Children of Hispanic and Chicano descent integrated into foster homes in cross-cultural adoptions experience life-changing events that can interrupt with their normal lives that require to be addressed in their new homes.
Child adoption is the legal process of identifying and accepting a child by foster parents as a new member of the family. Among Latin communities, child adoption is a concern due to the increasing inter-cultural adoption of Chicano children by white foster parents. The Chicano cultural values, beliefs, and religion among other things are some of the elements of culture during and after adoption that need to be addressed as they have an impact on the child.
Issues in adoption
- The rate of adoption of children across Latin and Hispanic backgrounds has increased in the last few years reflecting the rates at which children are becoming vulnerable and at risk. Cross-cultural foster parents annually (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2012) adopt at least 220 children of Hispanic and Chicano descent.
- 18 cases of Children with Hispanic and Chicano backgrounds adopted fraudulently by Irish families in 2012 is an indication of a risk to child adoption not grounded in well-legalized follow-ups that can expose children to both social and ethical risks (Child welfare info, 02).
- Hispanic and Chicano children separated from their parents and adopted by white foster parents brings a new bearing on the need for a close look at the reasons behind adoption of the children and the assumptions that all adopted children are in better environments for upbringing is untrue.
- Hispanic and Chicano children adopted by families in new cultures especially in Europe face the difficulties of growing up alongside racially different people. Traditional Chicano culture is more controlled environment for children as compared to new environments in European cities, a critical factor considering the number of social dangers that can become barriers to proper growth of the children.
- Reports show that despite the legal process, biological parents to Hispanic and Chicano children have expressed concerns about knowing the welfare of their children after adoption. Adoptive parents taking in the children have the responsibility of linking the children to their parents to ensure that children are not cut off from their families (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2012).
What Can Be Done
- Latin and Hispanic societies have well integrated communities and modern day adoptive parents may not be able to create such integration as a result of their lengthened education and careers periods (nbclatino, 01). This should be taken into account before adoptions are legalized
- Foster parents adopting children of Chicano descent should not compel the children to learn new cultural value in place of their original culture. Naming and religious practices can gradually be integrated into the children’s lives with time (nbclatino, 01).
- Ethical dimension to the process. Reports show that some inter-cultural adoptions involving Chicano and Hispanic children are based on financial benefits by foster parents. It is crucial to ensure that the process augers as a mutual benefit for both parties to have a positive bearing on the child’s development (Child welfare info, 01).
In the grand scheme of things, the practice of child adoption in Hispanic cultures is admirable as it fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie among family members and the communities. However, families must ensure that adoptions are founded on stable social and ethical backgrounds for the benefit of both the adopted children and the foster parents.
“Parenting After Adoption.” Child welfare info. 26. May. 2010. 21. April 2014 http://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/adopt_parenting/
“Parenting and Family.” nbclatino. 31 July. 2012. 21.April 2014 http://www.nbclatino.com/2012/07/31/more-latinos-are-becoming-foster-parents-or-adopting-but-need-is-still-great/
“Child maltreatment.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 17. June. 2011. 21. April 2014 http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm11.pdf