THE CONTROVERSY OVER TRANSRACIAL ADOPTION
Why was transracial adoption prohibited in the past? During the 1950s and 1960s, transracial adoption increased sharply as a result of the rise in the number of children in the social services system and the lack of minority homes in which to place minority children. In 1972, however, the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) came out strongly against transracial adoption. Within a year, the number of transracial adoptions was cut in half to 1,569, and by 1975, the number was down to 800.
The NABSW policy was and still is that a black child needs to be raised by black parents in order to develop a positive racial identity and only black parents can help the child develop skills for coping in a racist society. This view, seconded by many others, has had an unintended side effect: children languishing in foster care because no family of like ethnic background can be found. Until recently, many state agencies simply would not place African-American or biracial children with Caucasian parents.
The materials for this course have been reprinted with permission from the book The Complete Adoption Book, Third Edition, Copyright © 2005, 2000, 1997, by Laura Beauvais-Godwin and Raymond W. Godwin. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Media, Inc. Co. All rights reserved. The complete book is available at bookstores on and offline.