With images like Charlotte from Sex and the City adopting a baby from China and Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s adoption of a black son, it is becoming increasingly common to see white couples adopting children outside their race. However, black families adopting non-black children is almost unheard of. When it does happen, the public can be brutal. Experiencing overt criticism and public perplexity is the black, Baltimore-area Riding-Smith family who adopted an Irish American girl named Katie.
In the story published by Newsweek, the Riding-Smith family describes how they often receive confused stares and concerned looks from onlookers when they are out in public. Even when her parents are not present, Katie often gets teased at her predominantly white school, and seems to be more accepted by the black children than the white children. Whether racism or ignorance, these occurrences are common in their everyday lives. By making a concerted effort to avoid “labeling” people by their race and also celebrating both the African American and Irish American heritage of their children, the Riding-Smith family hopes to create an environment that is comfortable and inclusive for Katie.
Another story that has been in recent news is the adoption of Dallas Cowboys football player, DeMarcus Ware, and his wife, Taniqua. They adopted a Hispanic baby last year and received quite a bit of criticism from many blacks wondering why they did not adopt a black child. These stories beg the question, why is there such a double standard when it comes to trans-racial adoption? Weigh in with your comments below.