Adoption reopens that old debate of race and religion, throwing in same sex adoption too in HarrowPosted by Francesca on Feb 3, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment
I was contacted by LBC radio to comment on this story
As ever the topic of interracial adoption is a complex one, one that makes the headlines in the New York Times on the same day – link here.
I think the title of the NY Time summarises the whole thing correctly. Yes race (and indeed religion) do matter. They are part of a child’s identity, and it will stay way into adulthood. In an ideal world therefore we would want to match a child with the same ethnicity and why not religion parents. But guess what? We don’t live in that ideal world. We live in one where that choice isn’t always possible and the alternative to that ‘perfect match’ is a life in care shunted around the foster care system with multiple placements (in the majority of cases with temporary carers of a different ethnicity and religion anyway).
After that? The prospects are bleak. Crime, prostitution and homelessness are too often the only future for young adults leaving care as pointed out in our report from last year.
To say that I found Nick Ferrari obnoxious in the interview would be an underestimation of my actual feelings towards him. Apparently he is amazed that I trust social services to be the ones to be making the right decision in the interest of the child. Who else would be? The birth family who had a total of three children removed from their custody and given for adoption?
In his biased view it should have been taken into account that four sets relatives of the biological mother came forward to adopt, and on top of that they were Muslim. How perfect blood related and same religion.
Should that have been a decisive factor? Being of a specific religion or even ‘blood related’ does not make anyone suitable to adopt.
Worse so Nick and a lot of the press around this specific case were clearly making a point that ‘on top of that’ the white women were lesbians too. So let’s throw everything in the pot why not?
This is going to get really boringly cliché now. What children need is the permanent love of doting parents. When that is provided by biological same ethnicity and religion parents that is great. When that is not possible then the next best available match has to be found to ensure the best interest of the child in paramount. In that case, dare I say like mine with two Mexican children, cultural needs of children can be met by different-race parents who are committed to the best interests of their child.
So that children are not made to pay for having been born in a family which for whatever reason couldn’t provide for them (in this case mental illness) and then for being of the wrong skin colour and or religion.
Being left behind languishing in a care system waiting endlessly not just for ‘a’ muslim family but ‘the right’ muslim family will never be the right alternative to a permanent loving family. Now.