I caught a glimpse of The Wright Stuff on Channel 5 yesterday morning, and they were talking about mixed-race adoption following the suicide of a mixed-race teenager who was adopted by a white family. A report into his tragic death, as reported by The Times*, cites the council as ‘failing to help him to deal with his mixed-race background.’
This stirred a few emotions in me I have to admit.
Adoption, like many things, is a political minefield. Throw race into the mix, and you have a rumbling volcano of political topics. Unfortunately, the so-called experts who produce such reports, use one case, and make that the rule rather than the exception.
The Government, try as they might, desperately want to do right by the young and vulnerable members of our society, but get blindsided by authority figures because of one isolated case.
Mixed-race adoption, then what?
My question to you is this.
If it is unreasonable to place a black or mixed-race child with a white family, where does it stop? If we have gone too far by taking race out of an already complicated equation, what impact does that have on other minorities?
Do the same people who are wary of race think that placing a child with; say a gay couple, is detrimental to the child’s future?
Where do we draw the line? At what point do we say:
“Yeah okay, you are white enough to join this family.”
I can just see the pompous clots now, holding up their Pantone reference guides against some poor child, who is in desperate need for stability, rather than a clone-like matching family.
How has it become about race, religion, sexual preference or any other political hot potato anyway? Why, more importantly, is it not about love, security and stability?
I feel for the family of this teenager, and if he was struggling with his identity, then it is certainly needs to be addressed, but it shouldn’t be publicised.
You cannot sit there and tell me that a child should be deprived of a loving, caring, and stable home because of the colour of their skin. This is a monumental step backwards for our society. Maybe we should look at after care, and post adoption support, but to challenge mixed-race adoption in this manner is antiquated to Victorian standards.
A friend of mine told me a story today about her five-year old daughter who desperately struggled to describe her friend. She described her hair, her facial features, and her clothes. Not once did she mention she was black.
This fleeting vision of a world where colour of skin is an obsolete, non-existent facet of someone’s physical description briefly warmed my heart. Sadly, until my friend’s daughter is the authority figure on adoption, I fear mixed-race adoption will continue to be a contentious issue.
Matching is a vital part of adoption, but it is exactly that, a part. We cannot afford to make it bigger than adoption itself, otherwise where will we be? Adoption figures will plummet, children in care will skyrocket, the tax payer will be clobbered, and a generation ruined.
Come on guys, think on.
*I have not read the related Times article in full. The Times online is a subscription only service. To subscribe and read the full story, please click here.
If you have any views on this report, or indeed mixed-race adoption, please leave a comment below. I am always grateful for feedback and further opinion.