Thanks for the thoughtful exchange, Majormd.
Your comments prompted me to learn more about this issue, and I discovered that for about two decades until roughly 1994, it was indeed very difficult for white parents to adopt black infants in many states. Since then, however, all that has changed (in part because of the law I cited), and the number of interracial adoptions is growing.
Also, I have found out that healthy infants, black or white, generally are adopted quickly. Older children and infants with special needs languish for longer periods in foster care.
You’re right. It’s unfair to make a blanket statement about the motives of all white couples who choose to adopt white babies. Moreover, that’s not what I intended to do in the post that sparked this dialogue between us.
My original comment picked on a narrower set of prospective parents, namely, couples who:
- oppose a woman’s right to choose abortion; and
- desperately want a baby of their own; but
- reject the opportunity to adopt a non-white baby, even if that might allow them to adopt more quickly.
When I wrote this, I was thinking of a specific couple I knew very well who met this description. The prospective father was a good friend of mine at the time, and he often told me how he and his wife would do anything to have a baby. I suggested to him that the process might be quicker if he looked into foreign adoptions, particularly in Asia. He said he and his wife did not want a non-white baby.
I didn’t push the issue with him. I could tell he was uncomfortable talking about it, so I left it alone.
But at the time, the two of them had been pursuing adoption for quite a while. It was beginning to look as if they would not be able to adopt at all. So the choice potentially came down to this: a non-white baby, or no baby.
They were desperate to be parents. They yearned for it. It was the most important thing to them. But they were willing to abandon their lifelong dream of parenthood if the only option was to adopt a non-white baby.
This, in my opinion, does indeed say something about the relative value they place on human life.
To be clear: I did not vilify this couple. I did not castigate them. I didn’t pressure them one way or another, and I supported their adoption efforts to the best of my ability, including writing a letter of personal recommendation for them.
But, in the end, I believe their choice did, indeed, reflect values that continue to be pervasive in American society.
I am talking about white couples who say to minority women, in effect: “Don’t have an abortion! Give your baby up for adoption. By the way, I really want to adopt a baby, but I don’t want yours.”
I don’t think I have “vilified” or “castigated” these people in any of my posts, although I acknowledge that you think I have.
I merely have stated that in my opinion, these individuals demonstrate how some people are more highly valued than other people in American society.
My broader point is that in many instances, American society continues to devalue people who are not white. I was inspired to try to make this point by posts in other topics from people who seem to believe that American society has done a complete 180-degree turn when it comes to race. These people seem to believe that minorities are America’s new privileged class.
I disagree with them. That’s why I started this topic.