Wedding Woes


Dear Prudence,
My husband and I are looking into adopting a child. We’ve been discussing some of the details—gender, age, foster care, and race came up during this conversation. I know that the two of us, my parents, and his family would welcome any child with open arms, but over the years I’ve had to correct my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins when they use racist terms or make racist statements. They live close by, and we see them frequently, so they would be involved in our child’s life to some extent. I can see how growing to love a nonwhite child could act as an agent of change for them, but I don’t think that’s a fair situation to knowingly put a child into. My husband thinks we shouldn’t worry about it and assumes they’ll stop the comments if we bring a child over. What do you think?

—Racist Family vs. Transracial Adoption

Re: :-O

  • I think it's unfair to think that your racist family members are going to magically have all their racist attitudes melt away at the sight of a new child. I have members of my family who have adopted outside of their race and other, less enlightened members of the family still made snide, racist remarks. 

    LW has to prepare herself and her spouse for the possibility that these comments are going to happen within and without her family. It's how she will react and how she can react to them that matters. 
  • Don't expect family to change.

    I want to say 'leopards can't change their spots' but we recently had my H's uncle come speak to us regarding medicinal and legalization of marijuana and he is religious and heavily Conservative.
    We suggested the medicinal version to H's nanny due to her health and the current options she has are very low. This uncle use to be heavily against it but after doing research he's now for it.

    So .... honestly, I'm hoping regardless what child is adopted the family will STFU about their opinions at the very least!
  • I'd think this would be a good question for someone who is helping them with the adoption process.  

    But they shouldn't do expecting their relatives to change.  If they do go forward with a transracial adoption, I think they need to be willing to cut ties with the racists in their family to protect their child, if necessary.
    This ^^^

  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited July 2016

    Those who are jumping on this in replies on Prudie have probably never been through the process or known anyone who has maneuvered through it.  One of my classmates from HS has adopted several children and recently adopted a little boy from China - the stories of people when they went over on the trip to bring him home looking at her/her husband (shade from albino), and their adopted daughter (that happens to be VERY dark skinned) about people in China not hiding their reactions AT ALL to the extent of asking for pictures together because they were so shocked by the combination of skin tones!   These are real things to consider - what's in the best interest of the child - if the potential parents know they've got a family/social circle who isn't going to accept a child of a particular skin tone, it's NOT the best interest of the child.  It's a "they have to search their hearts" for what to do, because like all things parenting, it's not about THEIR best interests, but the child's..

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