Adoption of Black Children by Overseas Families on the Rise

Generic image (Thinkstock)
Generic image (Thinkstock)

The number of African-American children adopted by foreign parents who live outside the United States is steadily rising, according to a CNN report. For some birth mothers, part of the appeal is that their child will get the opportunity to grow up in an exotic overseas location. And for others, there is the perception that there is less racism outside the U.S.


One white mother told CNN that she selected foreign adoptive parents for her biracial son so that he would not experience America's brand of prejudice toward biracial children, saying, "The white people are going to hate him because he's half black, and the majority of black people are going to hate on him because he's half white."

While the number of international adoptions is plummeting — largely over questions surrounding the origin of children put up for adoption in developing countries — there is one nation from which parents abroad can adopt a healthy infant in a relatively short time whose family history and medical background is unclouded by doubt: The United States …

While the typical tale of international adoption is U.S. families adopting a child from abroad, foreign families like the van Meurs adopt scores of U.S. children each year. The numbers are far lower than the thousands of overseas children adopted each year by U.S. families, but over the past decade the number of U.S. children adopted by foreign parents has been steadily rising — and almost all of the children are of African American descent  …

Many birth mothers have a perception that their black or mixed-race children will not face the same race issues in the Netherlands as in the United States.

[Says Adam Pertman, executive director of the Donaldson Adoption Institute and author of "Adoption Nation,"] "In the United States, as much as Americans want to believe it's not true, we are still a country where there is [at] least some degree of racial prejudice. The birth mothers' perception of Holland, in particular, was that the same was not true in Holland. There's that feeling that maybe we can escape those issues if (the child is) somewhere else."

Read more at CNN.