Transracial Adoption from one black girl’s perspective

Archive for October, 2007

Indian Woman Adoptee Searches

Even though for many adoptees the first line of this article is a no-brainer, it should add to the response to the general idiot who still tries to argue that Madonna’s (still not offically) adopted ‘son’ “David” is ‘better off with her” even though David’s family is alive. Ack.

Hyderabad: A CNN-IBN Special Investigation has revealed that not all children given in adoption are orphans and families are sometimes duped into surrendering their children.

Take for instance 31-year-old Chaya Maria Schupp, who has come from Germany looking for her birth mother from Mangalore.

“My mother was good but she was a single mother and there was no father,” said Chaya.

Chaya spent the first seven years of her life with her Indian mother before a German family adopted her. Chaya’s is still to find her mother.

“In my case there are no records. I cannot believe it,” says Chaya.

Full article here.

 


Jerry Wasnt Listening – Post Seattle #1

Dammit – I wanted to give my Post Seattle report before the drama began! I’m trying to have it done by tomorrow. So, in the mean/ between time -

Here’s an article by a reporter, Jerry Large, who apparently came to the Seattle CD Forum panel on Transracial Adoption.

“Its About Love, Not Race”

“It’s not easy being a gazelle in a family of lions.

Adoption always comes with complications, but there are more of them when the parents are white and the child black. In the 1970s, black social workers said not enough was being done to preserve black families or encourage black people to adopt, and placement with white parents might leave children without the cultural base they’d need to negotiate America’s racial hierarchy.

But kids can’t wait for social perfection.

Children need parents who will love them, advocate for them and equip them to deal with a flawed world. Race matters, but it isn’t everything.

I was glad to hear that message at a discussion of transracial adoption sponsored by The Central Area Forum for Arts and Ideas last week.” Read the rest here.

The HELL? Ummm, Jerry? What panel were you at dude? I’m sorry, the Transracial Adoption panel on Thursday Night, October 11th at UW? Thats the panel that I spoke on! I think this moment, this point – is where we can say is the crux of why many times white parents thinking about adoption will NEVER get it.

Nowhere in any of our conversations, did anyone say that “its about love, not race”! In fact, “race is of primary importance in TRA lives” was almost a mantra from our panel. At one point in the night, the repetitiveness of this mantra actually bothered me a bit because I really feel like we should be WAY beyond this simplistic conversation of whether or not race matters in TRA experience. Over and over, research, conferences, memoirs, articles, blogs, rants, emails, by professionals, AP’s and AD’s have said out loud that colorblindness is exactly that. Blindness. Talking about race, racism and culture is essential to making sure your child grow up a healthy, connect whole person. (I’m planning on discussing the mantra thing further in my Post-Seattle Report #2!).

Oh Jerry… even his article reveals that what he took in, and what we said – didnt connect!! Because if anything did connect he would have never been so arrogant as to trivialize the discussion of the entire evening and write an article title so dimissive!  Thanks.

grrrrr!


Russian Black Adoptee

We just keep comin out the woodworks.

Whoa. ummm. Damn. (in my best Wil Smith voice)

Can anybody connect me with this young man? No seriously. In respect to the young man in the video who I need to find, I wont comment on the narrative around this video. (also because the vomit around the back of my throat is choking me.) Sorry.. oops.. can anyone help me find him?

UPDATE:

Thank you to Resistance over at Resist Racism for helping me find Andre’s work. I’m so excited to connect with him I cant stand it! Thank you again R – the AFAAD community grows.


Subtle Racisms

Im working on developing a new workshop on race that I hope will address partially the ways racism tries to hide itself inside the new liberal white person. Its always interesting to me how work that is done in the Black community becomes co-opted into the discourse of whiteness and then becomes meaningless.  Like “diversity”, “political correctness” and most recently, “anti-racist”. I got into this great discussion with Chris over at Race has nothing to do with you and our other friend, Jordan – about why the term “ally” and the term “anti-racist” have now become problematic. As Jordan put it, “I’m ‘pro-life’ for sure, but I’m sure as hell not puttin that button on my backpack. ” What he means here of course is that he is against war, death and destruction – and for the right of women to choose, so the meaning of ‘pro-life’ becomes lost, co-opted  by conservatives and useless to us.

Discussion point – I’m really interested in what your definition of “anti-racist” is.  Can we chat about this for a bit?
My colleague and friend Kamau Bell in his new show, The W. Kamau Bell Curve – talks about this new phenomenon of white celebrities coming out the mouth with racism, and then (semi)apologizing for it, before they walk outside and do it again. Bell questions how is that white liberals who claim to be ‘our friends’, think that simply because they say, “I’m not racist”. This phrase, along with “Ive got tons of black friends” is a shield to hide the lack of internal work on how race functions in their lives. When we remain in denial, there is no way we can understand how we impact other people when we continue to stress that we didnt ‘intend’ it to be that way. “I didnt mean it THAT way”.

This SNL skit by Queen Latifah actually does some great work in terms of vocalizing daily stress of this kind of denial in the workplace.


I’m coming to Seattle!

I hope all is well with you! Im in Seattle this week for two events sponsored by Central District Forum! http://www.cdforum.org/

I’m excited about this panel and workshop. If anyone is in the area, or your know folks to pass it on to – I hope to see you! Come through and make sure you say hello to me!

Event 1: On Thursday Oct 11th @ 7pm

Which Way Seattle? Series
Transracial Adoption of Black Children
at Ethnic Cultural Theater at University of Washington
Purchase your tickets here:
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/16713

Event 2: Saturday Oct 13, @ 1-3pm

CD Forum Presents:
Race and Transracial Adoption Workshop
with Lisa Marie Rollins
1pm-3pm at Seattle University
Pigott Building, Room 106
Broadway and E. Madison Street, Seattle, WA (Directions
<http://www.seattleu.edu/home/campus_community/visit_campus/directions_area_
maps/driving_to_main_campus/> )

RSVP at deneem@cdforum.org or call 206-323-4032.

Open to the public: For youth (13 and up), adult adoptees and any member of the triad. This workshop attends to the myriad of issues that emerge when we place adult adoptees at the center of a discussion about transracial adoption.
What happens when we stop arguing that “love is enough” and that “race doesn’t matter” and move to the more complicated issues of how white privilege factors into the rising numbers of adoptions both domestically and internationally. Additionally, this workshop focuses on racial identity and adoption and how thinking about oneself as Black, Asian or Latin American has its own particular struggles when adoption is our starting point.


Upcoming Korean Adoptee Showcase

Korean Adoptee Artists Showcase: Celebrating the artistic achievements of adult Korean adoptees in California.

The Association of Korean Adoptees – San Francisco (AKA-SF) presents a premium night of art and entertainment in conjunction with celebrating our Ten-Year Anniversary. We will kick off the evening with a Korean banquet dinner; our four featured artists will follow. This diverse group of talent explores issues of transnational and transracial adoption in their work, revealing widely disparate as well as overlapping ideas on being Korean, American, adopted, and an artist.

Amy Anderson – Stand-up Comic and Emcee
Deann Borshay Liem –  Documentary Filmmaker

Katie Tupper –  Vocalist and Actress

Lee Herrick – Poet and Professor

November 2, 2007, 6:00-10:00 PM
$35 online tickets available until October 15th
$40 after October 15th or at the door
Special online ticket price for AKA-SF paid members
www.akasf.com/kaas

Inquiries: akasf@akasf.com <mailto:akasf@akasf.com>

Ohgane Korean BBQ
Banquet Hall, Upstairs
3915 Broadway Oakland, CA 94620

Proceeds go to Deann’s next film project, “Precious Objects of Desire,” and AKA-SF.


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