Adoption and Racism, get over there and participate.  Just click on Mr. Linky near the bottom of the page.

Like Claudia, I have some reservations about writing about racism in adoption.  I’m at least as white as she is, maybe more.  Try to keep that in mind.

Beyond the obvious, you know, white babies cost more than black babies.  That whole stupid thing that doesn’t make a bit of sense.  Especially since most perspective adoptive parents declare they don’t care what the baby looks like, they just want to raise one.  If that were true, folks would never pay the premium for white kids.  Oh but they do.

I’m not going to get into that.  It makes my head hurt.

I’m not going to cite instances of racism in adoption that I’m all too familiar with.  Other folks can address this better than I can.

I will say that there is a subtle feeling of racism with all things adoption.  I’m not saying that all adoptive parents are racist, or even that most adoption agencies have any kind of overtly racist agenda, I’m just saying it’s out there, and I think it’s something many of us feel. It’s that insidious non-specific kind of racism that comes all mixed up with privilege and money.

You hear a lot about how we are living in a larger post racial society.  I think that fact is, as best, debatable and more likely total bullshit, at least for a good portion of the population.  I know we aren’t in a post racial adoption society. In adoption race issues are obvious, and discussed frequently.  We know color blind doesn’t exist, we know everybody doesn’t come into the game on equal footing, we know it’s more complicated than that.

I think we know this because we have to deal with it.  We can’t just declare that we are done with all that stuff.  Maybe that’s good, we are at least not BSing ourselves.

Do we have any kind of understanding?  I’m not sure. But at least I think we are trying.

We should try harder.

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Crickets Can Have Opinions

“Don’t know why people think they have to be heard.”

-some dumbass  on a perspective adoptive parents blog in response to a few gentle, yet realistic, comments.

It seems that this guy has made up his mind on the subject of adoption and  everything else.  Good for him, it’s nice to know where you stand.  But why do they think they’ve made up everybody’s minds about everything?

I don’t think I can think of one person that I agree with on everything.  Lots of people share my interests, causes, opinions, sense of humor, and my time.  None of them share all of those things, even the people closest to me.  That’s alright with me.  I think some differences make things much more interesting.

I also have a lot in common with some folks who I disagree with on major issues.  I’m throwing a bridal shower tomorrow for one of the most dedicated Republicans I know.  We’ll never agree on politics, and we’ve had some spirited discussions on the subject, but we’ve both found a lot of things to like about each other.

In the adoption world I have many friends that I don’t see eye to eye with on every aspect.  I have to admit that I sometimes cringe at some of the things they say.  I won’t say I haven’t said some things that made them cringe. But if they will listen to me, I’ll listen to them.

Without allowing yourself to hear what others have to say, it’s too easy to become convinced that you are absolutely right in everything.  That can be a harmful place to be, harmful more to yourself than others.

One’s convictions should be tested from time to time.  It keeps them strong.  Any belief worth having should be able to stand up to opposition.

I wonder about folks who don’t believe that they can even hear opposing views.  Do they just feel that they don’t have time for it?  Are they frustrated that they can’t change others feelings by their presence?  Are they afraid they might change their mind?  Do they just not want to see those in opposition as people like they are?

I don’t know.  I guess I’ll never find out.  That’s OK, I have lots of friends.

Free Haitian Orphan Slight Return

Update 2/2/10

It’s been brought to my attention that the link I gave for Safe Families Haiti does not match the text I quoted.  That’s because the site I pulled that text from has been taken down.  But luckily it’s available in cache..

The site they don’t want you to see.

I’d like to thank my commenter Jill for pointing it out to me.

If you read through the enteries you’ll find all kinds of interesting craziness.

Gee, I wonder why they took that down?

In my place somewhere in the middle of the adoption world, I get to explore many different perspectives on every issue.  Things bubble up, points are made, and very little ever seems to change. This has intensified in the last few days, just this morning I found these on my Twitter feed.

First an organization called Safe Families Haiti, whose mission is stated as…

Safe Families is a network of Christian families that extend a safety net to children by providing at-risk families a sanctuary where they can place their children in a time of crisis. As a voluntary, non-coercive alternative to the state child welfare system, SFFC temporarily relieves parents from the responsibility of caring for their child and provides them time to address life issues without the fear of losing custody. Children are cared for by volunteer host families that are screened, trained, and serve to demonstrate Christ’s transforming love.

..seems to be looking for anyone who wants to take a Haitian child.  Here’s their website..

www.safe-families.org

Sounds OK, right?  A bit churchy, but non-coercive, and temporary.  Just what may be needed while families of Haitian children get their lives back in order after a terrible disaster.

Wrong.

Their next message reads like this….

Because of the response of families who desire to adopt children, we no longer need families who are interested in temporary housing. We are looking to place all children we receive with families who are considering adoption.

So I guess it’s just to hell with the temporary stuff, and you get to keep the kid.

All kinds of problems there.

But as I said, I’m in the middle, so I got this on my Twitter feed too.

Whites Make Pact With God, Expedite Haitian Adoptions

http://outlandishremarks.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/whites-make-pact-with-god-expedite-haitian-adoptions/#comment-54

Reading that, if not really changing anything about the situation, made me feel better.  I’m not just imagining this becoming some kind of free-for-all for ravenously entitled PAPs.

And you know what the really bad thing is? The above blog is about folks who were already involved in the process of adopting from Haiti.

Just think of the kids who weren’t matched, who won’t have any paperwork, who might have families that will come looking for them, and find nothing.

What is wrong with people? Folks can’t just help a kid out?  They have to get to keep them?  That’s hardly selfless, or well thought out.

Lions and Tigers and Baptists, Oh My!

Seems I’m not the only one who has been bothered by Baptist bent on burglering babies.  Haiti is having it’s own problems with that plague.  For those who have been under a rock, a bunch of Baptists on a mission decided they could just load up some kids off the street and whisk them away to a better life.  God knows if they were allowed to stay with their parents they might take up dancing.

While the dunkers don’t seem too good at this whole child trafficking thing, I wonder about what’s happening with folks who a little better at it.  The disciples of John seem to think that Jesus will provide some type of spiritual-diplomatic immunity, others know better.  They are craftier, sneakier, smarter.  Child snatching isn’t just something they do with their vacation time, it’s their profession.

Make no mistake, they are in Haiti.  They are looking, taking, profiting.

Right now everybody seems to be focused on the folks that got caught.  Maybe we should think about the others that are surely still out there.

In happier places, the weather relented a bit this weekend and I was able to go outside without risking my exposed skin freezing in a matter of minutes.  That was something.