Black Children Are Being Adopted At Discount Rates To “Fix” Racist Foster Care System
Adoptee and HuffPost writer, Deshanne Stokes is reminding every one of the glaring reality of racism in adoption.
Today there are twice the amount of black children in out-of-home foster care situations, than there are being cared for in homes with families. This is no coincidence, institutional racism plays a role. SMH.
This is was Deshanne Stokes had to say about agencies trying to price black children at discounts in order to pair them with safe foster families.:
According to the Administration for Children and Families, more than half of the children entering the foster care system in 2013 were children of color. The Children’s Bureau reports that African American and Native American children are present at double the rate in out-of-home foster care as they are in the general U.S. population. Findings from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) further reveal that the average length of stay in foster care for African American children in 2012 was 29 months, a full 7 months (32 percent) longer than the 22-month length of stay of average child in foster care.
Clearly, institutionalized racism remains alive and well in America. And it’s hurting our nation’s children.
Many adoption agencies try to combat such institutionalized racism. A recent piece on NPR, for example, revealed how a Minnesota couple went to an adoption agency and found that the agency’s fee structure was based on children’s racial background, a practice that is common, though not often talked about. Non-white children, they were told, were harder to place in adoptive homes, and so, as an incentive, prospective parents could adopt children of African American decent at a reduced cost. Adopting a Caucasian child cost $35,000 while an African American child might cost only $18,000.
Even as a well-intentioned attempt to combat racial disparities, such practices can send a dangerous message about the valuation of human life. It suggests that someone who looks like me is inherently more valuable, and should be seen as more valuable, than someone who does not. I shudder to think about the impact on a child or adult to learn they were adopted at a “discount” rate.
SMH at their being a disparity in enthusiasm towards adopting black children. Do you think the discount rate is justified?