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The Truth About Inter Racial Adoption

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It seems to be that in so many other ways we say colour doesn’t matter anymore, so why should it matter in bringing up a child? It’s not as though white parents can’t tell children about their background and culture, and make them aware of that. There are two ways of looking at the debate triggered by the children’s minister Tim Loughton, after he said there should be no barrier to minority children being adopted by white parents.

If there are, to quote the minister, ‘no other issues’, minority children can be and are adopted by white parents. If, Tim Loughton, is rowing back from this, and saying that it doesn’t matter how the ethnic heritage of adoptive parents and adoptive children marry up, then I think he’s making a mistake.

I believe most people would agree that, if you had a choice of two loving families, and one reflected the child’s background and the other didn’t, that it would be sensible to place the child with the family who matched them ethnically. It feels to me that the government is at risk of oversimplifying the needs of adoptees: any child going through adoption has a complicated set of circumstances, but over the last few years there has been more acknowledgement that love isn’t enough, that there has to be more understanding of the child’s ethnic and other needs at the centre of the story. (Moorhead, J. and Muir, H., 2020)

According to the news article, Loughton ‘said too many children languish in care because social workers hold out for ‘the perfect match”, the result being that ‘ethnic minority children are over-represented among the young people in care who never find permanent homes’. The action now required is for government and mainstream agencies, such as Barnado’s, to demonstrate how they have made a difference to the lives of black and minority ethnic children, and how they intend to address the real issues over the coming years.

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For example, evidence throughout the last two decades has shown minority ethnic families with children as being at greater risk of experiencing poverty, and the associated risks, than their white counterparts. Second, the evidence on how long black and minority ethnic children wait for adoption is not explored.

Jane Rowe’s study, Children Who Wait (published in 1973), showed that black and minority ethnic children, as well as disabled children, waited longer. But anyone familiar with the evidence will be able to tell that black and minority ethnic children have always waited longer.

He suggested that there are two ways of looking at the debate triggered by the children’s minister, Tim Loughton, after he said there should be no barrier to minority children being adopted by white parents. First, they perpetuate the usual stereotypes of adoption through the images of happy, cuddly, non-disabled babies, when we know a majority of the children waiting for adoption are older, more likely to be disabled and more likely to have complex social and health needs.

After all, for ethnic minority children, ‘the wait is three times as long as for white children’. So those who now suggest that longer waiting times are the result of a ‘rigid line’ to match the ethnicity of adoptee and adopter – as Barnardo’s chief executive Martin Narey claimed – need to explain why this pattern has persisted for at least 40 years, long before this policy came to public attention in the late 1980s. (Dutt, R., 2020.)

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The Truth About Inter Racial Adoption. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 27, 2023, from
“The Truth About Inter Racial Adoption.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
The Truth About Inter Racial Adoption. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 27 Mar. 2023].
The Truth About Inter Racial Adoption [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Mar 27]. Available from:
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