Foreign Adoption of American Children

Usually people think of Americans adopting children from other parts of the world. Increasingly…

It’s the other way around.

Seventy Dutch families who adopted U.S. kids gather for an annual Fathers Day picnic in June. The majority of the children being adopted are African American.

Overseas adoptions rise — for black American children

 Elisa van Meurs grew up with a Polish au pair, speaks fluent Dutch and English and loves horseback riding — her favorite horse is called Kiki but she also rides Pippi Longstocking, James Bond, and Robin Hood.

She plays tennis and ice hockey, and in the summer likes visiting her grandmother in the Swiss Alps.

“It’s really nice to go there because you can walk in the mountains and you can mountain bike … you can see Edelweiss sometimes,” said the 13-year-old, referring to the famous mountain flower that blooms above the tree line.

It’s a privileged life unlike that of her birth mother, a woman of African American descent from Indianapolis who had her first child at age 15. Her American family is “really nice but they don’t have a lot of money to do stuff,” said Elisa, who met her birth mother, and two siblings in 2011. “They were not so rich.”

Elisa van Meurs with her adoptive parents Bart and Heleene van Meurs on vacation in Switzerland.

While the number of international adoptions is plummeting — largely over questions surrounding the origin of children put up for adoption in developing countries — there is one nation from which parents abroad can adopt a healthy infant in a relatively short time whose family history and medical background is unclouded by doubt: The United States.

“I thought it was so strange. I’m here in Holland and they’re telling me I can get a baby” from the U.S., recalled Elisa’s father, Bart van Meurs, who originally planned to adopt from China or Colombia but held little hope of receiving an infant. “This can’t be true.” But less than 18 months later, van Meurs and his wife Heleene were at an Indiana hospital holding four-day-old Elisa.

While the typical tale of international adoption is U.S. families adopting a child from abroad, foreign families like the van Meurs adopt scores of U.S. children each year. The numbers are far lower than the thousands of overseas children adopted each year by U.S. families, but over the past decade the number of U.S. children adopted by foreign parents has been steadily rising — and almost all of the children are of African American descent like Elisa, say attorneys who facilitate international adoptions.

U.S. laws that allow birth mothers to choose the adoptive family of their children feed that growth, as some prefer to see their kids grow up in an exotic overseas locale rather than the U.S., experts say.

“A family from Indiana might talk about taking their child on vacation to Florida, to Disneyworld. A Dutch family talks about taking their child on vacation to the south of France or the Alps,” said Steven Kirsh of Kirsh & Kirsh, an Indianapolis law firm that has helped place hundreds of children with families in Europe.

Escape from racism

When Susan, a Florida resident, chose to place her son for adoption in 2006, the social worker gave her three binders with information about three prospective families. But she only needed to see the first binder of a couple from the Netherlands to make her decision. “If my mother had lived, she’d look just like (the prospective Dutch mother),” recalled the 37 year old, who asked that her last name not be used. Her own mother died when she was two months old.

Susan also wanted her son to grow up far away from the life she knew. She was a 30-year-old prostitute addicted to crack beginning a prison sentence when she learned she was pregnant. She did not know whether the child’s father was a man who raped her “for hours” or a drug dealer whom she “had done something with” one time, she said. But both men were African American, and she believed the child would face discrimination growing up in the United States.

“There’s too much prejudice over here. The white people are going to hate him because he’s half black, and the majority of black people are going to hate on him because he’s half white,” said Susan, who is Caucasian. “And then he’ll have to do extra things to prove what kind of a Negro he is, and extra things to prove what kind of a honky he is and I don’t want that. I did not want that for my kid.”

Even her own daughter, then aged 11, said “she would never accept that n***** child.”

Susan is not alone, says Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Donaldson Adoption Institute and author of “Adoption Nation.” Many birth mothers have a perception that their black or mixed-race children will not face the same race issues in the Netherlands as in the United States.

“In the United States, as much as Americans want to believe it’s not true, we are still a country where there is a least some degree of racial prejudice. The birth mothers’ perception of Holland, in particular, was that the same was not true in Holland. There’s that feeling that maybe we can escape those issues if (the child is) somewhere else.”

This past June on Father’s Day, about 70 Dutch families who have adopted children from the U.S. gathered at a park outside Amsterdam. The picnic is a time for the children to celebrate their American heritage: “The kids are dressed with a red, white and blue beret in her hair, if it’s a girl, (or) they’re wearing New York Yankees t-shirts,” said Michael Goldstein, a New York attorney who facilitated the adoptions of the picnic attendees.

Among the families were Marielle van den Biggelaar, a stay-at-home mom and her husband, Marnix, a sales manager for a women’s clothing brand, who adopted their two children, Eva, four, and two-year-old Norbert as babies from Florida and New York, respectively. “For the kids it’s really important to see that they’re not alone and that all these kids have the same history, and they’re all adopted and they’re all from the same country,” Marielle said.

“It’s really nice to see them all together and to talk to each other about experiences — with their hair and with their skin — and they’re all the same people with the same mindset, so it’s really fun for the kids and for us, as well.”

The couple encourages their children to embrace their American origins, celebrating Thanksgiving each year with other families who adopted children from the United States. “We try to tell them about their culture and about their background,” said Marielle, who decided to adopt after years of unsuccessful fertility treatment. “We would love them to (start speaking) English when they’re really young because if they want to go back (to America) and if they want to see where they’re born, it would be nice if they can speak to … their parents if they are going to meet them.”

Their children stand out in Het Gooi, a village about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Amsterdam. “They’re famous here, where we live, because it’s a really white society,” Marielle said…. (more)

 

Adopt a “Real” Black Baby!

Oooooooookidokie!

 

 

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There I was, minding my own business, working on my Alto for an E*Trade commercial...And this crazy white chick showed up!

Suggest a caption. Keep it clean.

Get a Clue! White Momma – Black Children…

Get a freaking clue, folks!

Surely we aren’t all Tea-Bagger morons.

As for Ms. Ruby, I hope you have a support network to help you with the inevitable identity questions which start in junior High, and go though High School. It’s not an easy thing – but it certainly isn’t something that is insurmountable for a caring and alert parent. A Beautiful group of babies… Indeed!

Transracial Adoption Leads to Stares: How One Mother Deals

transracial adoption pictureThere is a natural curiosity about a Caucasian woman holding the hands of three African kiddos at a Chinese restaurant. Visually, things don’t quite jive. Transracial families are still, in most places, an oddity, and staring comes with the territory. This is what I tell my three children, all adopted from Ethiopia.

Two years ago, when my children first arrived, people stared at us wherever we went — a water park, the mall, the grocery store, the train station, the beach. During our first summer as a family, people seemed to be riveted by the striking beauty of my eldest; the dark shade of her skin made even more luminous by the summer sun.

The problem is compounded because my daughter has a penchant for lo mein.

The Chinese restaurant that my daughter insists on dining at has been the site of the most overt staring offenses. At one dinner in particular, the family behind us (whom she was facing) was staring at her, which included two little girls whispering. While she tried to ignore it, she said that the situation was hurting her heart. I leaned over the booth and politely waved at the staring family. Continue reading

Sandra Bullock and the Adoption of a Black Child

Amazing in this day and time there is controversy with this. The controversy should be over white families going to Russia or Asia to adopt when there are tens of thousands of American born babies not adopted. THAT is a national disgrace and a tribute to racism in America.

Who Adopts a Rejected Kid?

I would like to see some statistics on how many of these “rejected kids” come from foreign adoptions…

more about “Bullock’s Adoption Controversy“, posted with vodpod

Woman Returns Adopted Child

Sad case of a white (Hispanic) woman adopting a black baby, and returning the baby after 18 months. This is very, very rare, but it does happen.

This has got to be a brutal whipsaw for the child, as well as the child’s adopted siblings. Would Mom give her biological children away if they didn’t “fit”?

What Happened to Black Children of WWII?

Where there are men and women…

Eventually there are going to be children.

Such was true in WWII where black American troops were stationed in Europe.

Prior to WWII, there were roughly 100,000 “black” Europeans, of which 24,000 were black Germans who were the children of black American troops, and post war African occupation troops. An estimated 25-50,000 of those died in concentration camps – which considering the brutal effectiveness of the “final solution” Hitler imposed on Jews, it is amazing that even half survived.

Black German Girl With Classmates, c 1930

Black German Girl With Classmates, c 1930

After World War I, more blacks, mostly French Senegalese soldiers or their offspring, ended up in the Rhineland region and other parts of Germany. Estimates vary, but by the 1920s there were about 10,000 to 25,000 Afrodeutsche in Deutschland, most of them in Berlin or other metropolitan areas. Until the Nazis came to power, black musicians and other entertainers were a popular element of the nightlife scene in Berlin and other large cities. Jazz, later denigrated as Negermusik (“Negro music”) by the Nazis, was made popular in Germany and Europe by black musicians, many from the U.S., who found life in Europe more liberating than that back home. Josephine Baker in France is one prominent example. Both the American writer and civil rights activist W.E.B. du Bois and the suffragist Mary Church Terrell studied at the university in Berlin. They later wrote that they experienced far less discrimination in Germany than they had in the U.S.

Continue reading

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