The following is a copy of my contribution to the ICVA -Inter country Adoptee Voices collated and curated by Lynelle Long
Published 20th September 2023
The notion of legality and illegality is like history created and defined by those in positions of
influence, power and authority. When it comes to transracial adoption invariably (not always) but
usually it is through the gaze of white eurocentrism and colonialism.
Many would-be and actual transracial adoptive parents tend to be white, middle-class, well
educated, usually owners of their own home, if not cash-rich as well. They will bring up their
transracially adopted child or children into an unrealistic environment of white privilege for the
transracial adoptee. Unrealistic because these children will never be able to take advantage of the
so called privileges into which they have been educated and raised, simply because they are not
and never will be white.
I was exported and transracially adopted in an age where the idea of heritage, racial identity,
mother-tongue and cultural displacement had yet to enter the social lexicon let alone the
mentality within the structural and institutional British organisations.
Transracial adoption in its unadulterated crude form - is in my opinion, one of the most
violent interventions that you can enforce upon another living human being — extremely damaging
and harmful to small babies and those that we call minors who need the protection and guidance
What the UN Joint Statement does
It focuses and re-orients the narrative, the language, syntax and mentality of what adoption
ideally should be and that is CHILD CENTRIC.
Matters of race, heritage and cultural identity cannot be overlooked just because the notion of
a human construct is not convenient for the wider society to engage with, or that the very real
isolation of racism and prejudice will not and does not exist.
This joint statement and the ideas, ideals and reframing of this intrusive and ultimately
violent intervention onto those who are vulnerable in society - will start the process of a) halting
the abuse and mismanagement of adoption; and b) begin the process of re-organising and re-
framing what adoption is, and how when needed it should be used for the benefit of adoptees.
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