Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Black Women Build Families Through Adoption

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Growing up in my community there was never much talk of anyone adopting a child that they were not already related to or knew through some communal relationship. Even if a woman could not have children of her own, choosing to adopt was never seen as a viable option; only those who were close enough to have already been considered “family” were acceptable.

As time went on, however, (thank goodness), the idea of adoption became less of a taboo and a more recognizable and respectable way in which a couple could succeed at raising children of their very own.  Even for a single person like myself who one day wishes to adopt two little girls.

When I was younger the idea of adoption never entered my mind.  I had always dreamed the perfect life (read fantasy) where my husband and I would have three lovely kids (two girls and a little boy), and have the most glorious time together.  We would have impromptu early morning pillow fights that sent us all barreling in laughter over the bed; Saturday outings at our local park where we would split into teams and challenge each other to baseball and basketball.  And on Sunday, well you can imagine, we would all be lined up perfectly on the third (or fourth) pew of our church as one big happy family. Ah, to be young and in love with your own dreams.

Luckily, time has knocked some much needed maturity and common sense into me and placed my feet back on solid ground.  As an older woman, whose personal and social views have changed dramatically since those days I described above, I no longer dream of finding Mr. Right and having my own biological kids. Instead, I dream of simply enjoying the life I have now and financially preparing myself to adopt two children of my own (hopefully little girls and with any luck they will be sisters).

Just like me, thousands of other Black women---Black families, are choosing or have chosen to adopt (whether they have children of their own or choose not to have them biologically at all).  It is the idea of not rescuing, but rather giving back to one’s community by lifting up rather than tearing down that feeds are internal and instinctive ancestral desires to take care of our Black children on a nurturing and parental level.

Despite what you may see on television or hear in your daily news feed about the latest Caucasian celebrity adopting another African child, Black women—Black families, are in fact digging deep into the laws and finding ways to become adoptive and/or foster care parents.  According to, Adoption.com, “census studies indicate that blacks adopt at about the same rate as whites…,” proving that the African Americans are heading to the voices of the most vulnerable within their community.

If you are interested in adopting, please visit the agencies below who have made our Black children a priority:

Homes for Black Children
Institute of Black Parenting 
Mississippi Families for Kids
Another Choice for Black Children in North Carolina
REJOICE!


Alice J. Rollins is an aspiring freelance writer and blogger who holds an M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from DePaul University.  Her areas of interest include African American women’s spirituality, feminist/womanist pedagogy and politics of migration.

She is currently based in Chicago, IL. Email her at: alice@forharriet.com

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