Study reveals cultural and physical differences preventing some white Americans from adopting black children.
Celebrities and some prominent figures, including Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, Sandra Bullock, Madonna and the Romney family, have been praised for adopting Black children.
However, contrary to the notion that America is embracing trans-racial and trans-cultural adoptions, a university of Vermont study reveals some White Americans avoid adopting Black children because of cultural and physical differences.
According to the Australia Network report on the study, published in the journal Sociological Perspectives, the researchers interviewed 41 mainly white parents who adopted 33 children from 10 different countries.
Speaking about the study, Professor Nikki Khanna, lead author of the study, said many parents who were open to or actively seeking children of color, had limits.
“They were open to children of varying racial backgrounds, but not Black – especially not African-American,” said Khanna.
The study revealed that most of the parents avoided adopting Black children because they feared the children would have difficulties fitting into their social circle. They were also afraid that their knowledge of Black culture was not good enough to properly raise the children.
According to the study, 18 of the parents interviewed said adopting a Black child was “out of the question,” and not in “the child’s best interests.”
Moreover, the interviewees feared facing challenges in the future from Black parents who might eventually try to regain custody of the children they gave for adoption, and that Black children might have drug and other health problems.
According to a University of Vermont article, some of the parents gave shockingly candid reasons for not adopting Black children. A woman, who adopted a child from Guatemala, said that “Hispanic seems less different for me than Black.”
The study also highlighted the problem of thousands of Black children in the foster care system going unwanted. According to the University of Vermont researchers, 35 percent of the 400,000 children in foster care are Black.
This research reveals racial prejudice also affects people’s choices when it comes to adopting children, and sheds light on the broader race relations in the United States.