Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work
In the interest of the black child: Race, culture, identity and trans-racial adoption in Britain
Date of Publication
Trans-racial adoption refers to the adoption of a child from one race by parents of another race. It has become one of the most controversial aspects of child care practice in Britain and the United States, to the extent that governments on both sides of the Atlantic have had to use legislation to steer a steady course between the proponents and the opponents of trans-racial adoption. At the heart of the matter are several important issues: (a) If a child cannot live with the biological family and a family of similar race or ethnic group cannot be found, should the child be placed with a White family? (b) The apparent one way trafficking of Black and ethnic minority children into White adoptive families and no trafficking in the opposite direction. (c) Can White families provide a Black child with the skills and survival techniques to combat racism? (d) Some trans-racially adopted children experienced adjustment difficulties and develop identity confusion and negative self-concept which cause permanent psychological damage in that they believe they are White or wish to become White. Trans-racial adoption has attracted extensive academic interest but the research findings have been conflicting. This article explores the practice of trans-racial adoption in the UK and identifies the implications of trans-racial adoption for the Black child in terms of race, culture and identity. (AU)....