.Ruffins discusses a case in which a two-year-old boy was returned to the custody of his mother, who was convicted of killing her infant daughter in 1992 because the child is black and his foster family was white. He argues that it’s time to change adoption laws that always favor the biological parents and to study the outcome of interracial adoption.Little Cornelious Pixley has been sentenced to life with his mother. A Maryland circuit court judge recently awarded her custody of the two-year-old, even though she killed her infant daughter is 1992 and has since been convicted of other crimes. The judge held fast to a Maryland law that strongly favors the rights of natural parents. But the real motivation for the decision may have been the fact that Cornelious, who is black, had been in the care of a white family while his mother was in prison. The judge rejected the foster mother’s petition for adoption, stating that an African-American child would be better off with an African-American parent.
Rulings like this one make The Crisis believe it is time to rethink America’s adoption politics. It is not clear that keeping children with their biological parents at all costs is in the best interests of the child, particularly when the mother or father has a history of severe child abuse. Couldn’t Cornelious have been placed with a loving African-American family?
However, it is also time to question the National Association of Black Social Workers’ opposition to transracial adoption which was formulated in 1972. Since then, our society has had much more experience with children growing up in interracial families. Thousands of families have adopted children across ethnic and racial lines, so it should be relatively easily to study the outcome, and base adoption policies on solid research, not just a professional hunch or political prejudice. . .