I started reading a book that a friend loaned me called In Their Own Voices, Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Story (by Rita Simon and Rhonda Roorda). The book starts out with Argument, Rhetoric, and Data for and Against Transracial Adoption.
I'm going to give you a quote from the book here, and open it up for discussion. I'm curious about what you think about this...
At its national conference in 1971 the president of the NABSW (National Association of Black Social Workers), William T. Merritt, announced, "Black Children should be placed only with black families, whether in foster care or for adoption." The following excerpt establishes the flavor of the speech:
Black children should be place only with Black families, whether in foster care or adoption. Black children belong physically, psychologically, and culturally in Black families in order that they receive the total sense of themselves and develop a sound projection of their future....Black children in white homes are cut off from the healthy development of themselves as Black people. The socialization process for every child begins at birth. Included in the socialization process is that child's cultural heritage which is an important segment of the total process. This must begin at the earliest moment; otherwise our children will not have the background and knowledge which is necessary to survive in a racist society. This is impossible if the child is place with white parents in a white environment....
We (the members of the NABSW) have committed ourselves to go back to our communities and work to end this particular form of genocide (transracial adoption).
I will share in a later post what the book goes on to say, but first, I'm interested in your response to the above quote. Need a little more fodder to think about...the book goes on to cite Mr. Merritt...
In addition, Merritt made the following claims:
- Black children who grow up in white families suffer severe identity problems. On the one hand, the white community has not fully accepted them; and on the other hand, they have no significant contact with Black people.
- Black children adopted transracially often do not develop the coping mechanisms necessary to function in a society that is inherently racist against African Americans.
-Transracial adoptions, in the long term, often end in disruption; and the Black children are returned to foster care.
This is obviously a subject very near and dear to my heart. Something I can't ignore or choose not to think about. I have very strong feelings on this issue, but before I get started, what do you think?