Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why do we often see black / interracial children with white parents/grandparents/folks, but rarely see white children with black adults?

Asked by Dutchess_III (25566 points ) December 30th, 2013

It could just be my predominately white community, but even on TV we see shows that feature white parents wanting to adopt black children, and all the hoopla that surrounds it, but not the other way around. Same with adopting kids from over seas. Why is that? Is it different in your neck of the woods?

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22 Answers

Aspoestertjie's avatar

There are way more black children that are homeless in my neck of the woods. So it will make perfectly sense to see black children with white parents. There is a long waiting list for adopting white children in South Africa. White people around here are in a better position to care for children than many black people out there. Adoption is a long process and you go through a strict process to get adoption clearance. Many people don’t want to go through such a process.

ibstubro's avatar

It’s probably just because the difference is more stark if it’s Caucasian families with an interracial child. Since black features tend to dominate, the child would likely blend in with a black family…or at least more-so.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree with that statement @ibstubro, but it doesn’t explain the adoption question.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’d assume white children are in higher demand, and that blacks who want to adopt prefer to adopt black children, but that’s just common sense. A friend of mine, white and rich, paid almost $80k for two white children he adopted and it took awhile.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@KNOWITALL It’s not really common sense. I mean, if it was, white people would only adopt white kids.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III I’m trying not to say something that may offend, but here ya go – lol

hug_of_war's avatar

A white couple I know has 4 adopted black children. They had no preference for race, the wait for a white infant was much longer than a black one. There was a lot of competition for the white children, this why all ther adopted children are black.

ibstubro's avatar

As for adoption, there are obviously a greater number if Caucasians ready, willing and able to adopt. If they could adopt children that blended into their family unit, probably most would – it’s generally easier on the kids.

I’m guessing that the smaller number of Blacks trying to adopt tend to adopt Black children, for that same reason.

I think that might be what @KNOWITALL is calling ‘common sense’. Look at the challenges that president Obama faced. Black and White cultures are still very different in the US, and having one foot in each culture is both an advantage and a handicap.

KNOWITALL's avatar

This is another interesting site with stats about adoption. Basically white children are in quite a bit more demand statistically.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@KNOWITALL That didn’t offend me. I think it sucks, but it’s not offensive. It just sucks. It’s like suggesting white babies are more preferable. Well, I guess it’s not “suggesting” that at all. It’s saying that’s the way it is. :(

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Exactly, I was trying to be subtle. I think ethnic babies are supercute and I would love them as my own, but in areas like mine, it would stand out and cause ‘talk’ you know, not that I really care. Maybe someday I’ll be a foster parent, I’m thinking about it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m seeing more and more blended families. I was at the park over the summer and there was a huge family gathering. About ¼ of the adults were black, the rest white and blended kids all over the place. I think it’s marvelous.

Smitha's avatar

I think it could be because a black family with a white child presents more challenges than other transracial families. A white couple with black kid draws attention but a black family with a white kid draws lot more attention. Another reason could be they just want the kids to be like they’re really a part of their family. Moreover lack of resources to help support and educate them too prevents black families to adopt white kids.

hearkat's avatar

My 100% european-descent son used to go out and about with his black step-dad (we weren’t married, but we lived together for several years), and they did get looks from folks.

It isn’t just that white kids are more ‘in demand’, it is also that there are greater numbers of kids from other ethnicities that are in the foster care system or in impoverished situations. Therefore, the ratio of white kids to non-white is much smaller. More white families would prefer to adopt white kids, if you ask them; but some will agree to adopt from other ethnicities because the availability is greater.

Also, I think that if a non-white couple or mixed-ethnicity couple wants to adopt, they are more likely to choose a kid from their similar background not just because of looks, but because they appreciate that it helps a kid from their community or culture to get them out of a bad situation.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why are so many more folks of color in impoverished situations and more children of color in foster care?

hearkat's avatar

@Dutchess_III asked: Why are so many more folks of color in impoverished situations and more children of color in foster care?
That is a question for the sociologists to answer. In the US, the political conservatives will tell you that they are lazy and look for handouts and entitlements instead of making choices that will lift them out of poverty and social dependence. The other end of the political spectrum will tell you that the social system is rigged against minorities, that even if they play by the rules and study hard in school, they opportunities to get out of the projects just aren’t there but for those who have exceptional gifts that might earn someone some money, such as athletes.
In my statement, I was referring to world-wide, and not just in the US; as many prospective adoptive families are having to go outside the US to for children to adopt. There was a recent Question here asking why “developing” countries have not developed – some of that discussion is relevant. I’d suggest starting a separate question if you want to go further into socioeconomic status and its relationship to race/ethnicity.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III It could also be that white culture frowns on unwed mothers more so than minorities.

Dutchess_III's avatar

NO body seems to frown on it any more. :( It’s The Thing.

Seek's avatar

I think genetics may have more to do with it.

white parent + black parent = black children, at least to the casual observer.

White mama and her brother take her kids to the park, you see a white family with black kids.
White mama’s parents take kids to the park, you see white family with black kids.

Black mama takes kids to the park, you see black family with black kids.

Cupcake's avatar

I am one of those white people who is interested in considering being a foster parent/adopting in the future. My interest in taking in a child of color is not so much based on waiting time or availability at face value. I would like to demonstrate my belief that we are all one by having a multicultural family. I place value in having family members who do not look alike. In addition, I know that children of color are considered “less desirable” in the foster care/adoption world, and that breaks my heart. They are not less desirable to me. In fact, I would love to adopt a baby of color with Downs Syndrome. I know that I have the resources to handle that, and it would bring me great joy to know that I took in one kid who most other people would not.

My point is just that I would intentionally look for a child with a different background than mine. I wanted to bring that perspective to light here.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My daughter manages to give birth to all kinds of kids who don’t look anything alike.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

My daughter is black, obvious to anyone who sees her. My physical appearance tends toward the Irish side of My family tree. Either we don’t get any “looks”, or I have become immune to them. We sometimes see surprised looks when our relationship is revealed, but I think it is more due to the contrast in our skin color than social expectations. There is also the age difference; I look like I could be her grandpa.

Many years ago, when my family first found out about our racial difference, my brother said something like: “You know your kids won’t be white, don’t you?”

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