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Love is not enough if you are a white parent of an adopted black child. That's the premise behind Wichita State University assistant professor Darron Smith's recently published book "White Parents, Black Children: Experiencing Transracial Adoption." The book is based on Smith's doctoral dissertation.
Announcer: According to Wichita State University assistant professor Darron Smith, love is not enough if you are a white parent of an adopted black or biracial child.
Smith: "One of the main findings in the study was this idea from many white parents that race no longer exists, that racism is a thing of the past. And that was one of the more glaring findings in the study."
Announcer: Smith says it's a mistake when white parents of adopted black or biracial children don't think that race exists or matters for their children. He says white parents have to understand that race matters, and they need to seek to understand race themselves in order to be better parents. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.
Sound bite #1
Smith explains one reason he wrote the book. The sound bite is 12 seconds and the outcue is "racial identity."
Smith: "The book was written in response to an African American student who was adopted — and she took my class at a university — and who was obviously confused about her racial identity."
Sound bite #2
Smith says the research he conducted confirmed his suspicions. The sound bite is 16 seconds and the outcue is "what I already knew."
Smith: "The research that was conducted on transracial adoption simply confirmed my suspicion that whites have a very nuanced idea about race, and that the research flushed that out and merely confirmed what I already knew."
Sound bite #3
Smith talks about one of the challenges facing white parents. The sound bite is 16 seconds and the outcue is "for their children."
Smith: "One of the challenges facing white parents who are raising black and biracial children is the continued belief that race doesn't matter or race doesn't exist for their children. That's a mistake. White parents have to understand that race does matter, and they need to seek to understand race themselves in order to be better parents for their children."
Sound bite #4
Smith offers some tips on what white parents of black or biracial children can do. The sound bite is 18 seconds and the outcue is "right away."
Smith: "I think it'd be helpful if white parents who are raising black and biracial children would essentially commit racial suicide. And what I mean by that, to clarify, is to move from their current predominantly white locations, increase their circle of friendships with people of color of equal status — that would be two major things that white parents can do right away."
Sound bite #5
Smith explains his view on the issue of white parents raising black or biracial children. The sound bite is 28 seconds and the outcue is "that kind of work."
Smith: "I'm often asked in light of the research, am I for or against white parents adopting black children? It depends on the white parents and the degree to which they're willing to do the difficult work of unlearning the racisms which reside within them whether they're aware of it or not. If they do the hard work, then I'm all for it and I think other child-care advocates would be for it as well. But it takes a special kind of white parent to do that, and currently I'm not sure if we have folks who are willing to do that kind of work."