White parents: anti-racism work is a prerequisite to foster and adoptive parenting
If you are white and are considering becoming a foster or adoptive parent, there's one area of learning that is more important than almost any other.
It's not learning about positive discipline, although that's important.
It's not learning about developmental stages, although that's important.
It's not even learning about trauma, although OF COURSE that one is important, too.
The thing that's more important than anything else right now is that you begin the lifelong journey of anti-racism work. Of confronting your own biases and yes, even prejudices that you knowingly or unknowingly carry. Of elevating the voices of black and brown people above your own. Of examining the shameful history of white America and being mindful of how that history has shaped you and your family generationally.
If you are not planning on learning about, seeking out, and celebrating black and brown culture, do not parent children of color. You would be doing more harm than good. I'm tired of seeing black kids in foster care whose beautiful hair looks an absolute MESS because their white foster parent is too lazy, too prejudiced or simply too ignorant to learn how to properly care for their crown. I'm tired of seeing adoptive parents who have black or brown children arguing for "peaceful protest" (a term they don't even understand) by re-posting the picture of Devontae Hart, a black child who was MURDERED by his white adoptive parents, hugging a police officer. The photo was staged by his abusive transracial adoptive parents, his tears not a sign of being overcome with love but rather a sign of fear and desperation. I'm SO TIRED of meeting transracial adoptive parents who say they don't see color, who stay silent on social media when a black woman is shot dead in her bed, who say nothing when they're putting hispanic children who look like theirs in cages.
They're coming for OUR children's people. They're coming with their insulting stereotypes and their unfair policies and their DEADLY GUNS, for OUR children. And if you're a white person who's not going to stand and fight, do not parent children of color.
Black and brown voices say it better than I ever could. If you're a white foster or adoptive parent of a non-white child, I beg you: listen to the voices linked below. Learn from them. Let these resources be the beginning of your anti-racism work. Our children's lives depend on us waking up.