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home :: abduction politics :: abducting on a budget

Abducting on a Budget

I recently requested an adoption application from this agency called "American Adoptions." (For research purposes only I assure you.) They give you a bunch of information along with the application form. Here's how they break things down in terms of race:

They divide their programs into "Traditional" and "Minority." "Traditional" includes all "healthy, non-African American" babies. They state that "Traditional" program races "include, but are not limited to, Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, etc. or any non-African American combination of races."

What it boils down to is that "African-American or Bi/multi-racial (any race combined with African-American heritage) newborns/infants" in the "Minority" program cost way less than babies in the "Traditional" program, anywhere from $4,000 to $16,000 less, with no up-front fee required. The average wait for a "Traditional" program baby is months longer than the wait for a "Minority" program baby, which can be as short as 1 month, and the rules regarding age of parents and number of children who can already be living in the home are less strict for "Minority" program applicants. While reduced fees and fewer restrictions on parent eligibility (combined with other anti-racist, anti-classist strategies) can make adoption more accessible to people of color, "Minority" programs like this one are not focused on recruiting and approving people of color to adopt.

Agencies are able to subsidize "Minority" programs in part because they do not spend lots of money advertising to pregnant women to give up their "minority" babies for adoption; instead, they focus their attention on recruiting pregnant women who can help fill the demand for white babies. Also, many agencies use a "one drop" kind of rule to draw a strict line between African American and white, while quietly ignoring all other "minorities." The argument that "Minority" programs exist to make adoption more accessible to people of color is often an attempt to mask white-run agencies' complicity with white-dominated society's general devaluation of African American children. Most agencies don't care about recruiting parents of color or making their programs more accessible to people of color in general. The pictures of angelic, blonde-haired babies advertised by agencies like American Adoptions make it clear that they're primarily concerned with matching up white people with white babies, and when that isn't possible, convincing whites to settle for a "less desirable" child.