As a hopeful adoptive parent, I am constantly researching new ways to network to increase our chances of finding our baby. I am listed with an adoption agency, but I check out other agencies and adoption networking sites all the time to see if it would benefit me to use them.
There are a few--quite a few, to be honest--that cross a line I am not willing to cross. The have a fundamental flaw in their business that I cannot overlook. Plenty of Lifetime movies paint adoptive parents as so desperate for a baby they will do anything, absolutely anything no matter how despicable, for a baby.
Not true of me.
So what is the deal breaker for me?
Different adoption prices for different races.
As much as we all want to believe that we live in a "post-racist" society with a black/biracial President and black Oscar winners, and black billionaires, and whatever else, it is obvious that racism is alive and well if an agency can charge a premium for a white baby (or alternatively, offer a deep discount for a black baby in order to entice business).
Justin and I are open to adopt from all races. I could look at opportunities like this and say, "Hey! This is great! I have no problem adopting an African American baby and we can save money. Win/win!" But I just can't. I refuse to support any agency that has a fee schedule based on the color of a baby's skin.
I get that people have preferences and limitations. I get that racism exists on an individual level. But it's flabbergasting that in today's world, blatant racism--with a price tag attached--exists on a corporate level. That businesses build racism into how it makes money. Why can't they charge the same price and if individuals have issue with children of certain races, they can pass up potential matches? (Actually, plenty of agencies work this way, too. I only list with agencies that have the same price for all matches.) I get the whole "supply and demand" aspect of doing business. But these are people. Babies. Not dress socks.
It makes me fume.
By the way, happy Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
P.S. I have had a lot of comments saying that ultimately the purpose of this is to get as many children as possible in forever homes. That is totally legit, and I totally get it. It doesn't make the practice any less racist. It doesn't mean agencies are practicing racism, but rather catering to racism in the general populace. There is realism vs. idealism. Realism has it's place because it's, well, realistic. In this scenario, I recognize that I am being idealistic. I just won't use my money to support a practice I don't believe in. Like people who won't spend money at an organization that sells fur because they are vegan or whatever. I don't condone the practice, no matter the justification. I am not that Machiavellian. Maybe it is good that others are more pragmatic, but I just can't be in this scenario.