The Color of Love

Baby D cried piteously as he was torn from the arms of the only parents he had ever known—and placed in the arms of grandparents he had never seen. Why? Had his parents abused him? No, their only "crime" was that they are white and Baby D is black. The couple had raised the baby for two years as foster parents and now wanted to adopt him. But government social workers turned him over to grandparents who until then had not even known he existed. It seems that for some social workers, racist ideology takes priority over children's real needs. Consider another example. In San Francisco, the department of social services handed over a biracial, cocaine-addicted baby to white foster parents—and then didn't bother to check on her for two years. The foster parents nursed the tiny baby to health, fed her, and clothed her. Then they decided to adopt her. At that point, the department of social services took notice of the child for the first time—and immediately tried to take her away from the only parents she had ever known. One social worker insisted that "African-American children raised in white homes lose their cultural heritage, lose track of who they are." This is an argument made frequently by the National Association of Black Social Workers. Transracial adoption has even been labeled "a kind of genocide." But the results of this way of thinking are often tragic. Though black families adopt at higher rates than white families, there are still not enough for all black children who need homes. By refusing to let white parents adopt, social workers virtually guarantee that black children will languish for years in institutions or be shunted between foster homes. It's ludicrous to argue that impersonal care is better for children than adoption by loving parents who happen to be of a different race. The fact is that minority children raised in white homes do very well. A 20-year study entitled "The Case for Transracial Adoption," conducted by two professors at the American University, found that most white parents are conscientious to introduce their adopted children to black culture, black history, and racial issues. As a result, the study found that the children exhibit healthy self-esteem and are comfortable with their racial identity. Unfortunately, this landmark study has received scant attention among those committed to an ideology of racial separatism. The adoption of black children has become a political football in a game that defines people more by their racial and ethnic features than by our common humanity. It's the politics of pigmentation. As Christians we should fight for the right of every child to a loving home, regardless of race. The good news is that families who want to adopt needy children of all races are getting help from Congress. The U.S. Senate has just passed the Multi-Ethnic Adoption Act, which prohibits the use of race to delay, deny, or otherwise discriminate in making foster-care or adoption placements. The bill has just been introduced into the House. I suggest you call or write your representatives and urge them to support it. Tearing a baby away from loving parents for no good reason should be identified for what it really is: It's not preservation of minority cultures, it's child abuse.


Chuck Colson



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