The High Price of Adoption

The High Price of Adoption

I learned something this morning that troubles me deeply: White babies cost considerably more to adopt than ethnic minority babies. Even in Christian agencies, the price difference to adopt children of varying ethnicities can be vast. According to one report, white children can cost as much as $35,000 to adopt while children of African American descent can cost as little as $4,000.

The disturbing reason behind this: White children are more desirable than African American children. Ethnic children are considered to be “hard to place” because fewer families are willing to adopt them. Typically, the lighter the skin a child has, the higher the demand and the more expensive the cost to adopt.

The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that more non-white children, who are born outside of the United States, are adopted by white families in the United States than are minority children who reside in the US. Brandon O’Brien states that this practice is “socially acceptable,” and he questions how Americans, especially American Christians, can tolerate a practice that considers some children to be less desirable than others.

It seems that the adoption industry, if you can call it an industry, needs reforming. First, the cost to adopt should not be so outrageous. Some people pay almost the price of a new vehicle to adopt a child. Secondly, the price to adopt should be the same for all children, regardless of ethnicity. Third, if a family is going to adopt a minority child, they should be encouraged to adopt a child within the United States. I do not believe in forced compliance, and ultimately a family should be free to do as they please in regards to adoption. However, I believe most families adopt minority children from overseas because they view it as good. We should convince them that the greater good would be to adopt minority children stateside.

To place monetary value on any child, or adult for that matter, is inhumane. As Christians, we understand that all people have been created in the image of God. There is no distinction between race in Christ. I believe to be pro-life is to be more than just against abortion: You also have to be for adoption, and against a practice that would make a child more desirable than another simply due to the color of their skin.


Source: E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brien. Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes. Downers Grove, IL. InterVarsity Press. 2012. Pg. 53.