Just got linked to this post about a new film on trans-racial adoptions. It’s called Neither Here nor There, How far she’s come. It’s chilling to read the bits about how the adoptive mother grills her new “daughter” on English to the point where the girl is exhausted and asks to go home in Chinese. It’s disgusting that this woman who seems to have adopted Chinese daughters as trophies of her “goodness” & color-blindness rather than trying to actually help these young girls from any sense of doing what’s right for another human being. It will premiere in the US in PBS on August 31 and I’ll be watching.
I find it telling that the girl lose all of her Chinese, and is constantly compared to the other little girl that this woman has adopted. I’ve got a lot of opinions on trans-racial adoptions most of which are not particularly pleasant or thoughtful. But one constant seems to be that I come across folks online that adopt babies and children of color and/or not of their nationality as trophies of their goodness, color blindness and look at me saving those poor brown folks, giving them a “better life” albeit one modeled on the “norms” of white, American and forgetful of their roots.
Granted, not everyone that adopts outside of their race/nationality has such ulterior motives or means well, 9/10 of our reality is perception not truth. All I can base my perceptions on is what I see. Too often I see white women who adopt brown and other non-white children, with no thoughts as to what that child will deal with when they are older, when the differences between “mommy” and the child can no longer be swept under the rug. Or what they will do when that child comes home after being called a racial slur for the first time, or worse if they witness racism committed against their adopted child and they have no coping mechanisms to pass on, no advice since they’ve never had the honor of shopping while black, or driving while black or having so many assumptions made on your intelligence, abilities, etc because of the color of your skin and all the baggage that comes with it.
It’s a heavy burden to bear and I wish people would weigh the luggage they are going to take on when they adopt that poc/non-white child along with the idea that they are doing their part by “saving these poor kids” from their poor roots. In my humble opinion, it would help everyone be prepared for what will come as these children grow up in a society that is anything but post-racial and color blind despite having a black POTUS.
Bah, I’m getting rambly and unfocused but I hope you got my point. If not feel free to say so in the comments.