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Transracial adoption is a highly sensitive topic, evoking intense debate between those who consider transracial placements positive for children and society, and those who consider them injurious to Black children and the Black community. The author explores this debate while asserting that the key to successful living as a minority person in a discriminating, denigrating society is to have positive affiliations with others like oneself. Thus, to promote and protect a child’s “best interests,” race is an important factor to be considered when evaluating the appropriateness of prospective adoptive parents. The Essay considers whose interests would actually be served if race considerations were completely eliminated from adoptive placement decision-making and what drives the momentum toward this elimination. Additionally, the consequences that would follow the elimination of race-matching preferences are discussed as they would relate to Black adoptees, the status and integrity of the Black family, the Black community and American society in general. The author posits that the transracial adoption debate is more about adults seeking to establish a right to parent than it is about meeting the needs of Black children. She, therefore, recommends that professional practitioners and policy makers develop culturally sensitive services and strategies to meet the needs of the growing number of Black children in foster care.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
8 Sep 2022
2.87 MB



  • Subject
    • Civil Rights and Discrimination

    • Domestic Law

    • Gender

    • Government Contracts

    • Health Law and Policy

  • Journal title
    • Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy

  • Volume
    • 2

  • Pagination
    • 131-164

  • Date submitted

    8 September 2022

  • Keywords