The Trans-racial Adoption Debate

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As issues that affect children enthuse intense interest and emotion it is unsurprising that transracial adoption; the joining together of racially or ethnically different parents and children in an adoptive family, is a subject that is fraught with controversy. Transracial adoption not only raises the question of the how much power should the state have to affect individual choices with respect to family life it also questions the level of state assistance given to families in trouble before removing parents from their parents. It also highlights issue of race within the context of the family with advocates seeing trans-racial adoption as a harbinger of hope, believing that if different races can love each other as a family then there is hope for the relationship between different races in society (Moe, 2007; Perry, 1996). Whereas, radical opponents claim that white society is racist and that transracial adoption is a hostile manifestation of white power and believe that ethnic minority communities should have the right to decide the fate of ethnic minority children (Hayes, 1995).

The United Kingdom (UK) has one of the fastest growing mixed-race populations in the world, fuelled by the rise of inter-ethnic relationships and a sudden influx of refugees from Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. It is imperative that UK residents do not feel threatened by even more racial and ethnic diversity and seeks to successfully integrate these numerous ethnic groupings into mainstream society without de-stabilizing the perceived peace and harmony (Barn, 2007; Barn 2008; John, 2002). However, as the UK becomes more diverse so does the backgrounds of ethnic minority children with many of these children inheriting their heritage from two or mor...

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...g and adoption clearly demonstrate that there is still an underlying current of racism in the policies and practices being employed by the childcare professionals that is inadvertently trapping too many vulnerable children within the care system. Nevertheless, whilst it is socially acceptable for ethnic minority children to be fostered indefinitely by white families it is deemed unacceptable for the same families to adopt their happy fostered ethnic minority children. Furthermore, it is tragic that children, who are successfully transracially adopted, have their adoptions classed as failures as they have been achieved at the expense of the child’s ethnic identity. Despite evidence that transracial adoptees are psychologically well adjusted and are able to employ cultural socialization strategies to overcome the problems associated with transracial adoption.

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