CNN photo adoption
Yesterday I came across this headline on CNN’s website, Single Black Women Choosing to Adopt. Interesting, I thought. Black women are disproportionately unmarried and a disproportionate number of black children are “in the system.” “Kudos, CNN,” I thought, “for exploring these issues.” And then I read on.

Somewhere between the plight of black women and the frank talk about single motherhood, there was this bit about color issues and black adoption:

“There are some single African-American women who are not emotionally ready to adopt an African-American child who is too dark, some adoption agency officials say.

Fair-skinned or biracial children stand a better chance of being adopted by single black women than darker-skinned children, some adoption officials say.

“They’ll say, ‘I want a baby to look like a Snickers bar, not dark chocolate,’ ” Caldwell, founder of Lifetime Adoption, says about some prospective parents.

“I had a family who turned a baby down because it was too dark,” she says. “They said the baby wouldn’t look good in family photographs.”

chocolate shades

Now, it’s no secret that the black community has some color issues. But, I’m going to need more than one woman’s (granted, horrifying) anecdote and “some officials say” to understand, what, if any, impact this really has on adoption.

And as for Ms. Caldwell’s statement, “They’ll say, ‘I want a baby to look like a Snickers bar, not dark chocolate'” – Who is they? Has she actually heard this disturbing chocolate bar analogy from more than one person? I find that hard to believe. Clearly “they” don’t all say that, as evidenced by the photo of the beautiful brown-skinned woman and her beautiful brown-skinned daughter who were matched through Caldwell’s agency.

Maybe it’s just me but, I like my broad characterizations of any community QUANTIFIED or at least not attributed to “some” unidentified “adoption officials.”

If we’re talking about a few isolated incidents, it is not significant enough to be included in this short piece. If it is a bigger problem, then it needs to be actually explored and get its own piece.

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