Adoption: Race matters


A Lords Committee has issued a report on the issue of adoption and has rejected Michael Gove the Secretary of State for Education’s argument that race doesn’t matter.

The cross party committee led by Baroness Butler-Sloss, said:

We do not agree with the Government’s proposal to remove the requirement to consider ethnicity when matching children with families.’

There has been a long held argument that ‘political correctness’ has hampered children in care from being adopted because’, the committee disagreed, claiming:

We have not been convinced that this process causes significant delay and we are concerned that to remove the requirement entirely might send a message to those working in the field that these issues do not matter, when clearly they are all components of a child’s identity. We believe that race, religion, culture and language should continue to be taken into account when placing children in new homes.’

To be clear, no-one wants to see any children languishing in child care homes or being shunted around different foster homes. The pathway to penal institutions is well documented and truly alarming. Yet to ignore language, religion, race and culture, is to in an instant erase of fundamental aspects of who that child is. The effects on some translate to being racially imprisoned, with a life long sentence of self –hatred.

In sharp contrast with a policy that places a child’s heritage factors high on the adoption agenda, we don’t have to have this false dichotomy of care-homes and prison verses adoption and self hatred. We can search to find a close heritage match with the child and at the very least we can demand that any family wanting the immeasurable gift of an adopted child should become competently converse with that child’s’, cultural religious, and racial needs.

It’s not rocket science and these things do matter.

Simon Woolley