Open Thread: Deborah Douglas responds to NYT article on Korean adoptee identity

The Asian-adoptee identity crisis reported in Monday’s New York Times might finally lend credence to what black social workers have been saying all along: Ethnic and racial identity matters.

In 1972, the National Association of Black Social Workers issued a statement emphasizing the importance of keeping black families intact by encouraging black-on-black adoptions. Many took this stance to be anti-white, racist rhetoric, insisting that all children need is love to survive childhood healthy and intact.

So now we know — at least from an Asian-adoptee point of view.

It’s too bad so many people have gotten so hung up on the color of the critic to hear what others have been saying about the trend of white families adopting black children. Ethnic children reared without any cultural context can grow up feeling disaffected, like the perennial “other” if they aren’t acculturated to their original family backgrounds. Read more…

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About Tami

Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek,, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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