Why don't Blacks adopt more?

Jordan Crawford | 8/7/2013, 3:55 p.m.
Adoption appears not to be as common an occurrence in the Black community. Why is that?

Glenn Butler, director of the Newport News Social Services Department, acknowledged the bleak statistics for children who “age out” of the foster care system. “Sadly, within two years of aging out, about 25 percent will most likely be incarcerated and 54 will most likely be homeless,” he said.

Wanda Rogers, director of the Hampton Social Services Department, reluctantly admits that Black children get adopted from their department at a slower rate than children of other races, and that the majority of the families and couples that adopt through them are non-Black.

“I believe in the Black culture, it is more common for family to take in family. In our community, you hear more about children being raised by grandparents or an uncle, or aunt. Adoption of a completely unrelated child, especially one of another race, as far as I know is highly uncommon,” said Rogers. “Maybe it is widely done, but is not as talked about and recognized as when a white family adopts seven children from Africa,” she jokingly added.

Although adoption may be lower in the Black community, statistics show that abortion is higher in Black community.

Realizing that we make up most of the foster child body, Charles Anderson believes that more Blacks should adopt Black children, specifically. “This can be one of many ways that Blacks can single-handedly right a wrong of slavery,” he said. “Yes, the process of adopting a child is often long and tedious, but I believe that ‘to labor for Africans because they are Africans is an African’s noblest work.’”

How did so many of our children end up in foster care, and why are they staying there longer than other races? Adoption is a big step, but this problem can be alleviated if we subscribe to the Kwanzaa principle of Ujima, which means: build and maintain our community together, and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and solve them together.