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View Diary: Philly Case Workers Fired for Placing a Black Child With a White Couple (24 comments)

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  •  It's a child (18+ / 0-)

    When I was in the process of adopting my second child from Vietnam in the late 1990s, I met a women in her 40s who herself had been adopted as an infant from China by a white family in the US.  She was also in the process of adopting a daughter from Vietnam.  We had several days together as we went through the adoption paperwork, and had several interesting discussions about cross-racial adoptions.  

    I have always remembered the story she told me.  When she was a child and through into her latter 20s, she had no interest in her Chinese heritage and resented anyone trying to thrust her Chinese background on her.  She was a kid and then a young women figuring out who she was in her family and what she wanted her life to be.  Only in her latter 20s did she start to gain interest in her Chinese heritage and begin to explore those roots.

    The advice she gave to me, which I have followed, was to let the child lead.  If the child is interested in and wants to explore an ethnic or racial background, be ready to encourage him or her and provide opportunities.  If the child does not, don't try to force someone else's version of whom the child should be on to the child.  It a child first, and then some race or ethnicity afterwards.


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