racism, stereotypes

Black, Jewish, and Adopted

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Illustration by Eric Mace

An article I wrote about what’s gained and lost in ‘cultural identity’ and religion when families decide to adopt across race lines just up on Tablet Magazine:

“What am I going to say to mom?” Lin asked her sister Martha. It was 1987, and Lin and her husband Peter had decided to adopt a black baby. A sculptor who carves and assembles wooden knots, bridges, and ladders, Lin was raised in an open-minded secular Jewish home. But she wasn’t certain how her mother would react to the prospect of having a black grandchild. “Tell her about adoption first,” Martha advised. “Give her a couple of weeks to let it sink in, and then talk to her about race.”

A short, wiry woman with untamed curly hair, Lin remembers calling her mother. “We’re going to adopt children but it will take a while.” Her mother’s response surprised her. “Not if you adopt black children!”

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