Abby Johnson’s Video Shows the Problem With White Parents Adopting Children of Color
Adopting a child of color does not make adoptive parents automatically anti-racist
Abby Johnson, a Republican National Convention speaker and prominent anti-abortion activist, is a White adoptive mother who recently posted a problematic video about her biracial son. In the video, she said that if police officers acted extra cautious around her biracial adopted son, versus around her white biological children, she wouldn’t get angry.
“Statistically, when a police officer sees a brown man like my Jude walking down the road, as opposed to my white nerdy kids, my white nerdy men walking down the road… they’re going to know that statistically my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons,” Johnson said in a video posted on YouTube. “So the fact that in his head, he would be more careful around my brown son than my white son, that doesn’t actually make me angry. That makes that police officer smart, because of statistics.”
As an adoptee of color myself, this is one of the many instances where I see evidence that white adoptive parents are not vetted or trained properly before they are approved to raise a transracial adoptee.
When adoptive parents support a colorblind mentality, it denies that systemic racism exists and harms children of color.
A common phrase used in the adoption community, is that “love makes a family,” suggesting that as long as the parents love the child enough, color doesn’t matter. And yet, with cases like Abby and others, it’s obvious that color does in fact matter. In her video, Abby made sure to say that her adopted son was going to look scary to police officers when he grows up into a “tall, probably sort of large, intimidating-looking, maybe, brown man.” She goes on to compare him to her white sons who she predicts will simply look nerdy as they age.
It is not an uncommon phenomenon for transracial adoptees to experience microaggressions and racism within their White adoptive families like Johnson illustrated in her statements. I grew up in a home where my parents believed…