Myths About African-American Adoption

The Atlanta Post talked to an expert who's intent on clearing up the misconceptions that leave black kids without families.

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Founded in 1983, the Oakland, Calif.-based Black Adoption and Placement Resource Center was among the first "specialty" agencies to work to clear up the myths surrounding adoption-eligibility criteria and other issues that kept countless prospective parents from applying and from adopting black children.

The Atlanta Post recently talked to BAPRC Executive Director Gloria King about her response to four main misconceptions that stand in the way of African-American kids finding loving and permanent homes:

Children of African descent are more difficult to raise: Not true, says King. "We have been very successful in promoting African American children being adopted and bringing the message to the community about families of color being needed to adopt," she told the Post. "Targeted recruitment has always been a part of our mission, but let me make it clear -- we do not discriminate. We have always served biracial families, same-gender-loving families, couples and singles as part of our outreach efforts."

"Drug babies" are destined to have serious issues: King says that media hype about their condition has condemned many children born addicted to drugs to a future with little hope. "We had to do a lot of re-education for the community as to how to care for these children and regarding adoption in general," she said.

The "Blind Side effect": It's taken work to soothe concerns that children of African descent adopted by Caucasian families will be irreparably harmed by being disconnected from their "natural heritage." "Our goal when making the decision to adopt (as opposed to procreating) was that we wanted to provide love, a home and a great life for a soul that might not have had those opportunities otherwise," said Sean Folkson, a white man who is raising a black child with his Mexican American wife. "We didn't set restrictions with regard to race or gender."

Singles and renters need not apply: Wrong. King contends that anyone who really understands the selfless job of parenting and is willing to provide a "forever space for a child" that meets his or her needs should strongly consider adoption. "You don't have to be Ozzie and Harriet," she says.

Does King's pitch have you convinced? Would you consider adoption?  If not, why? Let us know in the comments section. 

Read more at the Atlanta Post. 

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