While there are still hurdles for adoptive parents seeking to adopt children of other races, interracial adoption has become much more common than in previous decades. As late as the 1960s, interracial adoption was considered taboo and nearly unheard of.
An article from the Washington Post tells the story of an early interracial adoption and addresses some of the issues surrounding these adoptions.
A Practice Rooted In Racism And Segregation
The article details the challenges that a white couple faced in the process of adopting a mixed-race child in the mid-60s. The couple was told that such adoptions simply did not happen, and had to work their way through the court to bring their family together. The adoption was seen as likely the first of its kind in Washington DC and coincided with a boom in interracial adoptions that would continue for many years.
Most states did not have specific laws preventing interracial adoption. However, there were many laws preventing interracial marriage, and the agencies that granted adoptions took signals from these laws to deny interracial adoptions. Ultimately, this practice was rooted in racism and segregation. In 1967 though, Virginia's laws against interracial marriage were struck down. Since then, the walls have been crumbling.
Criticism From Another Side
In the early 70s, criticism of interracial adoption began coming from a different angle. The National Association of Black Social Workers took issue with white parents adopting children of other races. Critics on this side argued that black children and children of other races adopted by white families will lose their racial identity. This criticism led to a massive drop in interracial adoptions soon after they had begun to boom.
Interracial Adoption Today
There is no denying that adoptive parents interested in interracial adoption will face unique challenges. However, with compassion and love for their child, families can overcome these challenges, just as the family profiled in the Washington Post article did, and just as many other families nationwide have done.