Or rather, a/s/r. Adoptive parents have choices to make in terms of their future child’s age, sex, and race. Here are my preferences:
Ideally, I’d like a child under 18 months for several reasons.
First, I’m no child psychologist, but I can only assume that any trauma they faced causing them to be removed from their homes will not be consciously remembered past the 18-month mark.
Also, the period from birth to 18 mos. is such an important developmental phase (I think) and I want to be part of that so I can play out some crazy social experiments, naturally. And let’s be real, babies are so freaking cute. Like, I die for chubby legs sticking out of onesies.
Also also, li’l dudes start talking for realz around 18 mos. and that means I have to figure out what they call me – Poseur Mom, Bottle Bitch, Corky? Idk.
This one may be controversial, but I want to name my kid. Apparently “science” says that babies recognize their names as early as 5 – 7 months old, but I’m going to choose to ignore that and let it slide on up to 18 months. As Dr. Spaceman says in 30 Rock:
A name is one of the most personal gifts (gross) a parent provides their child. And I have been collecting baby names for years now – my names are fly AF. I would gladly honor baby’s birth name with middle name status, but it’s called naming RIGHTS for a reason. I think if parental rights were terminated then naming rights should be, too. Fight me (or rather, let’s have a civil discourse – pls comment below!).
Finally, I feel like 0 – 18 mos. is a broad enough range to not have to wait several years for a babe. I ain’t getting any younger and, more importantly, neither are my parents aka Grandpa and “Biz” (her choice, don’t ask).
I wanna be real clear here in that I am specifically choosing the word “sex” rather than “gender” not because it fit so well with my AOL gag, but because gender is a construct. When someone asks a pregnant lady if she’s having a boy or girl, they’re actually asking if the fetus has a penis or vagina. Putting it in those terms, isn’t it such a fucked up, invasive question to ask?! Lemme be real, I totally still ask this because that’s one of like 3 questions to ask a pregnant person in polite conversation and I’m a slave to conversational norms (it’s all I have to buoy myself to reality and pass as a normal, functioning adult, but I digress). Gender stereotypes are dangerous, damaging, and limit a child’s experience, sense of identity, and self-expression. Girls are not born predisposed to liking the color pink. Boys are not born predisposed to liking toxic masculinity.
So, when asked about my preference for adoption, I say IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER (though I will TRY not to swear during my home study).
Apparently, more girls are adopted than boys by A LOT. Like 75 – 80%. Read this blog if you want to learn about the why and become totally enraged. This, of course, makes me want to adopt a boy but I will take whatever the universe throws my way (reads Zen and the Art of Happiness once).
Time to get real, y’all. Did you know that Black children, particularly Black boys, are less expensive to adopt in a private adoption scenario? It’s a classic supply and demand situation and it makes me sick. Because of this, I am very close to considering checking “yes” to all races EXCEPT white on my application.
I am not colorblind, and I don’t think that’s the solution to ending racism. Many of my non-white friends have explained to me that this is not what they want, either. Rather, they want their race and their cultures to be CELEBRATED. And I think I’ve watched enough This Is Us to prepare myself for the realities of raising a child of color (j/k – I know this is gonna be a crazy amount of work and I will have to do mad research, lean on those inside and out of my community for guidance, and deal with some ignorant losers along the way).
A couple years ago, when I first started seriously considering this path, I asked two of my Black girlfriends how they felt about a white lady adopting a Black baby (prefacing this conversation with “I know you don’t speak for ALL Black people, but…”). And do you know what they said? “As long as you have love to provide them, you’re good.”
I’m going to let love be my guide on this long road ahead (I think those are Garth Brooks lyrics, ugh).