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The reasons I consider this rather an odd scenario are twofold.
Firstly, for many years, adoption agencies and local authorities up and down the country have bemoaned the lack of ethnic parents willing to adopt. It seems particularly bizarre that when a Sikh couple do inquire about adoption they are told that they should ‘try India’ as there are no orphaned children suitable for their culture available.
It is quite possible – even probable – given the ethnic breakdown in much of Berkshire, that there are indeed no ethnically Sikh or even Asian children awaiting a loving home, and I can see that placing an ethnically white British or European child with them may be somewhat problematic in some ways, but surely Berkshire can point them towards areas in Britain more ethnically diverse at the very least?
Apparently the couple were advised that as only white children were available, preference would be given to white couples wishing to adopt.
I can see how the couple may have felt a little offended at this but I can also see a certain logic in the adoption agencies thinking, albeit they have not necessarily been overly diplomatic in stating their position.
That brings me to the second of the ‘twofold’ bit.
Secondly, whilst I agree that, in principle, any loving home is better than none for a child in desperate need, can a white child be formally adopted by a non- white family and thrive?
I could be wrong but I believe black children have, before now, been adopted by white families and thrived – although it could be they were ‘fostered’ rather than ‘formerly adopted’ of course which is slightly different. Fostering a child is temporary whilst adopting is permanent.
I could research this but it wouldn’t make any difference to this case really.
In an ideal and perfect world it should matter not. A child needs a loving home with caring adoptive parents so what matter the colour of the child to the colour of the parents?
It isn’t an ideal world though is it?
We know how cruel children can be, even through the teenage years. In fact teenagers can often be extremely cruel.
How would a white child be treated by their peers if they were met by their ‘parents’ at the school gates and their ‘parents’ were Asian or African Caribbean?
My ‘personal’ experience of this is limited. A pal of mine is half Asian and half white but looks entirely white. He has an Asian name. This caused him no end of difficulties in his youth.
To me, this is a tricky one.
I would like to think that in a hundred years it would be a ‘non-issue’ but today? Today it is.
I feel for the couple – they aren’t even particularly religious. The chap doesn’t wear a turban and his wife is ‘westernised’ in her dress sense. In fact, if you are a white western couple they are, basically, you with a free suntan.
Once in a blue moon they attend a Sikh temple. They are ‘high days’ and ‘holidays’ Sikhs. To most ‘serious’ Sikhs they probably aren’t ‘real’ Sikhs at all.
A bit like I’m technically ‘Church of England’ but I attend weddings (under protest) and funerals (for the alcohol at the wake) and that’s it.
All they wanted to do was offer a loving home to a child who needed one and they were told ‘try India’.
This feels odd. I can’t quite put my finger on it and I can’t quite ‘come down’ in support of either side. To me they are both right but they can’t both be right can they?
I agree with the adoption agency – well not with the ‘try India’ thing, that was a stupid thing to say – but with their concerns regarding culture if they place a white British / European child with Sikhs of Asian origin and, to some extent at least, culture.
I agree with the couple. All they want is to complete their family (I assume either he or she can’t have children for some reason) and offer unconditional love to a child.
Where is Solomon when you need him eh?
Opinions will be welcomed and you’ll get no argument from me. I haven’t a bloody clue. Have you?Click here for reuse options!