Before I begin it’s important for my readers to read the disclaimer. I was hesitant at first to write this because I am 100% White. I do not want to Whitewash a very important topic. If any of my friends, or anyone who is not my friend, is Asian, Biracial, or Black and disagrees with me writing this or disagrees with anything written in this then automatically they are correct in what they say. What I am saying is I do not want to sound like I am speaking for Black people and Asian people at all. What I am trying to do is speak for adoptees. Next, I’m going to bring up an actual example of a Jewish family who raised Black sons. In no way is giving this actual example anti Semitic. I see cultural genocide of adopted children in the homes where the adoptive parents are a wide range of ethnicities, not just necessarily Jewish. Finally, there is a difference between Judaism and Jewish. I interviewed Bennett Greenspan; CEO of Family Tree DNA, who is Jewish who was the first to create ancestral DNA testing and did so for adoptees unlike ancestry.com who openly claimed in a video to support the birthparent privacy myth. When you test if you are Jewish it comes up as its own ethnicity, separate from European ethnicities. Anyone can practice Judaism, regardless of race, but Jewish is its own ethnicity and is not European. For example, the Jewish people explained in the book of Exodus hailed from modern day Ethiopia. Still, nearly all Jewish people adopting Black children today do not have their roots in the continent of Africa. We often hear the arguement that race is socially constructed and there is no difference in races. Yes, I have seen differences in how race is socially constructed between here in the United States and Brazil, but there are differences according to forensic anthropologists. The important thing here, which I will emphasise in this blog, is to celebrate and preserve these differences for the benefit of cultural preservation.
I enjoy writing. It’s what I really want to do as a full time job, and I am working towards it. I know you do see mistakes here and there on my blog, but I don’t take the grammatics as seriously as I would when I’m working on my novel, for example. In fact, as I read through this on February 16, 2019 I am trying to fix the spelling and grammar mistakes on these articles of mine, although I will not get to them all tonight. I enjoy writing about all sorts of things, not just about the topic of adoption.
I wanted to write for a local magazine here in western New York. I wrote the editor in chief and she said sure send me some copies. The topic of this local magazine is about health. Often there are articles about knowing ones family medical history. I wrote two articles, possibly three to her, and the reply I got was one of a brat. Why are you bothering me when I’m on vacation? No, I’m not interested in you writing for us. Such is the reply of an adopter who is an editor in chief for a magazine talking about the importance of knowing one’s family health history, but doesn’t want to hear how closed adoptees are denied that access or how the adoptive parents of closed adoptees before the adoptee is an adult don’t have access to that information creating grief as well for adoptive parents who become woke to the problems and abuse, yes abuse, of adoption. She told me to send my articles to her. She did not mention she was on vacation.
More than a year, or I think more than a year goes by, and I see an article in the local magazine. It’s about a Jewish family, who mistakingly keeps mentioning they are a White family, who raised two Black sons. The article goes onto say that aside from teaching their two now adult sons about racism in America, they never felt comfortable to have them embrace, understand, and study African American, Black American cultures. I say cultures because there is a diversity within a race of people. The two boys were raised deep in the Jewish culture, attending as well a Jewish school, living in a very Jewish community, going to Hebrew school, having a bar mitzvah. Now, it’s wonderful to teach your children about different cultures, races, ethnicities even to the point of having them participate. However, the problem with closed adoption is the cultural genocide it creates, which I discussed before in His Name is Jorge. I experienced my own cultural genocide. I was raised with a lot of Polish culture. I did come to discover I am 4% Polish, and proud of it, and it’s great to embrace all things Polish but nobody, like myself, should have to wait until their mid twenties to know their ethnicities or some adoptees who are already in their seventies. These two Black men experienced cultural genocide. There is nothing wrong with embracing their adoptive parents Jewish culture and Judaism, but not at the expense of losing their Black culture which they did. Instead of interviewing them, which would have been appropriate, the magazine article interviews their adopter who acts like an expert on adoption. I’m sure she’s a nice lady, and I have no doubt loves her sons, but there was blatant evidence that her and her husband did not want to raise their sons to be Black and did not want them know African American, Black American history. I, as a 100% White person, have a big problem with people adopting a child of a different ethnicity and especially of a different race and then trying to stick a a square peg in a round hole. Yet this was completely celebrated in the magazine with article stating, love makes a family, all that matters is love. Our sons are well adjusted. One who is cut off from his people and the history of his ancestors is not well adjusted. Again, had the adopters in this story been Italian American or Hungarian American or Irish American my words would be exactly the same. Furthermore, this family could be partially European American. Very, very few people are 100% one race.
Interracial adoption is popular now. It is a part of the societal fabric of many predominately White nations such as Canada, Ireland, Sweden, and the United States. I do wonder what overall White people would say if most interracial adoptions were reverse and that the adoptees were White children and the adoptive parents and adopters (I make a distinct difference between the two) were Black or Asian. Honestly, I don’t think it would be as positive as it is now with how things are now, especially if the adoptive parents were Black.
There are White adoptive parents who do have their adopted children who are Asian, biracial, or Black embrace their cultural roots and make sure they have same race mentors and friends. Unfortunately, there are many who whitewash their children. This isn’t only with children of colour. Online I read the comments of an adopter father, White, who adopted a boy from Russia, and then didn’t want him having anything to do with Russia. As I explained in His Name is Jorge, adopted children are multicultural, and some should be bilingual because they were born in countries such as Russia and South Korea. Why wouldn’t you want your adopted child to preserve their original language? The more languages you know, the better.
I remember many years ago working in a daycare. A brother and sister were adopted from a Central American country. They were definitely old enough to know they had brown skin and their adoptive parents had white skin. Yet the adoptive parents were adament in telling us that they did not want their children to know they were adopted. Why not? Clearly the adoption wasn’t about benefitting the children. Why are you hesitant to tell your own adopted children that they are adopted? Several years later I would come to learn that Guatemalan adoptions have a strong affliation to kidnappings. I will write an article on how the adoptive parents of children who were adopted from countries with kidnapping ties such as Guatemala, Cambodia, and Ethiopia should not take the blame at all for something they were never informed about. It is not their fault, and they were lied to as well.
Several years ago, in fact in the same year as the daycare incident, I was visting my adoptive paternal grandma at a nursing home who had severe dementia. There were two adopted children outside who were adopted from Colombia. They were about seven, eight years old. Their White grandmother told me they were from Colombia and so I started speaking Spanish to them. The grandmother became furious and explained that one should lose their native tongue and “speak English” in America and only English. Of course, it was that woman’s generation who taught her that. Look at my own adoptive mum. The elders in the family spoke Polish, but they never taught it to my mum and my uncle because they wanted them to be “all American”. I started learning Polish from my dzadza (granddad) until he passed away because I’ve always had a knack and enjoy languages. Today, I am a polyglot.
Family friends of my adoptive family from the Syracuse area have next door neighbours whose children have just become adults. Their daughter is biologically theirs, and their son is adopted from somewhere in Asia although I can’t remember where; I want to say Vietnam. They expressed openly deep disappointment in their Asian son being diagnosed with lower functioning autism to their neighbour, my friend who trust me having biological biracial children herself reemed them. They were disappointed thinking they were going to adopt one of those “smart Asians”, which yes, is deeply racist.
When you adopt a child of a different race there’s a lot of questions to go over, but not only to go over but to actually use in your daily life.
1. Is this adoption necessary? Can this child be raised in their own country or will they be killed or heavily discriminated if not taken out of the country?
2. How will you talk to fellow family members who are racist to your adopted child?
3. Will you make sure your child goes to a school or a homeschooling group that has at least some children of the same race and/or ethnicity?
4. Will you make sure your child has mentors of the same race and/or ethnicity?
5. Will you learn the language of your child if you’re adopting from a country such as South Korea?
6. How much Asian, Asian American, African, African American history do you know? Going well beyond that of the Japanese American internment camps, the Chinese Exclusion Act, trans Atlantic slavery, and Jim Crow. Can you name ten famous Asian American people? Can you name famous African American people besides that of Harriet Tubman, Booker T Washington, Martin Luther King, and the other very popular names?
7. How will you prepare your Black children for violent racism toward them? How will you prepare your Black son for the fact they could be killed by the police even when they are literally doing nothing wrong like the 6 ft 4″ Black man who was wearing a shirt that said security and was murdered by the police that he was working for for eight years who claimed “they didn’t recognise him.” I do acknowledge the fact that White people as well, including a White teenager in August 2017 or 2016, have been unnecessarily killed by police but there are a lot, lot more Black victims.
8. Will you be prepared for people who stare at your family? Not necessarily because they are racist but because you are a White couple with an Asian child, and no matter how much you don’t want to stick out, you do stick out.
9. Will you be fine with the possibility your adopted child of colour could tell you one day they would have preferred to have lived with their biological family so they that people didn’t know they were adopted everywhere they went? Or that they would have preferred to have been adopted by people of the same race? It’s not always thought of or much less spoken by adoptees of colour, but believe you me it is said and more so though.
10. Will you try to speak for your adopted child or adopted children’s experience and control their destiny?
11. Will you practice African American hair care of girls? Can you make twists, can you make cornrolls, box braids?
12. Do you acknowledge the fact that the multibillion dollar adoption industry takes advantage of racist households to obtain babies? I know a White couple from the Rochester, NY area whose son, who lives in Georgia, adopted biracial children. One of the children was lost to adoption because the biological White grandparents of the biracial adoptee were furious that their White daughter was pregnant with a biracial child. So, therefore the child is punished by being removed from their families, both the White and Black sides, and denied their original birth certificate, connection to other biological family members, his or her White mother denied her own child punished as if this is 1962 when this child was born in the 21st century. The biological grandparents should have been told to get over it instead of allowing them to create this trauma of separating mother and child. I have no idea what involvement the biological father had and the biological paternal grandparents, and I will not make any assumptions. Regardless of your beliefs you don’t punish a child.
13. Is there someone willing to adopt the child you want to adopt who is of the same race or ethnicity and are you willing to let them adopt instead? Even if it means you will never parent a child?
14. Will you stock your household with books by authours with the same ethnicity or race as your child, with characters in the books that are similar to your child?
15. Will you be prepared for a barrage of comments and nasty stares from racist White people who make comments at your adopted child? How will you teach your child to deal with this? Will you ask Black and Asian adults how to?
16. Have you taken courses on Asian American and African American history?
17. Do you know Native American and First Nations children have to be adopted by people of their own race?
18. Do you make negative assumptions about impoverished Black inner city people’s intelligence or generosity or kindness based on their appeal, accent, and/or income level?
19. What stereotypes of Asians and Asian Americans do you make?
20. What will your comfortability level be of having the biological parents and other biological family members, especially adults, involved in your adopted child’s life when they are not the same race as you? Because this might sound like a ridiculous question but too often when White people are the minority in the room they don’t like it. I myself? It doesn’t bother me.
21. If your child comes from a race or ethnicity that is strongly rooted in its faith will you teach that faith to them?
22. Will you allow for opennness for your child to explore their own culture, home country if applicable, and history or will you create this idea that their originality is erased upon adoption which is exactly what the abusive practice of closed adoption has done and has attempted to do. I came across online a White grandmother who wanted her two adopted grandsons to embrace all things Irish. Nothing wrong with having them learn about all things Irish, and having them involved. As I explained, the more we know; the better, but this grandmother didn’t want her Black adopted grandsons to embrace anything about being Black. I gently explained to her she needs to acknowledge they are bicultural; raised in an Irish American home and forever simutaneously African American, Black American.
23. Will you raise funds to return to the home state or home country of your adopted child so that they are not cut off from their roots? Unlike an immigrant, they did not choose to leave their homeland or home state.
24. Will you teach your Black teenager that doing rowdy things or even simply being in a large, well behaved congregation with other Black teenagers is going to get them in trouble with close minded, racist White law enforcement at much more frequency than White teenagers? This isn’t to say that all White law enforcement officers are racist people. There are many who are not racist at all and Officer Darren Derby comes straight to mind.
25. Do you have friends that are of the same ethnicity, race, and religious background as your adopted child?
26. Are you adopting for a White saviour mentality?
27. Are you adopting a child of colour simply because it’s cheaper and faster than adopting a White child?
28. Do you make the assumption that the first mother of the child is a prostitute or drug addict or poor?
29. Will you have the money to afford an extremely good lawyer so that perhaps for once a police officer who kills or attempts to kill your Black son who is doing nothing more than being a typical child playing ball in the street in an affluent White or Jewish neighbourhood will be imprisoned? Someone who shouldn’t have been an officer to begin with.
30. Will you address the fact that African Americans, Black Americans commit suicide two times more often than White Americans, European Americans and that adoptees commit suicide four times more often than non adoptees? Making your adopted Black child outrageously at risk for suicide, let alone a White adoptee but especially an adoptee who is Black or Native American? Have you studied various mental health problems and the signs for them and what to do?
31. Do you embrace your own cultural identities? Are you adopting because you feel some sort of White guilt for past aggressions done by White people who weren’t you? Have you been made to take the blame for something you never personally involved yourself in because you are of that race? How will you handle your child, especially your Black child, being categorised into a negative behaviour they have never participated in because they are of that race?
32. Will you confront teachers who are not putting your child into a gifted program when you know as their parent they are gifted? I volunteered and worked at a predominately African American school that was extremely diverse having children that were from African countries, Jamaica, and Black American children along with one Asian child, one Palestinian child, and a small handful of White children (one of those children who was beat up for being White). This was many years ago, and there was an extremely gifted child in that school. I had no doubt he should have skipped two grades. Yet many of the White teachers said that he wasn’t as smart as I thought. He did well, he had a rich vocabulary, he did science and math problems two years ahead of his level, he was very mature and well behaved for his age.
33. Will you treat your adopted children less than your biological children? Will you treat your adopted Asian, Biracial, or Black child differently than your White adopted child?
I could go on, and I know I will not have thought of everything because I am not Black or Asian. Again, I speak as an adoptee and not an authority on races and ethnicities that I am not.