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By Vilna Bashi Treitler

Whilst mom and dad shape households by way of achieving throughout social boundaries to undertake kids, the place and the way does race input the adoption approach? How do businesses, mom and dad, and the followed teenagers themselves care for problems with distinction in adoption? This quantity engages writers from each side of the Atlantic to take a detailed examine those matters.

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46) In their chapter, Elizabeth Raleigh and Barbara Katz Rothman chronicle adoption agency practices in the new context of hyper-demand for babies. The greatest demand was and still is for the healthy white baby over all others. But experience adopting babies from Eastern Europe has shown that these children may be white but not healthy; they grow up with chronic physical and mental conditions that make such adoptions less than ideal. Raleigh and Rothman suggest that the desire for healthy infants has now surpassed the disdain for the racial other; that is, it has become preferable to adopt a healthy non-white child rather than taking the risk of adopting a white child who may have severe health problems.

Why do children even need a positive racial identity? That is, if we are working toward a world that no longer will treat people differently because of the falsehood that they belong to some fictionalized racial category, why do we need racial identities at all? It is a question I struggle with in my work and in my personal understanding of the world. I think that the key lays in our understanding of difference – difference exists, but is only what we make of it. We come in sizes small and large; have hair that ranges from straight to curly to kinky, thin or thick; have skin colors that go from pink to yellowish to reddish to brownish to blackish ...

But during the era where countries were placing thousands of young and healthy children annually, only a fraction of families pursued the adoption of those who were characterized as riskier placements. ’ For example, at its heyday in 2004, when almost 23,000 children were being placed per year, 83 percent of parents opted to adopt a child younger than two years old. But less than a decade later, as far fewer children are being released for overseas placement, almost half (44 percent) of those placements are for older children (Raleigh, 2011).

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