I would like to stir the pot even more on the subject of race and adoption. When it comes to transracial adoption, there are no examples where the colors are flipped around. African Americans are not adopting white children here nor are they going to Eastern Europe to adopt orphans, it just isn’t something that occurs in our society and if it does it is a pretty rare event.
When it comes to adopting a white child, I too have some discomfort. We are already out there being a gay couple, being an interracial couple and carting around a child. You begin to ask yourself things like does it matter at this point if you add one more non-traditional element to the equation–like having a black father and a white child–or does it just begin to be too much? Sure it would be easy–just Junior and me wondering around the city–white guy–white son. But we are all going to go through this experience together. So in adopting a white child, I wonder if we are going to be just a little too out there. What happens the first time that “white” Junior begins to pull a tantrum on Darrow in the store as described in Bad parent! Bad baaad parent!! There he is, the screaming, crying and head-spinning, white toddler performing in public and there too are the darting eyes of other shoppers some wondering whether they should intervene. Let’s add to the complexity of the situation. Let’s say the tantrum begins and we are both there. Do I take control because Junior and I are the same color and there will be less concern from those around us? Will we then begin to react and parent based upon how we think we will be perceived in public? And will Junior then take his cues from us and begin to act out with Darrow in public places because he can? Will he understand then, that his relationship with Darrow is somehow different simply because of the difference in their skin color?
Although the scenario is scary and perverse, knowing the two of us, it would never quite work out that way. Adopting a white son could work; it would work; but is it something the two of us are willing to deal with as we venture off into parenthood? I have no doubt that should we adopt a black son, that the reverse could just as easily happen. White Dad with black son, add a public tantrum, equals lots of attention. But because it is a much more common sight it doesn’t seem so intimidating. Therefore, at this time, if presented with a white son, I think my inclination would be to say no….I think.
Darrow and I tend to fall back on one principle that has guided a lot of our decision-making–the simpler things are the easier our pathway will be into parenthood. That does not mean that the next child will not be white, or a girl or older. It just means that for the very first we are looking for the easiest route down an already challenging path.