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- What are the problems with transracial adoptions of black children by white parents?
- What does “being black” mean?
- What does “being white” mean?
All these questions and more are discussed in this “Listener Questions” episode of the Racism 101 Podcast with Dr. Darron Smith and Miguel Barker-Valdez.
Please leave an email question for Dr. Darron Smith to answer on the podcast by filling out the form below. We encourage our listeners to email us a voice-mail question so we can play it on the podcast. Also, please share this podcast with friends if you find this series helpful.
Dr. Darron Smith and Miguel Barker-Valdez
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Dr. Darron T. Smith is a faculty member at the University of Memphis in the Department of Sociology. He is frequent political and cultural contributor for Huffington Post on various issues of inequality in the form of racism, classism and other systems of U.S. based oppression. He has also contributed to various forums from Religion Dispatches and ESPN's Outside the Lines to The New York Times and Chicago Tribune op-ed sections. Dr. Smith’s research spans a wide myriad of topics on including healthcare disparities, Religious Studies, Race & Sports, Stress & Mindfulness, Transracial Adoption and the Black Family. His current research focuses on healthcare workforce discrimination involving African American physician assistants. His is the author of, When Race, Religion & Sports Collide: Blacks Athletes at BYU and Beyond, was recently released to critical praise in November 2016.
All posts by Dr. Darron Smith
Dr. Smith & Miguel, thanks for answering my question and providing another great podcast. I appreciate the insights and advice. And thank you for the recommendation of the Domino group.
I hope you’ll forgive me for not being sure which recent podcast to post this question under. It was where Dr Smith was talking about inter-racial adoption, so I think this is the right one. I think I heard Dr Smith say that there are mostly black/brown boys in foster care and that they are the least likely to get adopted. (I waited too long to post this and am sure I’ve forgotten some details- so please set me straight if I understood that incorrectly.)
But he also said it was not good for whites to adopt black kids (or something to that effect). If I heard both of those right, I don’t understand it. If there are lots of black/brown kids in foster care, and they are unlikely to get adopted, would being adopted by white parents be worse than spending their entire childhood in foster care? Are white parents really that bad for black kids? If you had said (and you may have and I didn’t catch it) that kids are best off being adopted by same-race parents – but adoptive parents shouldn’t turn away a child just because he’s a different race, that would make sense to me. If I heard you right, could you help me understand your position?
Even if it’s true that same-race adoption is better for the child than mixed-race adoption, it seems that telling white parents to avoid adopting black kids is going to result in more black kids growing up in foster care. Assuming blacks and whites adopt kids at similar rates, since there are 4 times more whites than blacks, wouldn’t that reduce a black child’s chances of adoption by 80%?
Most of the discussion about adoption that I remember focused on ‘whites should not adopt blacks’. Do you feel equally strongly that blacks should not adopt whites? Again – if you stated that, I apologize for missing it.