have just discovered that the huge majority of African-Americans
do not follow the example of middle class White America that
appears to believe stranger adoption was, and is, a suitable
fate for their grandchildren. In stark contrast, African-Americans
keep their grandchildren, absorbing them into
large, functioning extended families.
they dont make decisions to keep their childrens
children; they just dont give any credence to the practice
of stranger adoption. They dont even consider it as
a solution or an option, and therefore there is no choice
to make. They dont think about it at all. If you mentioned
"Adoption Plan" to them they would probably think
it refers to a dramatic rescue of a stray dog at the local
pound, a last minute save from oblivion. Did you know that
animal shelters pioneered the term "Adoption Plan"?
Makes you think, doesnt it.
the large majority of African-American families, there is
no choice when faced with the unplanned or otherwise
unexpected pregnancies of their youthful off-spring. The surprise
baby is welcomed into the family. Rejection is not considered.
Nor is the mother abandoned, rejected or exiled - even if
some family members may initially be less than pleased at
the prospect of the extra responsibility about to be placed
upon them. Sometimes the news is a shock but then everyone
adjusts to the changed circumstances. Its what African-American
families seem to do, naturally. They just get on with life
and embrace the good things life brings. This includes welcoming
grandchildren into the family in an inclusive way. Aunties
and uncles rally around and express their joy at the birth
of the new arrival. They could teach White-Middle-Class American
nuclear families a thing or two about how to function as a
strong, cohesive family. If words retained their original
meaning, then African-Americans could righteously consider
themselves to be the original Moral Majority of the Not-Adoption
world. Good on them.
the community of Norfolk, Virginia, a clinic provides excellent
medical and social care to young, expectant mothers who are
encouraged to return to school after their baby is born. Grandmothers,
great grandmothers and even older sisters, seem to expect
that they will take over the day to day care of the infant
so the mother can complete her schooling. The state assists
in important ways, with day care subsidies for those mothers
able to get paid employment and where a family member is unavailable
to provide day care usually because female relatives
have paid employment of their own. But regardless of the circumstances
of the mother regardless of whether she is still at
school or in the work force, each baby is embraced by the
wider family group.
is it with African-Americans? Dont they know that their
exceptionally cute grandchild would be much better off with
a wealthy white couple who granted would have
preferred a white child, but would grudgingly take theirs
instead, given the current climate of acute baby shortages?
Dont these people read the papers, or listen to TV news?
Dont they go on-line and read the waiting families
book advertisements? What makes African-Americans behave
so selfishly? What induces them to put love and loyalty and
genuine family affection before the needs of sterile, white
America? And what do they expect the baby brokers to do when
they are put out of business - line up for welfare food stamps?
Now, hold that thought.
hate to be the bearer of bad news, but its pretty much
a proven fact that the major cause of infertility in North
America today is untreated sexually transmitted diseases.
Yep, thats the situation for most of those morally superior,
infertile people just hanging around internet sites, waiting
for a single mother to provide them with her family, and trying
to entice her to do so with lures of paid medical expenses.
Well, they neednt waste their time hanging around the
Hampton Roads area of Norfolk where a community embraces the
unmarried mother and her baby too. They wont
find any unwanted babies there now, or
in the future. And the medical care is free as it is for all
young single mothers in North America, without medical insurance.
local newspaper has burst into print to support the right
of the young African-American mother to maintain her education
while honoring her motherhood. The editor is calling for more
community support to assist her in her dual roles of student
and parent. There is even a school set up especially for expectant
mothers, so they wont be disadvantaged academically,
simply because of the pregnancy. Its all quite enlightened,
really. Its all a bit of a shock.
I want to know is, how did this happen? What made African-American
families reject the values of white middle class America and
maintain their own cultural, traditional family values where
the next generation is considered to be the focus of life,
even a reason for life itself? Could this be an accidental
by-product of racism? Did white America practice social apartheid
so effectively they truly did not have a clue that this widespread
practice of families absorbing their own children, was even
going on? And now its too late for Adoption Planning.
am left wondering how the solid, dependable family values
of the African-American community in Norfolk, Virginia, could
be successfully transmitted to a white educated
America that still advocates abandoning ones own grandchildren,
and represents this barbaric practice as a positive value
by which to live. Maybe some African-Americans would be willing
to role model by visiting with groups of white middle class
people or should I say waiting families
to explain to them very carefully, why throwing away your
grandchildren by giving them to strangers who pay money for
them, is not only a socially unsavory practice but a most
unhealthy one in terms of sound, generational family values.
know you are thinking I made all this up. But I didnt.
You can go right to the source and read it for yourself. It
really is a most uplifting story, on-line at www.portfolioweekly.com,
"Choosing Motherhood" by Kristen De Deyn Kirk (Port
Folio Weekly, May 6, 2003, pages 18-24. Editorial, page
cultural comparison will provide you with a new perspective
on the frighteningly shallow family values of an 'educated'
white America that chucks away its own daughters and grandchildren
because of .... Now, what was that reason again? No matter
how often you tell me, I never seem to get it right. I think
thats because I get so distracted by the racket coming
from the adoption cash registers and the happy chatter of
adoption brokers on the way to the bank, as they help each
other haul their loot across the bodies of their victims.