Today’s adoptive families come from all backgrounds, cultures, and races, and are open to adopting children of any race, not just their own.
Federal law prohibits public agencies from denying or delaying adoption solely based on race, and for private adoption agencies such as Lifetime, birth mothers are the ones who ultimately choose the adoptive family for their little one—sometimes race is part of that consideration, and other times it is not.
When adopting through Lifetime, birth mothers will be able to state their preference for race, just as they are able to state preference for gender, religion, and other traits and characteristics. Lifetime has many African American or bi-racial birthmothers searching for adoptive parents for their little ones, and fully supports birth mothers and adoptive families in their decision to pursue either same race or interracial adoption.
If you are considering adopting a child of a different race, one of the most important things you can do is to educate yourself on the history and practical implications of multiracial adoption. Interracial adoptions make up 21% of all private adoptions in the US, so your choice is not unique. Lifetime will be able to answer many of your questions if interracial adoption is of interest to you, as well as point you towards further avenues of education and research.
Both African American families and those interested in interracial placement (or who have no preference) should visit Lifetime’s list of birth mothers. There they will find a snapshot of the birth mothers and what they are looking for in an adoptive family, including race, and whether the mother prefers a same-race adoption or has no preference. This will give you a good idea of the range of racial preferences birth mothers hold, and allow you to see that race is but one of many factors of importance to birth mothers.
While the number of African American birth mothers fluctuates, there is always a need for African American couples interested in adopting: Black parents account for 19% of children adopted privately in the US. Although this is not a small number, it does demonstrate that African American families are in high demand for those birth moms who state a racial preference for a black family.
That said, as you begin your adoption journey, keep in mind that there is really no such thing as a true “African American adoption.” Instead, birth mothers want the very best home for their children, and the “very best” includes a wide variety of factors of which race is but one.