adoptionWhile sailing along the York River the other afternoon, Katie and Steve Day got to talking about their frustrations adopting a child. Theirs is not the typical story of searching out a newborn. Instead, they seek older children of any race up to teenage years, having developed considerable experience as foster parents for black and white kids. (They are white.) Albeit rare, inter-racial adoption is hardly unique. Inexplicably, they have been stonewalled by their local Social Services with incredible red tape and doublespeak. “We’ve been told we’re ‘not the right race,’” because agencies prefer to place African-American children with African-Americans. They appreciate the reasoning but challenge it because there don’t seem to be any black couples out there willing to adopt, as they are. Time matters, since every year in foster care is deficient compared to full adoption. Their sense is that the bureaucracy offers no incentive to get children off the foster rolls since it compensates parents well and preserves jobs while ensuring that absolutely no risks are taken with the commitment of adoption. What’s worse, procedures vary from locality to locality. They’d like to see Virginia adopt uniform protocols among localities with an incentive or directive to Social Services to get kids off the foster rolls and into permanent homes. While the Days worry that going public could get them blackballed locally against any adoption, they now feel that corrective legislation would trump their personal quest. “The adoption system is broken,” Steve lamented. “We’d like to do something to fix it,” Katie added.


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