The article, in my opinion, was a simplistic view of a complicated subject, and Nicholson is clearly no expert. However, his perspective on the role of race in intercountry adoption deserves consideration. Soul-searching, serious consideration.
Yet here are just a few of the comments I read from white adoptive parents in the comments to the article and a letter to the editor:
These comments are are an example of much that's wrong with intercountry adoption - the entitled attitude toward another country's children, incredible disrespect toward first parents, and disregard for first parent rights. The expressed fear of first parents is used to rationalize the racial considerations altogether. And the sense that the children are simply pawns, there to fulfill adoptive parent dreams, is pervasive.
From the adoptive father of a little girl from China:
In the domestic arena, there is a dominant trend toward open adoption, in which birth parents have continued access to adopted children. Merits (or lack thereof) notwithstanding, we viewed this arrangement as 18 years of potential extortion, especially given court cases in which the adoption was reversed after the birth parents changed their minds and sued for reestablishment of parental rights. Foreign adoptions have no such worry.
From a non-adoptive parent:
If I were in a position to adopt and wanted to do so, I would go out of the country pronto. There is far less stress, baggage and angst involved. People will not be coming out of the woodwork a year later, looking to reclaim their little cherub.
It disappoints me that the Washington Post, which certainly has the resources to do some serious journalism on adoption, chose to run this article instead. It disappoints me even more that some adoptive parents so totally missed the point and responded as they did.
We have a long way to go.
I'll be posting my thoughts on the racial perspective on AntiRacist Parent soon.