In the United States, transracial adoption is something witnessed on a regular basis. Childwelfare.gov states that “in statistics drawn from FY 2000-2004, about 28 percent of the children placed with public agency involvement were placed transracially.” The website clarifies that “many intercountry adoptions are also transracial adoptions.”
While transracial adoptions have become more prevalent in the United States in recent years, the same cannot be said in the UK. According to the Daily Mail, Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to reverse a law that currently bans transracial adoption, which has been banned since the 1990s following claims that the “child suffers identity crisis.” The article went on to say that research has since proven these claims false.
There have been many studies on the effects of adoptees in transracial adoptions and USARiseUp.com quotes a study by William Feigelman and Arnold Silverman which found that “after six or more years of living in their different-race home, children adjusted as well as their same-race-adoption counterparts.” It also notes research by Dong Soo Kim, who researched Korean adoptions by white american families. According to the website Kim found “no significant differences in self-esteem scores between these children and their American teenage counterparts.”
By allowing transracial adoptions, Cameron is looking to improve an adoption system that saw “just 60 out of 3,600 babies under one adopted last year” according to the article.
Race is not the only barrier for adoptive parents in the UK. According to the article, “adoptions were also prevented to parents judged too old, too unhealthy, or to be smokers. The hostile approach has been blamed for helping to cut adoptions tenfold since the 1970s.”
With so many children currently in the foster care system, Cameron is attempting to remove many of these barriers and make adoption more attainable for parents and children in the UK.
What are your thoughts? Do you believe the UK Government has the right to prevent adoptions based on race, age or health of adoptive parents?