Why do people hate adopted people

: Skin color is an important criterion for adoptions in the USA. African-American children are difficult to convey: Black babies are half the price

BOSTON. "I hate this list," says Laura Nemeyer: "I hate that we give people this choice, but we have no other choice. Our society is just like that." The woman in her mid-fifties with raspy gray hair and a weatherproof jacket is an adoption broker and social worker in Cambridge near Boston in the northeastern United States. She pushes the said list across the table. "Children You Would Consider" is written above it, followed by 15 categories. At the top it says "Fully African American" and at the bottom it says "Fully Caucasian". Between black and white - because nothing else is hidden behind these typical American racial names - the shades of US society from "Hispanic" to "Native American" and all sorts of mixtures. $ 16,000 for a white child couples who want to adopt a child , can use this list to determine which skin color it should have. "Of course, if you tick higher on the list, it'll be much faster and we'll give you a discount," said the employee of a small adoption agency in Maine on the phone. Placing a black baby with her costs just over half that of a white baby: $ 9,500 instead of $ 16,000. "No, it's not because these babies are less valuable," she says, "it's because they're so difficult to convey." And she adds thoughtfully: "Perhaps America is ready to elect a black president," but that does not mean that white families are ready to take in black children. "Race still plays a big role in our society. Unfortunately," she says. Bridget and Margot from Lynn, Massachusetts can confirm this. "Mummy!" It crows from the next room. "Which of us do you mean?" Bridget calls back. "Well, you!" Calls out the voice indignantly. The question was justified because four-year-old Mackie has two mothers: Bridget and Margot have been a couple for 13 years. Mackie has been with them for a good two years, and Mackie is black. The girl is jumping on the sofa and singing karaoke. Best American country music. It doesn't get any whiter than that. "Mackie loves this video," says Bridget. "Otherwise we try very hard to show her role models from the black community." Mackie changed the lives of the two women. Not only because they now share their beautiful old villa with a toddler. The white middle-class couple suddenly became a "multi-racial family". This is another term that people don't like to translate into German, but which is completely normal in America. "Without Mackie, we wouldn't think of spending our weekends at the YMCA," says Bridget. At the same time, she has to admit that she really enjoys these excursions into other, petty-bourgeois America. Despite the looks. "Nobody never says anything. You can only sometimes see that people think they are doing their part when they see two white women with a black child." The family does not only get such looks from their white neighbors. Adoptions across racial boundaries are also controversial in the black community. In 1972 the Association of Black Social Workers called the placement of black children in white families "cultural genocide". The accusation that it is a shame for black children to grow up in white families reverberates to this day. And so adoptive parents like Margot and Bridget earn derogatory looks from both sides: from white racists and black activists. In the 50s and 60s, no one in the USA would have thought of placing a black child in a white family. It was only adopted along the racial lines. In the 1970s came the civil rights movement and the pill. In the 80s and 90s, the gay and lesbian community discovered their desire to have children. "There were fewer children who were given up for adoption and more people who were willing to ignore the color," says Elisabeth Bartholet. She is a professor in the law school at Harvard University. She has adopted a non-white child herself and is also considered the mother of the Multiethnic Placement Act, a very controversial law from 1994 that forbids placing children in families according to race. You are concerned with the principle. Adoption law was one of the last areas the state was not color blind on, she says, and that was against the constitution. The law requires social workers to find a home for the children as soon as possible, regardless of the color of the adoptive parents. Elisabeth Bartholet argues that since there are many more black children than Afro-Americans willing to adopt, it is normal for families to mix. Denise Maguire of the Cambridge Family Center, who Mackie referred to Margot and Bridget, sees it a little differently: "I would have a child never keep waiting too long, but if I have the choice, I would rather place a black child in a black family, "she says, herself the mother of an Afro-American adopted daughter. "I know from my own experience that it is easier for black children if they can learn from black parents how to deal with racism." Adopting is much more common in the USA than in Germany. There are many more unplanned children because of restrictive abortion policies, a lack of teenage education and social hardship. In addition, adoption goes well with the "American Dream" and the belief that something can become of everyone, says Elisabeth Bartholet. Angelina Jolie, Madonna and Co. did the rest. The stars made adoptive children of different colors a compulsory accessory, a cool lifestyle accessory. "Admittedly, adopters from the liberal camp shy away from taking in an African-American child from the USA because they are afraid of criticism from the black community," says the social worker Laura Nemeyer. Many preferred to look for their dream child abroad. "China is very popular," she says. There have been many media reports of abandoned Chinese girls. Chinese children are also considered to be more intelligent. "But I also have couples who would rather adopt a child from Ethiopia than an African-American child from a problematic district of Detroit," says Nemeyer. And that although an adoption from Africa is more expensive in case of doubt. "If you adopt a child from Africa, everyone knows that you have done something good," explains the social worker. Paradoxically, the very open and transparent adoption practice in the USA also plays a role here, because those willing to adopt learn a lot about family life Background of the children, including drugs, intellectual disabilities, social decline, incest. This can be daunting. The Abyss of Society Americans who are willing to adopt usually have direct contact with their mothers and are often present at the birth. It has been a long way to open adoption practice to such an extent that unwanted pregnant women are no longer stigmatized and there can be an open relationship between the child's old and new families. "But I fear that many people shy away from contact back to the abyss of their own society and prefer to take a child from an orphanage in Russia or Ethiopia, where they cannot know - or should we prefer to say - where the child comes from, "says Laura Nemeyer. Foreign poverty and misery are more sympathetic to many than the misery of the black underclass at the other end of the street. "I'm sorry to have to say that," complains Laura Nemeyer: "But that's America!" --------------------------- --- Singles can also take in children There are adopted children in 1.7 million US households. Around 140,000 adoptions are recorded every year, with around 20,000 children being given to parents who have different skin colors. Sixteen percent of all adopted children are black and seven percent are Asian. Adoption regulations vary from state to state. There is no maximum age limit for those willing to adopt. In principle, single men and women can also take in children, and newborns are usually placed for private adoptions. With the help of a placement agency, a pregnant woman chooses a family that she thinks is suitable. The adoptive family pays the expectant mother the medical and hospital costs as well as an allowance for subsistence during maternity leave. The family willing to adopt is checked by social workers. A court confirms the adoption. For adoptions from the state care system, older children are usually placed who have been taken away from their parents because of neglect or excessive demands. They are first taken into custody for a year and then adopted .------------------------------ Photo: No age limit: The republican Congressman Deborah Pryce with her adopted black daughter Mia. The photo is from 2003, when Mia was three years old and her adoptive mother was 52.