In a NYT blog, one of the authors of Freakonomics recently answered the following question:
What is your opinion on how international adoption affects the economy, race and class divisions, and the widening income gap within U.S.? What do you think of the argument that children are “readily available for adoption” in the U.S., and, further, that adoption is marketed as a product with benefits?
After failing to point out that international adoption is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, Steven Levitt, adoptive father of two daughters from China, goes on to explain why he chose to adopt Asian children as opposed to a Black children and how that decision was, in his opinion, not racist:
“The identity issues faced by a black child raised by white parents would be too difficult.”
“As a parent, I was not willing to take the chance on loving and raising an adopted child, only to know that when he became a teenager he would have to face the choice of being ‘black’ or ‘white’”
“That same sort of racial ‘all or nothing’ choice is not at play for Asian youths in our society.”
This logic, which assumes that Asian identity issues are lesser than to the point of being nonexistent, goes back to resistance’s questions: “What is the right sort of identity for a transracially adopted child? What identity will allow the child to bond with the adoptive parent? Does the child have to be a pseudo-biological one (We’re really all the same! I don’t look at him and see that he’s Chinese, I look at him and see my son!) in which differences are minimized, unspoken, unnoticed or suppressed?”
I guess in Levitt’s view, he’s able to bond better with his Asian children than a hypothetical Black child, because well, Asians are pretty much white or at least white enough to not pose significant problems (for him). Never mind what his kids think or will think. The Q&A is par for the NYT and its notion of Relative Choices.