[personal profile] 7rin
@ http://www.policymic.com/articles/52449/adopting-a-black-baby-is-cheaper-than-adopting-a-white-baby

By Evangeline Furton

When Minneapolis native Caryn Lantz and her husband, both white, decided to adopt, they were open to adopting any child, regardless of ethnic background. According to NPR, the two were shocked to discover that some babies could be adopted more economically than others. They were faced with an uncomfortable truth of American adoption today: it is far cheaper to adopt a black child than a child of any other race.

For a black child, the process of adoption is quicker as well. A social worker at an adoption agency the Lantzes visited explained to them that this was because they had many black children waiting for families. Adopting a Caucasian, Asian, Latino, or Biracial child would take longer because there were more people willing to adopt them. Lantz says “I remember hearing this and just sort of being dumbfounded that they would sort of segregate — to use a loaded term — segregate these children by ethnic background before they were even in this world.”

Another adoptive parent, Dawn Friedman of the blog "Love Isn't Enough," found that the three adoption agencies she looked at charged full price for children of all races besides black, and around half price for black children. When Friedman explained that she would take whatever baby came her way, she was advised by one agency that “You may as well get the fee break. If you are open to adopting a black baby, you will get a black baby.”

There are reasons why this has happened. A study published by the Centre for Economic Policy Research found that the probability that a non-African American child will have interested potential adoptive parents is at least seven times as high as the probability for an African American child. This preference against black babies turns into differing adoption costs. The rationale is that people are more willing to get over racial preferences if they can adopt for less. Some adoption professionals also say that generally there are fewer non-African American infants available, and more demand for them.

"Obviously, any time … somebody brings up the word discrimination, everybody's going to … draw attention to the issue, whether or not there's an issue there," said Sean Lance, the director of American Adoptions, an agency whose price ranging results in parents paying more to adopt non-African American babies, “It's not set up as discriminatory.”

He says that minority mothers often qualify for financial support like Medicaid, which pays for their expenses while carrying babies and sometimes even the cost of delivery. White mothers often don’t, so those expenses are added to the cost of adopting the baby.

For the Lantz couple the cost to adopt a Caucasian child was approximately $35,000. For a full African American girl, it was about $18,000. Lantz says, "When they told me the fees for the white child, I was in a Babies R Us and I remember having to sit down in the aisle and say to myself, 'I don't think we can afford to adopt this child.'"

Some states and agencies are using a different system: instead of making some babies cheaper or more expensive to adopt, they base prices on the incomes of prospective families so that lower-income families pay less to adopt. Other agencies are trying to move towards a system where all adoptive parents pay an identical fee for all adoptions.

There is much to recommend such a system, although not everyone agrees on its practicality. The Economist opined that “No doubt, the idea of placing a lower value on children based on race or sex is repugnant. But if it results in finding a loving home for children, and sparing them years in foster care, it may be the lesser of two evils.”

A question facing adoptive parents of African American children is what they will tell their children when they are older. Doubtless, it will be painful for these children to hear that the adoption agencies their parents located them through gave them up at a discount.

Caryn Lantz worries: "I am a little nervous about what we're gonna do when he (her son) starts to understand why someone approached us at Target and thanked us for saving babies.”

Dawn Friedman writes: “I have a friend who is also an adoptive mother in a transracial adoption and who also used an agency with a racist fee structure. She says, ‘My child will NEVER know that our adoption cost less because of his skin color!’ Her argument? Knowing will cut to the core of his self-esteem.” Friedman herself will tell her daughter the circumstances of her adoption. As she says: “It is her right. It is her story.”
[personal profile] 7rin
I didn't write this, unfortunately.

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2013/01/14/trenka

January 14, 2013

By Jane Jeong Trenka

@ MPR News

Jane Jeong Trenka was adopted from Korea to Minnesota in 1972. She is author of the memoirs "The Language of Blood" and "Fugitive Visions," and coeditor of the anthology "Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption." She is studying for a master's degree in public policy at Seoul National University and is president of TRACK (Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea).

Hey, kids in foster care. You might be wondering why Americans are raising a stink about Russia banning adoptions while you are still waiting for a family. You might feel like no one wants you.

And why wouldn't you feel that way?

There are 58,000 of you living in institutions, 104,236 eligible for adoption and 400,540 in foster care. But I can recommend some ways to make yourself as precious and loveable as one of those Russian orphans. Take some tips from an international adoptee! Here's how:

1. Be young. You have no value if you are older than 5. I know — you're 12. But maybe people won't notice if you act young. They'll think you're big for your age. If you expect to be adopted as a preteen, forget it. At that point, all you are is a looming college tuition bill.

2. Be white. That's what the Russians had going for them. But if you can't do that, you can at least not ask to be adopted into a family that speaks Spanish or Laotian or whatever it is you used to speak at home. Language classes are once a week, and culture camp is once a year. Don't confuse tourism with real life. Got it?

3. Be alone. Nobody wants a band of kids that is already a family unit. They are trying to integrate you into them, not be integrated into you. So why are you telling people you have not just one — but two or three siblings? Say goodbye to them and send the youngest ones off to fend for themselves. They probably won't even remember you later. Maybe you can find them in adulthood through Facebook if you're sentimental.

4. Be an orphan. Do you really expect to be adopted you if want to maintain ties with your birth family? People fear your mother showing up at their front door. That is why they like to adopt kids from as far away as possible! "I am a poor orphan. I am a poor orphan." That is your new mantra, and do stop talking about your mother. Not only should you obliterate your memory, but you should also ask your social worker to burn any records that suggest you may have difficulty making adults feel loved and needed in exchange for a home.

Adoption is not about what you want. It's about what adopters want. Get it straight, kids!
[personal profile] 7rin
From UNC School of Law
8 June 2010

When Children Become Commodities: Fees at Private Adoption Services Often Based on Race of the Adopted Child

Fees paid by prospective adoptive parents for private adoptions are poorly regulated and, in some cases, are based explicitly on the race of the child, says UNC clinical assistant professor of law Barbara Fedders. Her findings are published in a forthcoming article titled "Race and Market Values in Domestic Infant Adoption" to be published in the North Carolina Law Review, volume 88.

Fedders recently completed a survey of private domestic adoption agencies to better understand factors affecting adoption costs. About 20 percent of the agencies Fedders studied openly advertised race-based pricing, but she says that some adoption professionals believe that as many as half of all private agencies engage in the practice.

"There are a significant number of private agencies that facilitate adoption that charge different fees based on the race of children being adopted," she says.

Read more... )
[personal profile] 7rin
Bonilla-Silva, E. (2006) Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States (2nd ed). URL

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