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‘Same Race’ Adoption Policy: Anti-racism or Racism?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 June 2009


This article analyses the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of ‘same race’ (‘black on black’) adoption policy in Britain and the accompanying antagonism to transracial adoption. In order to highlight the assumptions on which current policy and practice are based, it refers to infant adoption, not to the placement of older children who have already experienced family life in particular class and ethnic locations. The author suggests that current policies, amounting to a virtual ban on transracial adoption in both Britain and the USA, are based on a binary opposition between black and white which denies differences within these categories and similarities across them. She also suggests that this portrayal of black and white people in monolithic terms rests on racist stereotyping and is a distortion of the reality of social relations in contemporary society which marginalises large numbers of people whose origins include both black and white. It draws attention away from crucial questions on adoption in heterogeneous, hierarchical, racially ordered societies and has implications for social relationships in such societies.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995

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