Transracial adoption-why is it such taboo?


transracialRecently I went on a tear on Twitter where I railed:

Is cross racial adoption as much a taboo for Muslims as it is for non Muslims? http://tinyurl.com/atnmgfo  evidently so!

Whose identity do adoption agencies fear will be lost; the adopted child or the State’s?

Where in Islam is institutional racism justified? I ask my Muslim friends but no one can give me an answer!

The cause of my ire which sent me spiraling out of  control was  this article during my daily consumption of news which I read on the web on a daily basis.  What was written there was this one sentence tidbit,

“We also consider the race of the adopting family,” she said. “A black child who lives at the centre would go to a black Emirati family because we don’t want the child growing up completely different.”

This caused me to fire off a letter to a dear friend in which I wrote,
….Muhammad’s (way of conducting affairs in society) says there is not supposed to be any difference between black and white, and where everything else is the same, I.e. religion, language AND nationality why would a Muslim country want to accentuate one of these man made obstructions……
Instead, I wrote to my friend,  I optimistically cling to the position that a society should welcome ANY family, and let’s say for the moment we’re talking about a typical man-woman/husband-wife family absent physical-emotional abuse, taking on the responsibility of adopting a child and raising it according to the norms of that society, be it an Islamic or predominantly Muslim country, or a Christian or predominantly Christian society.  What struck me about the article, even provoked me is that even when there are no impediments to a society coexisting with so many similarities within it self, we, humans place some sort of stumbling block in the way to keep peaceful coexistence and harmony from happening, to the detriment of the society as a whole.  (In the case of the young girl in the article, one has to ask how long will she languish in legal limbo while authorities  try to find a “black” family to adopt her when there may be white families ready and willing to do so now?!) There are as many examples of successful cross-racial adoptions as there are failures, yet, like the half-empty half-full glass analogy, we tend to focus on the negative and by doing so add to its power and impact on us.    I also went on to write  to my friend, without knowing at the time, that the American model of adoption was a far better example to follow, and after reading came to find out this
MEPA (Multiethnic Placement Act) contains three major provisions affecting child welfare policy and practice:

  • Prohibits agencies from refusing or delaying foster or adoptive placements because of a child’s or foster/adoptive parent’s race, color, or national origin
  • Prohibits agencies from considering race, color, or national origin as a basis for denying approval as a foster or adoptive parent
  • Requires agencies to diligently recruit a diverse base of foster and adoptive parents to better reflect the racial and ethnic makeup of children in out of home care

It’s interesting to see America, the great Satan as it was once called, teaching Islamic countries and the rest of the world lessons those countries should have learned at their inception and which still seem to elude them.

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