Adoption is a way to heal broken families by growing a family. But despite how wholesome the experience should be, there are still barriers plaguing the adoption rates for Black children.
Research shows that darker-skinned children often face discrimination from potential adoptive parents and the social workers responsible for protecting their well-being, PBI reports. Transracial adoption—when a child and adoptive parents are not the same race— has increased 21% to 28%. Among the hundreds of thousands of children still waiting to be adopted, 50% are children of color, as noted by Mathematica.
With October being National Adoption Month, we spoke with Black Adoption Matters founder Tamara Brown about the disparities facing Black foster care children and how the pandemic impacted the adoption rates of Black children.
“While I do not know the statistics for reductions in adoption of Black Youth, it is well documented that adoptions overall were impacted by the pandemic,” Brown told BLACK ENTERPRISE. “Given that Black adoptions were already significantly behind other races, I am certain our youth have been negatively impacted.”
Because of this, Brown felt compelled to launch Black Adoption Matters and help combat stigmas surrounding adoption and raising a Black child from foster care.
“One of our main goals is to open the conversation about Black adoption,” she said. “We’re not sure when, how, or why the stigmas began. For many people in our community, our Matriarchs have been helping raise other kids for generations. We hope that by showing the positive experiences, which far outnumber the challenging situations, it will help our community rethink those preconceived ideas.”
According to BlackAdoptionMatters.com, “135,000* children are adopted in the U.S. each year, and just 11,663 are Black,” its website says. For hopeful parents considering adoption as an option to expand their family, key factors should be taken into account.
“Start with yourself… are you ready to make a true sacrifice of your time to offer a loving home to a child? Next, consider the best approach for your family; to adopt through foster care or private infant adoptions,” Brown said.
“You can visit BlackAdoptionMatters.com to review the 7 Steps to Adoption. I also recommend finding an orientation in your community through an adoption agency. Orientations are free and open to the public. There is no commitment required, and an orientation will provide specific information for your state and local laws.”