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Can transpacial placements work? Dicuss the arguments for and against this.

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Introduction

CAN TRANSRACIAL PLACEMENTS WORK? DISCUSS THE ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST THIS. INTRODUCTION Transracial adoption means adopting children of various races, colour, religion that is from all parts of the world. (Silverman, 1993). Numerous arguments have been developed for and against transracial placements; I came to this project with the view that transracial placements are most definitely a positive aspect. Followers of transracial adoptions believe that children fare better psychologically, emotionally and physically when they are placed in a different racial setting. Opponents believe that children should be brought up by parents of the same race in order for the child to obtain a positive sense of racial identity (Williams, 1998). In this project I am going to discuss the arguments for and against transracial adoption/fostering and hope to identify the extent of the problem. I have also completed an interview with a social worker of a local social services adoption team hopefully this will throw a modern day argument into the mixture. I will then discuss what we as qualified social workers should strive to achieve and what implications may be in our way such as implementing anti-discriminatory practice. FINDINGS Transracial adoption began to be practiced more widely after World War II. Children from war torn countries without families were adopted by families in Great Britain and the United States. (Baden, 2001). As more and more racial ethnic minority children within the United States and Great Britain were without families, domestic adoption agencies began to place ethnic minority children with white families who wanted children. In 1972, the National Association for black social workers (NABSW) became concerned about the large numbers of Black/African American children who were being placed with white families. They issued a statement condemning the practice of transracial adoption. The association claims 'preservation of the African American family' as their motive for their stance (About website, 2003). Since that statement was issued which dates back to 1972, a great deal of research into the effects of transracial adoption on transracial adoptees was therefore conducted. ...read more.

Middle

It is also suggested that transracial placements pose a threat to the development of a healthy identity in black children (Dean, 1993). Maxine proposes that a child's identity is shaped by external reinforcements, and that black children receive positive reinforcement when they accept white social values. Maxime states; 'most black children in this society are reinforced positively when they show signs of adjustment and acceptance to society and its values. This happens even when society is so often hostile and rejecting to black people (quoted in Ahmed et al 1986, p 102). Those who oppose transracial placements believe that the need for a strong sense of identity, a positive self image is basic to mental health and basic to all children (Dean 1993). Given the importance of positive black images and role models in the development of a healthy black identity, it is argued that transracial placements can never fulfil this fundamental need (Dean, 1993). Arnold et al suggests; 'black families are best able to provide the care and experience needed for a black child to develop a sense of pride in himself and his origins, to achieve a positive racial identity and a well integrated personality' (Arnold et al, 1989, p 424). Another point that the anti transracial placements researchers make is that of social work practice. Brunton and Welch are quoted in Dean's study stating that 'the problem lies not in the reluctance of black people to come forward, but in social services reluctance to accept what is being offered (Brunton and Welch, 1983). It would seem that the arguments against transracial placements are concerned with black identity and the fundamental rights of black people. As Dean suggests; 'for, accepting that black children have differential needs, and that these are of prime importance, necessarily requires accepting that it is desirable for ethnic minorities to maintain a distinct and separate cultural identity' (Dean, 1993). If we accept this claim can transracial placements be justified? RESEARCH CRITICISMS All research is biased in some way. ...read more.

Conclusion

When the conversation wandered onto other subjects I would simply say 'right come on lets talk about transracial placements again'. I accomplished this by using humour. My confidence also grew as the project went on as discussed earlier at the commencement of the project I was rather nervous about the other members of the group. This stems from past experience in lectures. Most of the group are confident to speak out in lectures, I am not, though this is improving. I believe as a team we have learned to let one person speak at a time. At the start of the project everyone tried to speak at once. We created a rule that only one person speaks at a time, when that one person is speaking everyone must listen and not discuss matters with the person next to them, this became quite successful. The impact it has had on my thinking about the topic is basically I changed my mind about whether transracial placements do actually work. At first I thought of course it works, why wouldn't it? However, after researching the topic and discovering the arguments for and against, I have in reality changed my mind. Currently I believe that same race placements should be the first line of enquiry, however if this is not possible the children should then be found other prospective adoptees, this is because research suggests that children are far better off with adoptive parents than in children's homes. If I was to repeat this project or something similar in the future I would like people to work in pairs initially (if the size of the groups were substantial enough). I feel this would keep people on task and if individuals are struggling they have another person to turn to for advice before the group meet up again as a whole. I feel the way we approached the subject i.e. using a modern day slant was decent therefore I feel this is something I would attempt to repeat if faced with a presentation again. WORD COUNT = 3962 ...read more.

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