I’m quoted in the NYT article, "De-emphasis on Race in Adoption is Critical."
Doing this article was another example in which I feel we adult adoptees always have to be vigilant in the way we are represented. I have a good working relationship with the reporter of this piece (about two years ago he had interviewed myself and several other adult transracial adoptees but unfortunately the piece did not make it to print).
However, on Saturday, I received a call from a photographer who wanted a photo to accompany the article. The photographer asked if my parents were in the city. Baffled, I asked why he wanted to know this. The photographer then said that he wanted my parents in the photo with me, and asked if I had a photo of them that could be run in this article since they don’t live close to me. I told the photographer that in principle, I objected to having a photograph with my parents because I didn’t see what my parents had to do with this article.
I was interviewed as a social worker who also happens to be a transracial adoptee. But, at almost 40 years old, I am frustrated that an article – that is NOT about ME (that is, it is not my personal story), has to include a photo of my parents. Would the photographer have asked Dorothy Roberts, a black child welfare legal scholar, to include her parents in an article in which she talks about racial disparities in child welfare? I mean, that would be relevant right? She’s black, so is her parents, and she talks about child welfare issues in the black community.
When will I be able to be seen as a separate entity apart from my parents? Yes, I was adopted. But why do I need to be seen in the context of my parent’s child at my age?
When will adoptees be able to have their professional and personal views accepted as the individuals we are?
*more articles about the Evan B. Donaldson report:
Click here for the summary of the report: FINDING FAMILIES FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN CHILDREN: THE ROLE OF RACE & LAW IN ADOPTION FROM FOSTER CARE