Crowdfunding campaigns ask donors to endorse parenthood for people they might not even know, and to do so with their money — the very thing that many people think is what makes one a responsible, “worthy” parent of children in the first place.
No one seems to be pointing out a problem I see as an adoptive parent, and it has to do with consent. In private adoption, consent is certainly burdened. As pointed out, children are moved from lower-power families (due to race, poverty, addiction, abuse and other factors) into more privileged families. Thus, the consent of the biological parents is certainly burdened.
But in foster-adopt there is no consent at all. Parental rights have been terminated through the legal power of the state; the child literally taken by force and placed with another family. The same dynamic - moving children from low-power families to more privileged families - still applies; but now it is backed by the compelling force of law. As a potential adoptive parent, this worried me because it's undoubtedly true that families of color and families in poverty are disproportionately represented in child welfare cases. https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/racial_disproportionality.pdf
I can't find it now, but I read an article recently (I thought from MeFi) that talked about a woman of color whose young son was taken from her and placed with a white family. She was referred into the system for a good reason, but ultimately the article opined that factors not related to negligent parenting ultimately caused her to lose her parental rights. That she was not compliant enough to the caseworker, that the caseworker didn't accept certain seemingly reasonable cultural differences, that even though the mother went through the classes and did the reunification steps, the caseworker felt she was 'cold.'
Now I don't think this characterizes the majority of situations where parental rights are terminated, and by no means am I implying any misdeed or ethical failing in parents who adopt through foster care. But I also think there is a good place for private adoption, pending we see many reforms happen in the adoption 'industry' and our overall society to decrease the financial or societal coercion involved.
And of course - none of this addresses the consent of the adoptee at all. But since we can't work with the consent of an unborn child (as most private adoptions are done through pre-birth matching), IMO we have a greater obligation to work toward open adoption and to facilitate adoptee-biological parent relationships when both of those people want them.
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