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Pet Sins December 2001

Whites prefer to adopt girls of color over boys of color?

Black boys are highly over-represented in the number of adoptable children in the U.S. (adoptable children being those who are legally free and waiting for permanent homes), more so than black girls or Latino children.

White families who adopt interracially often prefer black girls over black boys, due to the now-not-PC-but-still-large stereotype of black male criminality. White families who did adopt black boys often find the "acceptance" of their white communities evaporating once their sons grow into teenagers. These black sons of white parents are then viewed with fear as black men.

Latin American children in state custody also face the same gender biases when it comes to finding adoptive families, but not to the same extent as black American children.

White Americans bring their biases into overseas adoption too. Many white American families who plan on adopting from Asia ask specifically for an Asian girl. Some American adoption professionals attribute this to white stereotypes of Asian femininity and desirability. An Asian girl makes a more attractive addition to the family than an Asian boy.

This bias has created such tremendous inequalities that some Korean adoption agencies made a policy allowing only families who already have a son to adopt Korean girls.

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Comment from 'EP'
I had a former coworker who seemed to subscribe to the "masculinization of whiteness and femininization of non-whites" mentality. She adopted her daughter from China, and was pretty self-congratulatory about her transracial family and how she is doing a good deed by removing a child from an allegedly filthy orphanage. Despite her efforts at bringing her daughter to "Chinese" events to be in touch with the girl's birth culture, I don't think that this European American woman really knows how to (or even wants to) have her child develop a positive, whole, healthy view of Chinese people and Chinese identity.

She was once sharing some photos of a social gathering for Chinese daughters of white parents, and she pointed out the sole white boy in the picture, saying, "Of course the only boy is a white kid, and he was so thrilled to be the center of attention of all these girls," like that is the way things should be. If this woman really respects Chinese people as a whole, she would also respect Chinese males, and create opportunities for her daughter to be with other Chinese children of both genders, and who have non-white parents, adoptive or otherwise. Instead, she and her circle of white adoptive parents are creating a very limited social configuration in which the females are all Chinese and the token male representation is white, perpetuating the traditional invisibility of Asian males in white-dominated society. That telling comment revealed that this well-intentioned white parent probably is not much more enlightened than other whites who don't interact with Asians.