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Pet Sins January 2001

Racial preferences of adoptive parents - yellow girl / white boy considered the ideal

I was acquainted with a gay couple (Asian American man-European American man) who was considering starting a family by adoption.

The white partner was willing to adopt a child of any race, but the Asian man wanted "Asian or white" only. He said many Black and Hispanic American babies were abandoned due to sexual abuse or drug use by parents, and would present "problems". The implication, of course, is white and Asian babies are less likely to experience drug use or sexual abuse. I don't know if there are any concrete reasons for him to come to such a conclusion.

Another strange thing he said was "My ideal family is 2 kids - white boy and Asian girl". I find it interesting that in gay relationships, which are generally supposed to be more egalitarian and less conforming to mainstream values than straight relationships, you still find people who want to replicate mainstream heterosexual America's racial/sexual dynamics.

What I mean is, why didn't he say, "my ideal family would be a white girl and an Asian boy", or "black boy and an Asian girl", or any other possible combination?

Unfortunately, this sort of mentality isn't unique. A white woman who adopted a girl from China was always gushing enthusiastically about how wonderful her transracial family is, and how she gets together with other (white) families who adoptee Chinese girls because she respects the "cultural background" of her daughter and wanted the child to be around others like herself. It all sounds good. Until she pointed out "the sole boy" at these all-girl playdates, and said, "*Of course* the white boy is the only boy there," as if that the most natural thing in the wolrd. Unintentionally or not, the white boy is being presented to these Chinese daughters as their only option for male friend/playmate. It the adoptive parent was really sincere in creating a healthy sense of racial self-esteem, she would have made an effort to find her child Chinese playmates of both genders, from Chinese families.

Asian boys and other boys of color are completely erased from the world of their Asian female adoptees by seemingly 'progressive' white parents. This reflects a larger trend in society of coopting women of color for white men while marginalizing and ignoring men of color.