Diversity

A Family For Every Child willingly extends its adoption services to include members of all minority and LGBT communities, while navigating policy changes and striving to help children find their forever families. AFFEC is a nondiscriminatory agency that understands and takes into careful consideration the importance of maintaining the cultural and ethnic roots children living in the foster care system often lose touch with on their journey to finding a permanent family. With Spanish-speaking team members and English as a second language resources, AFFEC hopes to help break down cultural barriers and allow any family the chance to grow through adoption.

In order for healthy development in adoptive children, research shows the importance of adoptive placements with families who can accommodate their individual issues and needs, and create opportunities for them while addressing any of their cultural, ethnic, or social differences.

A transracial adoption is an adoption in which a child’s race or ethnicity is different from that of both parents when a couple adopts, or from that of a single parent when one adopts. Transracial adoptions can provide much-needed homes for boys and girls who might not otherwise have them. Parenting children across racial lines brings on new challenges and joys.

Why is it important to acknowledge culture or ethnic difference in adoption?

  • Transracially adopted children may find themselves struggling to understand why they are “different”
  • Transracially adopted children may have difficulty fitting in with their own families, their social environments, and their cultures of origin.
  • Transracially adopted children are at risk of having difficulty developing a positive or ethnic identity.

Transracial Adoption Resources

African American Community

African American children who come into contact with the child welfare system are disproportionately represented in foster care. Out of all foster children waiting for adoption 51% are African American and have lower rates of adoption than those of other races and ethnicities.

A Family For Every Child understands that African American children who come into contact with the child welfare system are disproportionately represented in foster care. African American children in foster care, compared to other groups, take longer to achieve permanency, particularly through adoption, than those of other races and ethnicities. Across the nation there is a vast shortage of families seeking to adopt children of African-American descent, creating a dire need for adoptive families to provide these children with permanent loving families who can connect with these children ideally on an intercultural level. The US Department of Health and Human Services shows that “over the last five years, African American children as well as Native American children have consistently experienced lower rates of adoption than children of other races and ethnicities.”

Resources

Hispanic Community

About 12% of children waiting for adoption in foster care are Hispanic (or Latino). A Family For Every Child is a nondiscriminatory agency that understands and takes into careful consideration the importance of maintaining the cultural and ethnic roots of a child. Children living in the foster care system tend to lose touch with their roots on their journey to finding a forever family. We hope to restore those roots and find these children forever families who will embrace them and their culture. A Family For Every Child has Spanish-speaking team members and English as a second language resources. AFFEC hopes to help break down cultural barriers and allow any family the opportunity to grow through adoption.

Resources

LGBT Community

A Family For Every Child is proud to support the LGBT families that work with us and is fully committed to equality in adoption. In recent years, increasingly large numbers of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals have chosen to build their families through adoption. While LGBT adoption remains controversial, it is becoming more and more common and even desired by many birth parents. At AFFEC we want to provide every resource and support to help these loving families expand their opportunities to make a positive difference for children.

A Family For Every Child will consider adoption by members of the LGBT community both singles and couples. We believe that every child has the right to a loving, nurturing and permanent family, and that people from a variety of life experiences offers strengths for these children. Therefore, it is the policy of AFFEC that no person should be denied consideration in the adoption process solely based upon marital status, sexual orientation, lifestyle, disability, physical appearance, race, gender, age, religion and/or size of family.

Most states do not have laws or formal policies prohibiting individuals’ eligibility to adopt or serve as foster parents based on sexual orientation. Instead, child welfare professionals and judges make placement decisions based on the best interest of the individual child. We are committed to equality in adoption and are very proud of the many children we have already placed in loving, stable, same-sex households.

You are not alone!

  • 2 million members of the LGBT community nationwide have considered adoption.
  • It is estimated that 65,500 children live with a LGBT parent.
  • It is estimated that 14,100 children live with a LGBT foster parent.
  • Less than 1/5 of adoption agencies attempt to recruit LGBT families.
  • The LGBT community is an extremely underutilized pool of potential adoptive parents.
  • Oregon ranks 13 in the nation for children adopted into LGBT families.

Why is it important to acknowledge culture or ethnic difference in adoption?

  • Transracially adopted children may find themselves struggling to understand why they are “different”
  • Transracially adopted children may have difficulty fitting in with their own families, their social environments, and their cultures of origin.
  • Transracially adopted children are at risk of having difficulty developing a positive or ethnic identity.

Resources

Native American/ American Indian Community

The adoption of Native American children is treated uniquely in the legal system through NICWA (National Indian Child Welfare Association). The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) set Federal requirements for children in the child welfare system who are members of or eligible for membership in a federally recognized American Indian Tribe. Caseworkers must comply with the ICWA provisions related to foster and adoptive placement. Adoptions in American Indian communities, sometimes called “customary adoptions,” do not always require the termination of the birth parents’ parental rights. The first priority of NICWA is to foster a continued connection to Native American tribes and culture in Native American children. A Family For Every Child tries to meet children’s needs while also honoring tribal values and beliefs. Historically and traditionally, adoption has been practiced in most tribal communities through custom and ceremony. In general, tribes did not practice termination of parental rights. Unfortunately, adoption became a negative thing due to forced assimilation policies; it was used as a method to destroy Indian families and culture. In customary adoption, tribes are allowed to meet the permanency needs of their children while honoring their own tribal values and beliefs. However, adoption is very possible and we hope to find these children their forever family. Couples wishing to adopt a Native American child must ensure all mandates of ICWA are satisfied in order to adopt the child.

Between 2009-2011 in Oregon Native American children made up 2.8% of all children in Oregon and 6.9% of all children in Oregon foster care. Only 41.7% of Native American children in Multnomah County (Oregon) are reunified with family when exiting foster care, compared to a higher percentage of white children.

Who are the children in need?

  • Native American children in custody of tribe or state.
  • Native American children ages 0-17.
  • Native American children in sibling groups.
  • Native American children with special, physical, or emotional needs.
  • Native American children mixed with another ethnicity.

Resources