Interracial Adoption Is On The Rise — And America Is Better For It

Last week, the former San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson used his Hall of Fame speech to preach racial unity, saying that Americans are all on “one team,” that we can represent “the highest ideals of mankind. Leading the way for all nations to follow.” He even uttered those three oddly controversial words: “All Lives Matter.”

In the wake of the violent attacks in Charlottesville, there are those who will say that now is not the time for sentiments of racial harmony — let alone American exceptionalism.

They are wrong. Despite the inflammatory headlines and horrifying pictures coming out of Virginia, Americans, including the many counter-protesters in Charlottesville, are still a deeply tolerant people. Statistics don’t lie.

For one thing, one in six newlyweds in America is married to someone of a different race, according to a Pew poll from earlier this year. And, notably, interracial adoption is on the rise. According to new research out from the Institute for Family Studies, “The proportion of adopted kindergartners being raised by a mother of a different race or ethnic group rose by 50 percent between 1999 and 2011.”

There are a large number of factors that affect this rate. As the author, research psychologist Nicholas Zill notes, with teenage pregnancy and birth rates down in the US, the availability of domestic infants to adopt has decreased. So the interracial adoption rates are more dependent on the availability of infants internationally. The share of black children adopted actually decreased during those years, though the percentage of multiracial children almost doubled and the share of Hispanic children grew by more than 50 percent.

Just consider how unusual not only in American history, but in human history, it would be for parents to take in children who are not just unrelated to them, but who look nothing like them.

While American families have wanted to be able to adopt children of all backgrounds for a long time, social workers used to have a policy that attempted to place children only with parents of the same race. In 1996, Congress passed the Multiethnic Placement Act in response to news about white parents who wanted to adopt black children but were prevented from doing so by race-matching policies. The assumption was that only parents of the same race would be culturally sensitive enough to raise such children.

Today, parents are mostly free to adopt children of any race. The one exception is that children with Native American heritage are still governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act, which allows tribes to demand that they be placed only with Native parents. The law has faced multiple challenges at the Supreme Court and may face another this fall.

There are still activists trying to get parents to believe that same-race families are better than mixed-race ones.

In the past couple of years there have been countless articles by people who have become so persuaded of the dangers and impossibilities of successfully raising a child of another race in our divided society that they don’t want to do it at all. A woman in a lesbian relationship wrote to an advice columnist to say that she only wanted a white sperm donor because “it is factually safer to not be black” and another woman told her black boyfriend that she wanted to split up because she was too afraid to raise a black baby in our racist world.

There are still activists trying to get parents to believe that same-race families are better than mixed-race ones.

But an increasing number of people who want to adopt children have thankfully ignored these warnings. The cause and the effect of our color blindness when it comes to taking in children in need is that United States continues to lead the world in racial tolerance.

And we’re not just beating out countries wracked by ethnic tensions and violence. Earlier this year a Sikh couple in Britain sued an adoption agency because they were advised not to apply because of their “cultural heritage.” The agency only had white children available and told them that white parents would be given preference. They should stick to adopting from India instead. It was only in 2011 that the British government changed its guidelines on this issue to make interracial adoptions easier, but favoring parents of one race or another is still legal.

Despite a steady stream of rhetoric about how racially divided and bigoted the US is, Americans are a remarkably accepting people, even compared to supposedly enlightened Europeans. A 2013 survey found that America is one of the most racially tolerant countries in the world, with less than 5 percent of people saying they wouldn’t want to live next to someone of a different race. Compare that with say, France, where 22.7 percent said they didn’t want a neighbor of another race.

America is not perfect, but as Tomlinson said, it’s a pretty good team. And one that — notwithstanding recent events — other teams might want to follow.

Source : https://nypost.com/2017/08/20/interracial-adoption-is-on-the-rise-and-america-is-better-for-it/

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Interracial Adoption Is On The Rise — And America Is Better For It

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Interracial Adoption Is On The Rise — And America Is Better For It

Interracial Adoption Is On The Rise — And America Is Better For It

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Interracial Adoption Is On The Rise — And America Is Better For It

Interracial Adoption Is On The Rise — And America Is Better For It

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Interracial Adoption Is On The Rise — And America Is Better For It

Interracial Adoption Is On The Rise — And America Is Better For It

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Interracial Adoption Is On The Rise — And America Is Better For It

Interracial Adoption Is On The Rise — And America Is Better For It

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Interracial Adoption Is On The Rise — And America Is Better For It

Interracial Adoption Is On The Rise — And America Is Better For It

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Interracial Adoption Is On The Rise — And America Is Better For It

Interracial Adoption Is On The Rise — And America Is Better For It

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Interracial Adoption Is On The Rise — And America Is Better For It