Tuesday, October 27, 2009
This story describes the work of one advocacy group to call attention to racial bias plaguing the domestic adoption system. Focusing on Texas, the article notes that:
Black and Hispanic children account for more than two-thirds of all Texas youngsters waiting for adoption, according to Family and Protective Services figures.
Half of the 174 children waiting for adoption in Lubbock County last year were Hispanic, even though the county's Hispanic population is 30 percent.
Statewide, a white child waits 28.7 months to be adopted while an African-American youngster waits 31.7 months and a Hispanic child 29.2 months.
Those figures don't surprise Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, a nonprofit group in Alexandria, Va.
"Let's face it, the adoption process reflects the racial prejudices and biases in our society," Wexler said. "An African-American or a Hispanic child is more likely to be taken away from his or her parents than a white child. And when a white child is up for adoption he or she will find a home sooner than an African-American or a Hispanic child."
Those numbers are not all that surprising, and I'd be willing to bet they're quite similar nationwide. What was more interesting to me is the claim that "social workers remove disproportionate numbers of non-white youngsters from families suspected of abuse or neglect, according to state records." No Texas data supporting that claim was given. And of course, it is difficult to judge how meaningful those numbers are given the non-homogeneous nature of abuse and neglect allegations. Still, I do wonder whether the data nationally is consistent. Looking at the numbers (percentages) alone, is it true in all states that non-white families are more likely to have their children removed after an abuse or neglect investigation than are their white counterparts?