Anthony Berry–who has a story that’s grabbing attention– was one of 18 kids adopted in Beaumont, Texas on Friday, KBMT-TV reported.
“Well at first I thought he was making jokes until he actually explained the situation. And then we struck a deal, finish an assignment and then you can show me the website,” the 16-year-old’s teacher, who’s now his adoptive mother, recalled about their first steps to becoming mother and son.
Anthony, at age 16, was the oldest child adopted at a Wizard of Oz themed ceremony in a Jefferson County ceremony, by Judge Larry Thorne who played the role of “Mayor of Munchkin City.” Bennie Berry, Anthony’s new mom, was his teacher at Pathways Learning Center in Beaumont. She recalled her shock when Anthony asked her to become his mother because he never wanted to be adopted. Anthony now advocates adoption to kids who have settled in their mind that they don’t want a forever family. “Take into consideration…there is always someone that will love you,” he told the ABC News affiliate.
Unlike Anthony and his new mom, scores of Black parents and kids become united as a family through informal adoption and kinship, which are common practices in the community, according to a U.S. Census Bureau study. About half of adopted children in U.S. households were White, non-Hispanic, according to the 2010 Census. But 71 percent of adopted children lived with a White parent. Hispanic children make up 18 percent of adopted kids, and 16 percent are African American. About 40 percent of adopted children are of a different race, culture, or ethnicity than one or both their adoptive parents.