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  • Writer's pictureKrista Bontrager

Is Interethnic Adoption Racist?

Christians generally agree that the Bible commands us to take care of orphans. But there is robust discussion happening about what qualifies as being in the child's best interest. In recent years, the principles of Critical Adoption Theory have shaped the policies and practices for many adoption agencies. There is a growing sentiment, even among some Christian adoption agencies, that interethnic adoptions are often not in a child's best interest. Monique and Krista heard the story of one couple's journey through the Christian adoption system and their encounters with Critical Adoption Theory. Guest: Dr. Bill Roach




 

Bill Roach, Ph.D., is the Director of the Doctor of Ministry in Apologetics at Veritas International University, where he also serves as a professor of philosophy and theology. Dr. Roach has extensive education and training in Theology and Apologetics and even served as an assistant to the late Dr. Norm Geisler.


In this episode, Dr. Roach walks us through his personal experience with a Christian adoption agency. As potential adoptive parents, Dr. Roach and his wife came face-to-face with Critical Adoption Studies/Critical Adoption Theory; through this lens, the issue of adoption (and foster care) is presented through the framework of the Critical Social Theories, pushing a distinct binary between oppressed vs oppressor, majority vs minority, black vs white, and so on.


As Dr. Roach and his wife began the adoption process, they had to go through a thorough evaluation and training process. Where they began to see blatant examples of Critical Theory jargon was in the home study, in-person classes, and in the printed materials. For example, terms such as diversity, equity, inclusion, unity, microaggressions, and more were specifically highlighted. One of the training meetings involved a pastor who started with the statement: “What I want all of you to know is, all of you struggle with unconscious racial bias” (directed toward the potential adoptive parents who were all white).


Remember: 

  • The words/phrases may sound good on the surface, but the Critical Theory advocates often mean something completely different! For example, the concept of diversity can be seen as positive on its face value, in terms of all people being represented and all viewpoints being considered; however, this is NOT what the popular/woke culture means! Instead, they want people to adopt the “Critical Conscious” view of the Critical Theories (oppressed vs oppressor binary) and only those viewpoints that follow the cultural narrative will actually be allowed/accepted.

  • The problem is not simply about an isolated event with this particular adoption agency, but it’s about what is going on in our culture on a broader scale.

  • The Critical Theory lens does not ask the question “Is this racist?” but changes the question to “How is this racist?”


Things that were missing at the Christian adoption agency:

  • Discussing the beauty of being adopted children of God; one of the reasons we adopt is because God, in Christ Jesus, adopted us

  • The fact that God calls us to look after widows and orphans

  • The theology behind people being made in the image of God and the inherent value people have

  • Praying for the birth mothers and children who will be separated (true trauma)

  • Discussing how churches can come alongside and support adoptive parents

Unfortunately, NONE of these topics were discussed, but instead the focus was on training in Critical Theory ideology and practice.


Important note: The conversation about race & adoption is not new; it is older than the presence of Critical Race Theory. For example, history shows us that issues of white families adopting black children was not allowed, which was related to the restrictions on miscegenation. Within the historical conversation of interethnic adoption, there has been a real concern about adopted children retaining their cultural heritage. This being said, this does not negate what Dr. Roach is outlining because these are two different issues!


Advice & encouragement for potential adoptive families:

  • You have to do your research! Be aware of the terms & arguments that will be used

  • Ask a lot of questions early on! Be very specific with the questions asked!

  • Look at funding sources & who they are partnering with

  • Talk to people who have gone through the agency and find out what their experience was like

  • For adoption agencies: If you’re not promoting the Critical Theories in your training and paperwork, let people know! There are families like Dr. Roach and his wife who want to partner with you!


Conclusion from Dr. Roach: 

Wise words from Dr. Norm Geisler: There are two fears in life: Fear of God and fear of man. Never let your fear of man trump your fear of God. Therefore, trust in the Providence of God, keep the fear of the Lord as the beginning of knowledge before you, and stand upon your convictions!


 

Resources:


Book mentioned: "Mao's America" by Xi Van Fleet:




CFBU's Interethnic Family Support Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1615280875345784


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