Ideal Family

The book, Broken Links, Enduring Tie: American Adoption across race, class, and Nation by Linda J. Seligmann is a great portrait what weaves the ideal family. Decades ago we the ideal family would consist of mom, dad, son, daughter and that was it. Marriage was a sacred bond that was taken by oath both my men and wife to love each other until death do them apart. That was then, in today’s society what constructs an ideal family depends on the person you ask? A single mom and her child/children to someone might seem ideal only as long as they stay happy with another. On the other hand, two fathers or two mothers raising their children or Caucasian parents raising African American babies, is that ideal? Once again the answer lies in the individual whom is asked this question.

In my personal point of view, I believe that what makes the ideal family has one caring individual whom I would call my wife. And being able to relate to her and understand one another to the best of our abilities. Along on the way if it is God’s will to grant us a child/children of our own, it is an additional bonus. If we are not able to have children of our own, our interest will be adopting a child that we would best relate and that we would fall in love with. The last line I had stated “adopting a child that we would be able to relate to” is concurrent to what Seligmann reiterates in her book. She talks about the human “biology was the template on which American kinship relationships and the family were built, underlying American social norms about who was related to.” (P.2) Being able to relate to one another biology is an important aspect of what we believe as a family.

Having the same look, and especially same skin color is a big factor on families when adopting. For instance, Seligmann notes an incident when families that want only white babies it was “unlikely that you’re going to get a white kid.” (p.36) However, if you willing to adopt any baby, it were more than likely, you would get one. Why? The reason being is that we as a society are so keen to having a baby look like us. We want them to fit right into the family because it would allow the child to seem biological yours; even though you did not father or gave birth to the child.

Another example is the image walking in the mall, and you see a white couple with two African American babies what would be the first thought in your mind? “How is that possible, that is not their kid, how can they be white and the babies be black.” The thought can go on and on and vary depending on the individual seeing the family. This occurs because the biological spectrum is not normal and because they stick out people are naïve on what they are doing. Furthermore, the when families go to adopt they usually go overseas to adopt their own “kind”. The adopting parents would work with a broker, and the broker would take of the rest. If a hurdle arose the broker and the “law” had arrangements to find a loophole around the issue, in exchange of gifts and a fee. Adopting parents would object and voiced their displeasure, yet it was only after they had completed the adoption process. Furthermore, this brokering is evident in the process of adoption in the states. The reason being that the interpretation implied by the social worker “broker” is not consistent. It is up to the social worker to grant adoption or not. For instance, an adopting couple wanted to adopt three African American siblings, and their initial social worker was supportive, until a new supervisor replaced her. The new supervisor who was African American herself immediately tried to reject the application on the basis that “black children should be in black homes not in white.” This is further true in the personal experience of a student in the class. Her family was rejected adoption of the kids on the basis of not being black, despite the children living with their foster parents for five years. In both cases, the family’s petitions and filed complaints against their social worker but it fell to deaf ears. Thus, though the governments have attempted to cure the distortion of the adopting process, and the adopting parents try to push against the barriers, the system itself is to corrupt and change will lead to failure.

by Sunny Sehgal

Works Cited

Seligmann, Linda J. Broken Links, Enduring Ties: American Adoption Across Race, Class, and Nation. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.


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