Monday, June 30, 2008

Adoption Crap Part II

Evidently I wasn't the only one offended by Mike Seate's column (link in the previous post).  Another employee of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review responded and her article, interestingly enough, mentions nearly everything I emailed Mike to complain about.  Here is the link to the article, but I have copy and pasted it as well.

Adoption complex in world of reality

By Sue Jones
Saturday, June 28, 2008

I, like many in the international adoption community, was offended by Mike Seate's column last week that categorized Asian adoptees as a "must-have fashion accessory for upper middle-class Americans."

Although my 6-year-old daughter, who was adopted from China at 10 months, often dresses better than I do, trust me, she's no accessory. And as a single mom employed at a newspaper, we're not upper middle-class; neither are most of the adoptive parents I know.

Mike, after seeing two movies that involved adopted Asian children, concluded that Americans should adopt domestically and particularly from some of the thousands of black, Latino or mixed-race children without families. Well, real life is not as simple as it is in the movies or in Mike Seate columns.

No adoption, domestic or international, is done on a whim. The wait for a child from China can be longer than two years. And no amount of money or celebrity can make the wheels of the monolithic Chinese government turn faster.

Domestic private adoptions often are as expensive as international adoptions, and they hold the risk of a change of heart by the birth parents at any time during the pregnancy. The process often involves the birth mother interviewing and selecting parents for her baby. For prospective adoptive parents, rejection by a birth mother can be devastating. And for single moms, the odds of being selected aren't good.

Also, domestic adoptions often are open, meaning continuing contact between the birth family and the child, which some adoptive parents are not comfortable with.

Adoption from the foster care system has inherent risks and often involves complicated legal proceedings to terminate parental rights. Most children in foster care are there temporarily while their family situation stabilizes. According to the Child Welfare League, most children are placed in foster care because of parental abuse or neglect. I admire those people who can take these sometimes troubled children into their homes temporarily and then let them go back to their birth families. I couldn't do it.

As for transracial adoptions by white families of black children, again, things aren't quite so simple. The National Association of Black Social Workers issued its first statement on transracial adoption in 1972 and subsequently stood by and reinforced it to say that "transracial adoption of an African American child should only be considered after documented evidence of unsuccessful same race placements has been reviewed and supported by appropriate representatives of the African American community."

So, no, it's not impossible for a white family to adopt a black child, but there are more impediments to it than to adopting internationally.

Asian adoptions are really nothing new. Americans have been adopting children from South Korea since the 1950s. Last year, 5,464 were adopted from China, down from a peak of 7,906 in 2005.

The attractions of an adoption from China are many. The children generally are healthy, and the process is stable.

We live in a global world. Sadly, there are children in need everywhere. Is a child from China any less deserving of a home than a child from the United States?

Sue Jones is assistant Lifestyles editor. She can be reached at

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Thanks, Sue!


chrisandshasta June 30, 2008 at 7:49 PM  

I'm so glad to hear of this response article. I also sent Mike an irate email - his article was ill-informed and insensitive. Thanks for blogging about this, Erica!

ourvalentinesdaytreat July 1, 2008 at 1:05 AM  

I don't think I commented on your first post about this topic. If I did, sorry for doing it again. with that said...I think everything you wrote initially was very well said. I was disgusted by the article. Although we seem to see a lot of this ignorance in print, I'm not sure I'll ever get used to it or to the point where I can dismiss it. I was very happy to see this response article when it was printed, especially by another newpaper writer. I wonder what it is that makes people think they can just write whatever comes into their mind. I'll never get it. Anyway, thanks!

Rachel July 1, 2008 at 7:43 AM  

Hey Erica - I just wanted to say that I thought your comment (the one that you thought you'd get flamed for - whatever) on Laura's blog was RIGHT on the mark. Thanks for saying it. If you have no clue what I'm talking about, feel free to email me. I would have commented below yours (I think we posted at the same time) but then I decided to leave a comment here.

Sorry this comment has absolutely nothing to do with your post - I was happy to see that follow up comment, too. Mike Seate apparently has a reputation for being a total moron.



About This Blog

This started as my story, but has evolved to OUR story. This is the story of life as a single parent to a wonderful little boy while we wait for baby sister. China LID 2.12.07.

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

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