Black and White


An Open Letter to President Obama -


In a California case, the Budapest Sun reported that women were offered "between $1,000 and $8,000" in exchange for their infants (1 Aug. 2002). In 1996, RNC Agency reported that since 1994 more than 100 babies were sold to American couples for a reported US $80,000 per child with birth mothers receiving US $18,000 for "white babies" and US $1,000 for "mothers of Roma babies" (10 July 1996). Other reports noted that mothers received US $1,000 for "dark-skinned" children or US $12,000 for "white-skinned" ones and agents charged American couples US $20,000 per child (RFE/RL 18 July 1996; Reuters 16 July 1996; CNN 23 June 1996). CNN cited a US Internal Revenue Service agent as providing the latter information (ibid.).

Excerpted from:
Preacher Calls Adoption Fees Discriminatory
by Dean Schabner, 3-12-03

When a couple seeking to adopt a white baby is charged $35,000 and a couple seeking a black baby is charged $4,000, the image that comes to the Rev. Ken Hutcherson's mind is of a practice that was outlawed in America nearly 150 years ago -- the buying and selling of human beings....

..."For poor families, for young, unwed mothers, that creates untoward pressure," she said. "That's not the way adoption is supposed to work. "When money's involved, ethics go out the window," she added.

..."The thing that is scary to me is that children aren't perfect," she said. "People who are willing to pay high fees for healthy kids don't always get perfect children. If you pay $50,000, it doesn't mean that child is going to be healthy, gorgeous and smart."

Excerpted from "Transracial Abductees"
by Tobias Hubinette (Lee Sam-dol), Korean adoptee living in Stockholm, Sweden.

The most scientific of studies on Intercountry Adoptees' Outcomes was conducted in Sweden. In spite of the adult adoptees in the study having been adopted to couples belonging to the Swedish elite, it was estimated that:
90 % of the adopters belong to the upper and middle classes. In spite of this,
6.6 % of the intercountry adoptees had a post-secondary education of 3 years or more compared to
20% of biological children of the adopters whom they grew up with as siblings.
60.2 % of the intercountry adoptees were employed compared to
77.1% among ethnic Swedes, and
50% of the former group belong to the lowest income category compared
28.6 % for the latter.
29.2% of the intercountry adoptees were either married or co-habitants compared to
56.2 % of the majority population.

"Intercountry adoptees have less often children, and those who are parents are more often living without their children if they are males or as single parents if they are females, thus sadly mimicking their biological parents' behavior. Males have more often than females indicators of social maladjustment. Moreover, epidemiological studies show high levels of psychiatric illness, addiction, criminality and suicide compared to the control groups. The odds ratio:
3.2 - psychiatric hospital care
2.6 - in treatment for alcohol abuse
5.2 - drug abuse
2.6 - severe criminality leading to imprisonment stood
3.6 - suicide attempt .

Females have more often than males indicators of poor mental health. The most shocking finding is a record high odds ratio of 5.0 for suicide compared to ethnic Swedes, in an international perspective only comparable to the staggering suicide rates registered among indigenous people in North America and Oceania, which makes parallels to cultural genocide ghastly topical.

Adult adoptees in the above study were checked up in population registers and compared to equivalent control groups among ethnic Swedes. The results show that the group has substantial problems to establish themselves socio-economically in terms of level of education, labor market achievement and creating a family.

In this perspective, it becomes more evident than ever that intercountry adoption is nothing else but an irresponsible social experiment of gigantic measures, from the beginning to the end."

For a historical perspective, Tobias Hubinette explains:
"The scope of the Holocaust created such a shock that the West was forced to change its world view..... from open racism to the idea of equality for all races, at least theoretically. This idea destroyed the world order having dominated the last 500 years: that the West had the right to conquer, exterminate and rule over non-white people. De-colonization was followed by violent conflicts, and the first intercountry adoptees soon started to arrive....

Korea is by far the largest supplier of foreign babies for the U.S. adoption market; 62% of all babies adopted from abroad are South Korean. That amounts to 10% percent of the total adoptions in the United States by families unrelated to the adoptees.....At first, the women do not want to give up their babies. According to the questionnaire that we distribute at the orientation interview, 90% want to keep the babies, says Kim Yongsook, the director of Ae Ran Won. But after counseling, maybe 10% will keep them."

Excerpted from:
by Joan Heifetz Hollinger

It is estimated that several thousand Native-American children are adopted each year by individuals who are not Native Americans and have no ties to tribal communities. The appropriateness of these adoptions is a highly contested socio-cultural issue, analogous to concerns about the wisdom of international and trans-racial adoptions.

Because of the unique and historic relationship between the federal government and Native-American tribes, Congress is empowered to regulate family law matters affecting tribal members. The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 governs many of the jurisdictional and substantive aspects of adoptions of Native- American children, superseding state laws that would otherwise be applicable. In construing ICWA's dual mandate to preserve tribal integrity and promote the welfare of Native-American children, state and federal courts have yet to achieve a comfortable balance among the potentially conflicting principles of tribal survival, child welfare, and parental autonomy. This conflict is especially troublesome when the parents of a Native- American child do not want the child placed with Native Americans or a tribe argues that a child who has not previously lived in a tribal community should be placed on a reservation.

Ethical Issues
Posted by Dale Edmonds - January 22, 2002 01:10 AM

As an Asian-American adoptive parent of an internationally-adopted Asian child, I feel a certain responsibility to speak out on an issue that I have witnessed on numerous occasions---the issue of subtle racism on the part of Caucasian parents towards their Asian children. Thankfully, I am not speaking here of overt racism, and I do realize that most Caucasian adoptive parents have the best of intentions. What I am referring to here is the tendency of Caucasian/American parents to treat the culture here in the U.S. as the universal norm, thereby treating all other cultures as deviants from that norm, whether in a positive or negative light.

Adopted and Fostered Adults (worldwide) of the African Diaspora
(AFAAD - PO Box 24771, Oakland, CA 94607)

The following is excerpted from AFAAD's brochure and website:

"AFAAD is a nonprofit organization connecting and advocating for the needs of the African Diasporic adoption and foster community on a global level, through community outrech,political work, scholarship and social gatherings.... We are adult black adoptees, we are transracial adoptees, we are foster children across the world. We are adopted to London from the U.S., we are adopted to Sweden from Ghana, we are international and global in every way. We are multi-cultural, multi-racial, same-race - we are the dispora."

AFAAD also states that they: