A study commissioned by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute argues that race should be a factor, though not the only factor, in adoption and recommends amending laws that made it easier for families to adopt African American children.
The study study's urges changing the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 and its 1996 amendment, the Interethnic Adoption Provisions, which made it illegal for federally funded agencies to address race. A third of all wards in foster care are African American.
"The status quo isn't working," the institute's Adam Pertman told the Chicago Tribune. "And if we're going to be child-centered, we need to recognize reality and not what our ideal may be." He added: "The objective is not to be colorblind but to be color-conscious."
Aren't we already color conscious, perhaps too much so?
Consider Barack Obama. Though not adopted, he was raised by a white mother, then white grandparents in Hawaii where few people looked like him. In his books and speeches, he frequently addresses adjusting to racial differences and distinctions as a child. Though exceptional, Obama is certainly not an exception. A household containing multiple races demands that the family daily consider the issues, making them all more sensitive and aware, not a bad prescription for society at large.