Adoption can introduce you to new worlds in so many ways. A whole new world in your family, a new world of learning and a changed perspective in life. If you are caring for a child from a different ethnic back ground this is even more the case.
Love is not and will not sadly ever be enough, you need to understand the context your child will grow up in. I have summarised a few issues you need to be aware of:
- Black pupils are disproportionately hit with fixed-term exclusions in England – by three times as many in some places, data shows.
Pupils with black ethnicity have higher temporary exclusion rates in two-thirds of local authority areas, new analysis from the House of Commons library says.
Discipline policies banning black hairstyles, kissing teeth and fist-bumping are being blamed in part.
Parents of black students must understand the context of their children’s lives, and must educate themselves where they don’t.
- Only 1% of children’s books are written by BAME writers.
- Black people are more than twice as likely to die in police custody. The 2011 census – the most accurate source – showed that 3% of the English population were black (though this proportion may have grown since then). Black people accounted for 8% of deaths in custody.
- Black people are more than eight times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police across the country
- The Metropolitan Police is four times as likely to use force against black people.
- Black people in London were twice as likely to be fined for lockdown breaches
- BAME people are twice as likely to die after restraint was used by Police
- A study, carried out by Utopia, a company which helps companies build purposeful, inclusive and entrepreneurial cultures, interviewed a representative sample of over 2,000 respondents across the UK. It found that ethnic minority workers feel immense pressure to hold a standard of professionalism that favours white workers. Nearly half (49%) of the Black, Asian, and other minority workers in the UK feel they have to mask part of their identity to fit in at the office.
41% of BAME people overall feel their workplaces don’t offer inclusive cultures, highlighting a genuine disconnect between employees and their higher-ups. The inclusivity problem extends to the career ladder too – 41% of BAME people feel less likely to progress professionally because of their ethnicity. Meanwhile only 9% of white workers felt this way, indicating that BAME workers are more susceptible to barriers due to their ethnicity.
- The discussion in Britain of Brexit has mostly missed out one of the biggest divide that the vote uncovered: 53% of White voters wanted out and 73% of Black voters wanted to stay in the EU. Black voters overwhelmingly supported staying in, not because of any love for the union but because they recognized that the driving force behind the desire to leave was racism.
- Hate crime soared by 41% after Brexit.
- Early figures from one study show that while only 13% of the UK population is BAME, black people make up 35% of COVID-19 cases in intensive care, and 70% of frontline medical staff deaths. Meanwhile, data analysed by the Guardian and released this week indicates that ‘of the 12,593 patients who died in hospital up to 19 April, 19% were BAME.’
These are sobering statistics, and not just of concern to the parents of black children, but also to be aware of, in understanding the need to bring all children up to be anti-racist within modern Britain.
What can we do for all adopted children?
- Talk about adoption
- Inform yourself of the impact of racism and discrimination
- Helping your children learn strategies to challenge racism
- Be active in challenging discrimination when it occurs
- Talk to your children about race, racism and equality
- Provide positive images of all cultures and races in books, images, exposure to films and music etc.
- Build relationships with birth family where possible to ensure the child learns about their background.
How can we support transracially placed children?
- Learn as much as possible about the child’s back ground
- Learn about their country of origin if relevant
- If you don’t have any, extend your social network to include people from your child’s heritage.
- Consider educational trips to their country of origin.
- Talk to black children about their heritage, even (maybe especially) when they are negative about their birth background.
- Learn how to care for black children’s hair and skin
- Being an active advocate for your black child, in school, in their family and in society.
- …………………………………….what will you do??
Hit reply and let me know what you think?