Adoption Apartheid


Chuck Colson

A columnist named Thomas Sowell is black, and he’s angry. Thousands of orphans, he writes, are being held in limbo through policies that prevent them from being adopted if the parents are judged to be the “wrong” race.

These policies are not products of the Ku Klux Klan. On the contrary, they’ve been devised by civil rights activists who are against the adoption of minority children by white parents . . . even if it means shunting children around in foster homes for years . . . even if it means taking them away from the only parents they have ever known.

Listen to these stories from recent news accounts.

In Abeline, Texas, Phillip and Lana Jenkins took in a tiny, cocaine-addicted baby named Christopher. They nurtured him back to health, cared for him for three years, and then decided to adopt him.

Immediately, the state child-welfare agency hunted down another family for Christopher. Why? Because Christopher is black and his foster parents are white. The agency was ready to tear a little three-year-old boy away from the only home he had ever known and give him to total strangers—as long as they were black.

In Arizona, an Apache girl was raised by a white couple from infancy to age 14. Then a judge invalidated the adoption and ordered the girl to return to her biological mother on an Indian reservation—to people she had never met and a place she had never been before.

In San Antonio, Bud and Cheryl Peacock took in tiny Annie when she was three days old, took care of her for a year, and then decided to adopt her. But the Texas Department of Human Services rejected their application. The reason: Bud and Cheryl are Anglo, and Annie is Hispanic.

This story has a happy ending: A judge ruled that Annie could be adopted. But in many other cases, children are torn out of loving arms for purely ideological reasons. Black, Hispanic, and Native American organizations addicted to multiculturalism argue that children will languish if raised outside their ethnic culture.

But psychological studies show that the most important factor in a child’s emotional health is a firm attachment to a stable parent figure. It’s when that bond is broken that children really languish.

Of course, race and ethnic background should play some role in adoption, along with economic and other factors. But race should not be made into a single overriding criterion. Children should not be used as pawns in a politically correct chess game.

As Christians we know the Gospel came to tear down the wall of separation between Jew and Gentile, between black and white. Our message to the world is that we can all be reborn into God’s family—where there is no place for racial exclusivity.

This message is especially urgent today, as President Clinton continues to roll back restrictions on abortion. More than ever, we need to work to promote alternatives to abortion, especially adoption. Couples who take in needy infants and selflessly care for them should not be penalized by policies motivated by political correctness.

They should not be made into victims of reverse racism.


  • Facebook Icon in Gold
  • Twitter Icon in Gold
  • LinkedIn Icon in Gold

Sign up for the Daily Commentary