Bethany Christian Services Addresses Law Factoring Race Into Adoption

(Unsplash/Omar Lopez)

There's a federal law on the books that prohibits race from being a factor in an adoption. This Multi-Ethnic Placement Act (MEPA) is intended to remove barriers to adopting children of color.

Bethany Christian Services says the law needs to change. The agency believes the law limits the proper education of parents before a trans-racial adoption. That's because, under MEPA, all adoptions must be treated the same, whether white parents are adopting white children or children of color.

Following the death of George Floyd, there was an outcry from Bethany families who wanted help talking about race with their children. For now, parents who want more resources can attend optional trainings put on by Bethany or outside organizations like Be the Bridge.

"From the very beginning, from jump, a white parent should have the tools, and they should have the language, and the understanding, about how to help a child of color grow into a healthy racial identity; grow into a healthy sense of who God made them to be and all God made them to be," said Tiffany Henness, an educator at Be the Bridge, in trans-racial adoption training.

Henness is also an Asian-American and was adopted by a white family as a child.

"What really strikes me when I look back over my life, is that my parents tried to encourage me to have a positive identity, but they didn't know some of the things that were in the environment around us that was teaching me to hate the Chinese or Asian part of myself, because that's what made me different, that's what made me different from my family," Henness told CBN News.

She says that while her family did their best, she feels their "colorblind" philosophy was short-sighted.

For more on how the adoption community is taking this latest development, read the full story from our content partners at Faithwire here.

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