A controversial area of adoption is providing discounts for adopting a child of a certain race. For example, an adoption agency might charge $20,000 for the domestic private adoption of a Caucasian newborn but only $15,000 for the domestic private adoption of an African-American or biracial newborn. Is providing a discount a practical way of providing more homes for children who might not otherwise be adopted, or is this blatant racism?
Arguments For the Practice
Those who believe it is a good thing to charge different rates argue that reducing the cost of adopting a non-Caucasian baby encourages some adoptive parents to adopt these babies. If all adoptions cost the same, then many Caucasian couples will choose to wait longer for a baby who looks more like they do rather than adopt a non-Caucasian baby who needs a home now. Meanwhile, the agency might not have many couples of other races waiting to adopt, making it harder to find a home for non-Caucasian babies.
Those supporting the practice might argue that reducing the cost of an adoption for certain babies makes the process more affordable, enabling some couples to adopt a baby who might not otherwise be able to afford to adopt a newborn. Also, some might say that this is a simple issue of supply and demand: Fewer Caucasian babies available for adoption simply drives up the price.
Arguments Against the Practice
Charging more to adopt a Caucasian baby sends the message that a Caucasian baby is “worth” more than another baby is. The practice seems more like reducing the cost of a pedigreed puppy whose markings are inferior to its littermates’ markings.
Also, considering that the process is exactly the same regardless of a child’s race, why is there a need to charge more for the Caucasian baby’s adoption? Where is this extra money going? Is more money being provided to the expecting mother? Or is the agency simply making a tidy profit off each Caucasian adoption?
Another concern is whether an adoptive parent will love an “on sale” baby as much as he would have loved a “full price” baby. If the only reason for adopting a non-Caucasian infant is saving some money, will the adoptive parents fully embrace the child as theirs? Also, will couples who adopt the “cheaper” baby do the necessary research to educate themselves about the issues involved in transracial adoptions?
What do you think? Is it okay to have tiers of adoption costs based upon on the baby’s race?
Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt