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Susan Soon-Keum Cox

Susan Soon-Keum Cox

Adoptee and the vice president of public policy and external...

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Ken Mullner

An adoptive parent and executive director of the National...

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Adam Pertman

Executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute...

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The Race Case

The Race Case

You’re not going to be picky—you’re adopting a child and your priority is that he or she is healthy. You want to teach little Bobby to play baseball in the backyard or take your daughter for pierced ears. The color of the baby’s skin just isn’t at the top of your list of concerns.

But should it be? “The idea of being color-blind is great, and we’d all like to get there,” Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, tells The New York Times. “But the reality is that we live in a very race-conscious society, and that needs to be addressed. We can’t simply pretend that the problem doesn’t exist and leave it up to the child to cope.”

Pertman’s nonprofit adoption advocacy and research organization, and several others, released a report that said that adopted into a family of a different race could grow up dealing with the challenge of “being different.” The report encourages more diversity in selection of families, which currently tends to lean towards the Caucasian race. It also mentions amending the Multiethnic Placement Act (the color-blind approach), to include culture and race considerations, especially when adopting out of foster families.

While creating mixed race families wouldn’t be completely eliminated, a step forward would prepare parents with counseling and information on how to ease the process of discrimination.

What are your concerns about adopting a child of another race? Would you prefer to adopt a child of your own race? [The New York Times]

Posted: 6/5/08