“The quickest cure for racism would be to have everyone in the country adopt a child of another race. No matter what your beliefs, when you hold a four-day-old infant, love him, and care for him, you don’t see skin color, you see a little person that is very much in need of your love.”
– Robert Dale Morrison
According to the Adoption Network statistics, over 130,000 children are adopted in the United States each year. About 40 percent of adopted children are of a different race, culture, or ethnicity compared to their adoptive parents.
The increasing interconnectedness of people from diverse cultures offers possibilities to make impacts and become more united, especially in a country that prides itself on integration and diversity, like the United States. Interracial families are becoming more common in America, and adoption has become a popular choice for many. Now is the time to encourage families to participate in interracial adoption.
Despite many years of race-related social justice initiatives, many Americans are still racist. Racism, as well as many other intercultural problems, often stems from ignorance and the unwillingness to become a global citizen. Global citizens have wisdom, compassion, and empathy. Many people in America lack these qualities. Pushing families to adopt children from a different cultural background could give people the knowledge and experience to become global citizens.
Interracial families typically have higher intercultural competence. Interracial adoption can give families the opportunity to gain competence, as well as explore their child’s heritage. Conversations about identity and culture can lead to knowledge, attitudes and skills related to the motivation to learn more about others and ourselves. Growing into a global citizen will encourage others to also add affection, understanding, care, curiosity and respect to their citizenship.
My cousin, Chrisline, was adopted from Haiti when she was less than 12 months old. Her parents and sisters are all white, just like the rest of her adopted family in America. Being a young black girl in the United States surely has its disadvantages. Being surrounding by people who are of a differing race and culture than you surely can feel isolating. Chrisline especially struggled during her early teenage years as she searched for people like her in her predominately white middle school in Virginia. A lot changed for her in high school, though. She looked for answers regarding her heritage and culture. When she found the answers, Chrisline made them a part of her life and shared her culture with her adopted family.
Chrisline began learning Kreyol, the primary official language in Haiti. She also explored the predominant religions in Haiti and even found that her name means “Disciple of Christ.” Chrisline took particular interest in traditional Haitian foods. She loves to cook and introduced the family to a few of the meat and soup dishes often served in Haiti.
Our family learned a lot from Chrisline, and I recommend that other families look for opportunities to adopt a child of a different race, culture or ethnicity, as well. Giving a child a loving family is a wonderful experience, and gaining intercultural competence and global citizenship through the experience can benefit America.
Kennedy Capps is a junior at Western Carolina University majoring in communication with a concentration in public relations and double minoring in sports management and parks and recreation management.