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JulyDiaz

EPISODE 687 - Adoption

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Natasha Vargas-Cooper and Andrew talk all about adopting non-white babies and growing up with two dads that are not the same ethnicity. Be sure to keep leaving us messages at (323) 389-RACE.

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how can something be not racist to think and be racist to say

 

that makes zero sense

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They pretty much blew this one. The "discussion" -- you know, the thing Andrew and Natasha seemed most troubled by -- is between prospective adoptive parents, not in a big group of folks at a dinner party.

If those people can't talk about a decision they have to make among themselves, who would be allowed to discuss it? And where?

Also (and yeah, I get the "we don't do research" rule), they're pretty clueless about the process. When we filled out the paperwork to foster a child, we learned you don't get to just ignore the question which is basically "do you have a preference about race?" --along with the preferred age, level of ability, gender, etc., of course.

It's something my better half and I had to confront before we ever decided to bring another person into our family, and we did talk about it. Even to -- shudder! -- a few friends and family!

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Leave it to a writer for jezebel to find an issue with someone wanting to adopt a baby.

 

Also, it seems like a really bad idea to continually make people feel bad that actually care enough about this show to call in

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Though I usually take a lot of this show with a grain of salt, I felt like this episode reached a whole new level of dismissiveness for the caller. Considering the race of an adopted baby is loaded, and instead of having a thoughtful conversation that actually looked at the reality of the situation, they got super hung up on the "easy to adopt" aspect and accused the woman (and I guess the whole adoption/foster system?) of turning babies into commodities. Yes, what she said was a bit painful to hear, but she was stating a fact. The fact that she is open to adopting a child regardless of race shouldn't be shit on. It's obviously a big, life-changing thing she's seriously considering.

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Yeah, this episode made me feel pretty icky. They're pretty flippant about how adoption works. It's one thing that they don't know how it works; it's another to laugh off all of the tricky issues involved.

 

Andrew, if you're going to tell callers to keep it short, don't act like they're a smug asshole for trying to sum up a complex issue for the sake of the voicemail's brevity.

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When we filled out the paperwork to foster a child, we learned you don't get to just ignore the question which is basically "do you have a preference about race?" --along with the preferred age, level of ability, gender, etc., of course.

 

Yep! Human Services NEEDS everyone to think really long and hard about this, because most people who want to foster have that "we'll love any child who comes into our home!" attitude, and they need to splash a little "let's think about how the real world works" cold water on that.

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Though I usually take a lot of this show with a grain of salt, I felt like this episode reached a whole new level of dismissiveness for the caller.

Yeah. I kinda hope the caller reads this forum thread, after having to hear that drek.

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I don't think that the caller should be dumped on for considering the facts. She was putting the CHILD's need first, not her own. Being open to adopting a non-white child into a white family and understanding what comes with that does not equate to commodifying the child. Adopting because "Aw, black babies are the cutest!", or "Aw, Asian babies are the cutest!" on the other hand, is tacky (like, "I want a BLACK one, not a white one!" makes the process of adoption sound like buying a couch to go with the stuff in the your living room). Also, adopting a non-white child because you want to make YOURSELF look good is tacky, because you're not focused on the needs of your kid, but rather on how exalted you'll look doing so.

 

Two examples from my family:

1. I have an adopted relative who's black with two white parents. We're all white. Her parents' discussion about adopting put HER needs first, rather than theirs. They adopted her because they were aware of how difficult it is to find black babies adoptive homes, had no preference for race, and knew they could give her a loving home.

 

2. My sister on the other hand, shortly after giving birth to her (white) son, discussed wanting *specifically* to adopt a "little black child", or a "little Asian girl", but NOT because she had any understanding of what the kids have going against them, but because, in her words, "because we want to show everyone around us that race doesn't matter". She wanted to turn a potential adopted child into a project just to make herself look good. This is also the same person who says that Asian girls are "bitchy", is "repulsed" by Asian men, tells me never to marry a non-white guy "unless he's a nice mulatto", and says that the name "Jose" is Spanish for "small penis".

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My sister on the other hand, shortly after giving birth to her (white) son, discussed wanting *specifically* to adopt a "little black child", or a "little Asian girl", but NOT because she had any understanding of what the kids have going against them, but because, in her words, "because we want to show everyone around us that race doesn't matter". She wanted to turn a potential adopted child into a project just to make herself look good.

Well, she may have discussed such things, but talk's cheap, y'know?

I don't think many, if even any, folks actually adopt transracially for those flippant reasons.

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Well, she may have discussed such things, but talk's cheap, y'know?

I don't think many, if even any, folks actually adopt transracially for those flippant reasons.

 

I agree with you based on the quote you quoted, but when I scrolled up and read the SECOND half of that paragraph, well, the sister sounds like a trashbag with some troubling thoughts on race.

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I agree; I guess I was taking some comfort in knowing that odds are about 99.99% against her actually even trying to make good on this business, so let her run her stupid yap.

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