OPINION: Haiti's Orphans Raise Questions Of Transracial Adoption

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From The Root:

Call them kidnappers. Call them good Samaritans. Call them unwitting victims to a political drama staged by the beleaguered Haitian government.

Call the 10 American missionaries under arrest for taking 33 children out of earthquake-ravaged Haiti what you will, two facts—rarely mentioned in news media accounts—are indisputable:

All of the detained members of the Idaho-based Baptist group are white.

All of the 33 children are black.

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Black like Madonna and Brangelina’s adopted African children. Black like 1 in 3 American children in foster care and awaiting adoption. Black like the race least “preferred” by prospective adoptive mothers, according to government data.

Bring up race and adoption, and watch people squirm. The deep racial politics of adoption are mired in centuries of colonialism, as well as white paternalism over domestic minority groups and developing countries. The result: They have left scars as deep as forced adoption of American Indian children into white families in the mid-20th century—and fresh ones from the campaign to convert Muslim Indonesian orphans to Christianity after the 2004 tsunami.

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