Argumentative Essay Example: The Politics of Transracial Adoption
No issue has raised more feelings of ambivalence in the U.S. than the delicate and sensitive matter of transracial adoptions. The debate on transracial adoption has a complex history and has generated a great deal of controversy within social, political, and academic policy domains. On the one hand, an attempt to place parentless ethnic minority children alongside loving caregivers or guardians has been acknowledged as a positive intention.
On the other hand, there is an opinion that transracial adoption stripes children of their appropriate sense of self-worth and racial identity. Therefore, the ability of white parents to successfully raise children of different color, race, or ethnicity with a sound sense of racial identity has been central to the debate.
This paper argues that transracial adoption should be supported, because the child’s need to have a home and a family of one’s own is greater than ethnic differences.
Arguments FOR: “Matching” in Adoption Policy
Opponents of transracial adoptions strongly favor racial matching, insisting when white adoptive parents raise minority children, the problem of poor racial identity appears. Such children, critics argue, are maladjusted, and are unable to cope with discrimination and racism in the adult life, thus implying that cultural genocide is the likely outcome of transracial adoptive placements.
However, one may counterargument this claim by simply showing how disastrous the social policy of racial matching is in what it says about American attitudes regarding racial distinctions and how it affects children.
** First, the racial matching policy prevents some ethnic minority children from access to parents who would otherwise be considered suitable except that they are disqualified on the grounds of being of the “wrong” race.
** Second, given that racial matching supports the belief that same-race placements are better and as such should be preferred to transracial arrangements, some prospective parents are likely to find themselves unwilling to adopt because of social pressures stigmatizing transracial adoption.
** Finally, racial matching reinforces and mirrors racialism, strengthening the notion that race is destiny from which people should not wander. Thus, racial matching belies the belief that understanding and love are boundless. Instead, it instructs people that their affections are and should be bounded by the race and color regardless of their efforts.
Arguments AGAINST: The Issue of Racial Identity
There is an increasing concern that white parents cannot take proper care of black or latino children, for instance due to lacking an appropriate sense of racial identity; hence, being unable to prepare them to the future encounters with racism and discrimination.
From this perspective, the opponents of transracial adoption argue that racial matching is key to improving outcomes of adoption and increasing stability.
This claim is based on the premise that evidence supports racial matching with regards to levels of self-esteem and psychosocial outcomes of transracially adopted children. Therefore, one may suggest that cultural and racial needs should be made paramount, because adopted children might grow into adulthood facing complex issues, identity crises, feelings of disconnectedness from their ethnic and racial communities, and a lack of tools with which they would address discrimination and racism they might encounter.
Arguments FOR: The Issue of Racial Literacy
There is no rationale that could be deemed compelling to a sufficient extent to justify preferring same-race child arrangements over transracial ones.
Of course, matching parentless ethnic minority children with adults of the same race or ethnicity is a good idea. However, the disapproval of adoption of children by parents of a different race suggests a social disaster: the mixture of weakness and confusion disabling many people from combating as fully and strongly as they might those ingrained racialist impulses.
Therefore, resting upon a racial oversimplification, racial matching policy strips people of being given individualized consideration and respect as a special and unique individual.
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Typically, the legal system of the U.S. prohibits authoritative organs from making decisions based on racial generalizations, even if those are accurate. Therefore, due to the fact that there is no evidence that same-race placements are better than transracial placements, those who assert this claim rely solely on the hunch. To substantiate this claim, one must conceptualize what exactly constitutes correct parenting for an ethnic minority child or one’s racial identity – otherwise, one cannot judge who will turn better.
Furthermore, by saying that racial matching might save a transracially adopted child from a family setting in which he/she might feel uncomfortable allows bigotry to shape the laws. Thus, any scheme based on a hunch that some parents – because of their color, race, or ethnicity – will have a greater understanding of how to raise a child than other parents of a different color, race, or ethnicity, should be rejected. For one can surely agree that it is tragic for a child to be exposed to the anxiety and worrying of having no family of one’s own, to be condemned to the parentless life, to suffer from loneliness, and live without parental love
The debate on transracial adoption has a complex history and has generated a great deal of controversy within social, political, and academic policy domains. Opponents of this issue argue that transracial adoption stripes black or Latino kids of their relevant sense of self-identification and racial identity. However, such misguided efforts to respect ethnicity and race may actually deepen racial intolerance and bring more harm to children.
Further research is needed to conceptually clarify the process of matching in adoption policy that should move beyond being mere speculations. Until then, one can certainly agree that every child needs a home and a family of one’s own, because love and understanding are indeed boundless and are greater than ethnic differences.