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Pet Sins November 2005 Issue
'Unreal' Children, 'Unnatural' Parents, and 'Race' in Adoption

In many cultures, families formed by adoption are misunderstood. The vast majority of people who hold biases against adopted children and their parents have not had any personal exposure to adoptive families. Yet their dearly-held prejudices remain unchallenged in a day when comments revealing racism and ableism are no longer acceptable within public hearing.

Those who would not dream of publicly making a sexist remark openly make negative generalizations about adoptive families without even realizing the hurtfulness of their comments.

Introduce 'race' into the adoption equation and things get even more complicated. People's attitudes towards specific racial combinations in interracial adoption often reflect their more general biases. November is Adoption Awareness Month in the US. It is a time when many white liberals do their feel-good routine by educating others about their adopted children of color. But it can also be a time for every one, whether pro-adoption or anti-adoption, to examine our attitudes towards adoption, be it interracial or intra-racial.