There are plenty of articles exclaiming the joys of adoption and all the “pro” reasons to adopt but what about that “cons” list? Of course, no adoption should be entered lightly and transracial adoptions require extra consideration. It can be just as important to review the potential reasons for NOT adopting. It’s a difficult conversation and takes a lot of honest, self-examination, but it is a step that shouldn’t be overlooked. Here are five reasons why you should NOT adopt transracially:
5. Because you do not believe that there is a difference between races-ethnicities.
You can do a quick Internet search to find articles bemoaning the myth of “colorblindness” but to summarize: your personal view of race aside, race-ethnicity is a vital component in our culture and will not be ineffectual in your child’s life simply because you say so. A child of another race-ethnicity needs you to be positively aware of their racial identity, to acknowledge and celebrate their individuality and cultural history, and to provide access to resources and relationships with members of their race-ethnicity.
4. To change or “teach a lesson to” prejudiced family members or friends.
If you have family members who hold prejudice, overt or subtle, your child will suffer the consequences. They may be forced to endure hurtful comments or sense unfair/unequal treatment and affections, or feel unjustified guilt for causing tension between you and your extended family members. No child deserves to bear that burden. Find other avenues of activism if that is your goal.
3. Because you feel the need to “rescue” or “save” a child from its minority culture.
If you’ve had this idea or something similar, I would strongly encourage you to examine your own understanding of racial stereotypes and personal prejudices you may not have dealt with just yet. Every culture has positive and negative attributes and many things that fall into the “different, not wrong” category. It’s very important to educate yourself and to search out those blind spots before risking a child’s emotional and mental well-being.
2. Because you think the process will move more quickly.
Adoption is a waiting game and there are no ethical shortcuts.
1. Because you think it will be cheaper.
There are so many areas of life where you can seek out sales, bargains, and discounts; adoption should not be one of them! Especially where international adoption is concerned, scams and unethical agencies abound. You do not want to find yourself in the middle of a child-trafficking ring because you jumped at the chance to save money on a human life. Moreover, if any of the other concerns listed here apply to your situation, it’s in no way fair to disregard the considerations and challenges of transracial adoption simply for the sake of finances.