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The North American Council on Adoptable Children believes that a child should be ethnically matched when possible but that children should not have to wait for long periods of time to find a same-race family. How long is too long is not an exact science. The detriments associated with being in foster care while waiting for a family must be weighed against the advantages of ethnic matching.

Some assert that if immediate placement is given automatic priority over ethnic matching, not enough effort will go into recruiting African-American families to adopt. Others believe that agency standards for adoptive parents are biased in favor of Caucasian parents. If more single parents and those with lower incomes could adopt, they say more African-American parents would do so. This may be true, but a child or a sibling group may need the energy of two parents, not just one. Humans are finite, and sibling groups probably need the financial security and time that only two parents can provide.

Still, greater efforts need to be made to recruit African-American families and to build trust in the African-American community so that more African-American families will adopt. Agencies need to provide more thorough training and literature to educate prospective adoptive parents about adopting transracially. In the meantime, Caucasian children are primarily going to Caucasian families, and biracial and African-American children are going to both Caucasian and African-American families. Children are adopted because they need love, and parents adopt because they want to extend their love to the next generation. No child should have to wait for a home because of the color of his or her skin.


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.


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