Charlize Theron adopts a back boy: should race play a role in adoption?
Actress Charlize Theron recently adopted a baby. That isn’t extraordinary news, since adoptions are a common occurrence in our nation. But the baby she adopted is a black boy from the United States.
The probability that a non-African-American baby will attract the interest of an adoptive parent is at least seven times as high as the corresponding probability for an African-American baby. The desire for white babies can be partly, but not fully, explained by the fact that most of the adoptive parents in this data set were white; previous research has found that adoptive parents often want children who look similar to themselves.
I once had a black abortion doctor justify murder by telling me, “We both know no one wants black babies.” Her twisted logic convinced her that it was better for black babies to be dead than unwanted or in foster care. Yet in spite of those tragic facts, Charlize is the second major Hollywood actress to choose an African-American child in the past few years. Sandra Bullock made news in 2010 when she adopted a newborn African-American boy from Louisiana. She named him Louie after Louis Armstrong, the famous jazz musician.
Celebrity adoptions, single-parent adoptions, and interracial adoptions can all be controversial. There are a variety of opinions on all of those subjects. For now, I’ll tackle just the thoughts some people have on interracial adoptions. We’ve all heard the common questions. “Can a white family teach a black child about their culture?” Or “Will a black child feel out of place in a white family?” Those are legitimate concerns that many have wrestled with for years. Here are my personal thoughts on these complicated issues.
Should white families adopt black children? Yes! Every race should adopt black children. As an African-American woman, I greatly support interracial adoptions. I also support them as an abortion survivor. Against a doctor’s wishes, my mother walked out her scheduled appointment to abort me. If she hadn’t kept me, I would have wanted a loving family who would take me. Race would not be a factor.
The death rate for black unborn children in cities like NY and D.C. is higher than the live birth rate. In 2010, for every 1,000 black babies born alive in their state, 1,280 died from abortion. We are in a crisis and need everyone’s help. Pharaoh’s daughter didn’t turn away Moses when she saw that he was a Hebrew baby. She loved him as her own. Black children can be educated about their culture by interaction with other black families, books, museum trips, recipes, music, and more. It may take effort to learn how to comb different-textured hair, but it will be worth it.
Black adopted children will have questions about their race. White families who adopt may be judged by family members and even strangers. There’s always a price to pay for going against the norm. The most important question is, “Are the children worth it?” Like Moses, there are many precious lives just waiting for a home. Will you give them one?