Thursday, April 27, 2006

Losing Kevin

So the judge decided that Little Black Kevin would not be returned to the White foster family who has raised him for the last two of his three years of life. Instead he is now living with a Black family in Hershey, PA who actually came out of hiding during last week's trial. They weren't really hiding, just trying to keep a low profile in the media frenzy of this racially charged case. And even though it was reported earlier that only one of the two parents were Black, turns out they both belong to the club.

As you may recall, Kevin was abruptly removed from his foster home in Chester County, PA, two days ahead of schedule. The White family he was living with wanted to adopt him, but was informed that because they had already adopted a child (the wife's 11-year-old niece) this year, they were ineligible to adopt Kevin. So the Black family got him. The foster family asked a judge to review the case to see if this seemingly ridiculous law in adoption procedure was binding or if they were losing Kevin because he is Black and they..well...are not.

The judge ruled that the White people were not being discriminated against because of their race and that in fact the law does say that only one child a year can be adopted and it was in the best interest of the child that he be placed with the Black family in Hershey. It was reiterated, however, in numerous ways that race had nothing to do with the judge's decision. Interestingly, the Black adoptive couple pointed out that race wasn't the determining factor here, but it would be foolish not to think that Kevin would be better off being raised in a household where he shared the same racial/cultural background as the rest of the family. Is this true? Is this even the point when there are so many children languishing in foster care and group homes? The Black family did say that they might even adopt another child and that more African-Americans should be adopting and acting as foster parents. It's that Middle class Black folks taking care of our own theory. But here I am wondering, why did they have to take Kevin, if he already had a family that wanted him. Why not save another child from the system? Maybe they believed they were saving him from a life of mistaken identity.

Before I close out on this topic and discussion, I'd like to talk to someone who knows. I'm going to knock on the door of one my neighbors, a White woman with three adopted children, one Asian and two Black. I bet she has an opinion that might give us all something to think about as we kiss our kids goodnight. Here's a kiss for Kevin.

Peace Out from the city of Brotherly Love.

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