03 April 2011

NABSW


I am all about people standing up for what they believe in. When I am able to get past my shyness I do it too. The world would be a dull place if we all had the same convictions. There are very, very few subjects that I will not even consider listening to the opposite opinion on, ahem abortion ahem.
The National Association of Black Social Workers has a different opinion than mine on transracial adoption. Simply put, they do not like it. They do say this: "...transracial adoption of an African American child should only be considered after documented evidence of unsuccessful same race placements has been reviewed and supported by appropriate representatives of the African American", so I guess they're not totally against it. Just 99.9% or so.
I do not entirely disagree with their mission. Drawing from what I have read on their website I think they are a good organization that does good things. NABSW's mission statement reads, "The National Association of Black Social Workers, Inc., comprised of people of African ancestry, is committed to enhancing the quality of life and empowering people of African ancestry through advocacy, human services delivery, and research... NABSW’s vision is guided by the Principles of the Nguzo Saba, which are Unity, Self-determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith, and the Seven Cardinal Virtues of Ma’at, which are Right, Truth, Justice, Order, Reciprocity, Balance, and Harmony." I mean, who can argue with these values? Having grown up in the South where it is obvious that African American people have less opportunities I know that organizations like this are needed. For this I applaud them.
If the information they quote on their "Preserving Families" webpage is correct, and it seems to be, then I can understand their desire to intervene in transracial adoptions. There is too much information there to go over, but go have a read yourself when you have a few minutes. It seems to me that their basic goal is to strengthen black families across the nation so their children will not need to be placed in foster care or placed for adoption. I am all for strengthening families. In an ideal world no parents, black, white, or any other color, would be in the situation where they feel the need to place their child with another family for the best interest of the child. Sadly this would mean that others would never have the chance to become parents. It is one of the rare times we can be thankful we do not live in a perfect world.
What I disagree with is their opinion that a white family cannot properly raise a black child. Their definition of what constitutes a black child being raised properly is different than mine. Yes, it will be harder for my daughter to learn about her culture in our family than if she was raised in a black family, but that does not mean that her being raised in a white family is wrong. Just because something is more difficult it does not mean it is wrong. Yeah, she probably won't get the whole black culture experience, but we will do our darned best. It would be better as far as the child learning about his or her culture to be placed with a black family, but that is absolutely not the only thing that should be considered when deciding what is best for a child, and certainly not the most important thing.
I also disagree with their opinion that a black child would be better to be raised by a black family member than placed with a white family. My main basis for this opinion is the decision our birthmother made. Her sister who is black offered to raise Destiny, the birthfather's mother could have raised Destiny, and our birthmother still chose to place her daughter with a white family. She knew her sister. She knew her baby's grandmother. Other than the four page bio with pictures, she did not know us. (She requested a closed adoption.) Knowing what she knew she chose what she thought was best for her baby. She chose us. Were there an African American family available to adopt her baby she may have chosen to place her with them, but she had the option to specifically request an African American family and yet she did not. She was not given any incentives. She made this decision after considering all options.
I have felt others have a bit of anger and/or fear toward this group. I hope you take the time to explore their website to educate yourself well enough to make your own opinion. I am not even yet done doing this myself. When you do let me know what you think. Do you agree with my findings?

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