The Afronista Rants #11: Why Don’t YOU Adopt the Baby!?

If you follow celebrity gossip shamelessly like me, you may have seen the headlines that Sandra Bullock has adopted a little black baby.  Yes, I struck out the word black because I don’t understand why the baby had to be qualified as black.  We see the damn picture.  Why couldn’t he just be a baby?  We know that he is not from Japan looking like that.  The little boy that she had adopted is from New Orleans.  The baby is an American. Judging by his age, I don’t think he came from the Katrina fiasco, but we all know that there are a lot of children from that situation that need a loving home.

Immediately, everyone is all agog that she has a little black baby.  Sandra Bullock, whiter than white, has a black kid.  Oh my God.  When the headlines first came out, there was no mention of the child’s race, that is because most people can see better than they can read.  Now that the black community is causing a huge stink about it, the headlines are blaring the child’s colour as if it were important.

There are many sides to this argument.  First, it was a problem that the celebrities weren’t adopting children from the U.S.  That had to do with Angelina Jolie, Madonna and others importing their babies from exotic locales like Cambodia and Malawai, places that half of America has never even heard of.  Now that a celebrity has adopted an American child, it’s a problem because the child is not her race.  There are some members of the black community who are simply happy that a little black baby is being raised up from the system into a loving home.  Others are not so happy.  They accuse Sandra Bullock of picking out a black kid the way some women shop for a Prada bag.  Some feel that the black baby is nothing more than an accessory to her.  Others are worried because they saw pictures of Jesse James (her soon-to-be-ex-husband) dressed up like Nazi.  I don’t know what the story about Mr. James is, but since Sandra is kicking him to the curb, I don’t think we have a whole lot to worry about on that score.

Seriously, though, is it such a bad thing that a white woman has adopted a black child?  I know some people are concerned that with white people raising up black kids,  the kid won’t have a sense of his own heritage.  I say that idea is garbage.  What heritage?  For all my black sisters and brothers that think this way, how many of you actually know your heritage?  How many of you know where you really come from?  Do you teach your natural born children about being black?  I know there are some people who do, this does not apply to every black person I know.  (I always have to say something like that because people always start bitching about generalisations.)  I honestly don’t think that very many people do.  If this is were the case, then the black community would not be in the sad state it’s in today.  Some sub-sections of the community may be flourishing, but other parts are sadly floundering.

I don’t think this little boy is going to miss out on much by having a white mother.  In fact, he’ll miss out on so much more if he just sat in foster care all his life, waiting for someone to adopt him.  Because in foster care, the chances are very, very slim that anybody will teach him anything. And what if he doesn’t even get to foster care?  What if he just sat in some children’s home?  Not much education going on there either.  For the black people concerned about this little boy, I guess, out of spite, it would be better that he just sat in foster care or an orphanage rather than have a white mother.  How pathetic is that?

Let’s say I wanted to adopt him.  Well, first of all, he would sit in foster care for about 5 more years while I scrape up the money to afford the adoption in the first place.  Adoptions are extremely expensive in the U.S. which is why a lot of people, black or white, don’t adopt even when they might want to.  So after I bring the kid home, we’re dead broke.  Money is not everything and you don’t need to rich to show a child love, but I do need to feed him and put some clothes on his back so he won’t get made fun of when he goes to the crappy school that’s in my neighbourhood.  I wouldn’t be able to send him to the type of school I went to as a kid.  I would teach him all about being black and his forefathers, and all that jazz, but I may not be able to put him through college.  I’ll educate him well, because I know I would be able to, so he might be academically smart enough to get scholarships to college, so we won’t worry about that.  But since I don’t live in a black neighbourhood or have a lot of black friends, he won’t be “around his own kind” anyway, so what is the difference between me and Sandra Bullock adopting him, except for money?

As of October 2009, of all the children in foster care and waiting for adoption, 31% of them are black and %40 are white.  Only 25% of the black kids get adopted out of foster care while 44% of the white kids get adopted, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  I went to an independent (private) adoption center’s website and they stated that of all the children they placed in the past two years,  only 9% of them were black.  More than half were white.  The rest are mixed, Asian or coming from out of the country.  I did go to another private adoption website that seemed to specialise in minority children.  They had a 56% rate of placing black children.  Unfortunately, I could not find any reasonable statistics on the race of the adoptive parents.  Everything I looked at was from the early 80s and 90s.  I do believe that many black people adopt children, but not at the rate white people adopt.

My point is that we really should be happy that one of our children finally has a proper home, that he won’t waste away in a children’s group home where the kids are all stacked up on top of each other because there is very little funding.  I wouldn’t worry so much about him being raised by a white woman because it’s better than being raised by no one at all or the streets.  If black people are so concerned that these children will somehow suffer at the hands of whites, they should adopt the kids themselves.  Better yet, educate our community so less and less unwanted children end up aborted or in adoption.  Of course, that’s a perfect world, but I’m just throwing out suggestions here.

Don’t complain that someone is doing something that you wouldn’t do yourself.  Until we see the kid being paraded around like a fancy new sport coat, let’s not make any assumptions on how this celebrity will raise her child.

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2 responses to “The Afronista Rants #11: Why Don’t YOU Adopt the Baby!?

    • In the U.S. you have to be at least 18, but I highly doubt they’d let any random 18 year old adopt a child. They really put you through the ringer as far as suitability. They want to know your income, what type of home you have, who lives in your home, everything. They interview you and your family members, as well as your friends. The process is also quite lengthy, so even if you applied the day you turned 18, provided you could meet all the other requirements, you’d probably be 20 or 21 by the time the adoption was final.

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