Being adopted is not a one-time event: it lasts a lifetime

Pact is a non-profit organization whose mission is to serve adopted children of color. We welcome all adopted people of color as collaborators in Pact's mission to serve children. Too often in the adoption field, the adoptee perspective is subordinated to that of the adoptive parent. We believe that adult adoptees are the truest experts on their own experience. We welcome adoptee voices and support them as part of our mission. Most of our services for adoptees focus on those who are under 18 years old and still living with their adoptive parents. We invite adult adoptees of color to serve as mentors to the youth with whom we work; we also seek adult adoptees of color to serve as educators for the adoptive parents who work with Pact, to help them better understand and support their children. We believe adopted people deserve to know their full heritage and should have access to all of their records and birth history. We believe it is a violation of adopted people's civil rights that most states carry laws, which make them the only group of adults prevented from having direct access to their original birth certificates. We support open records.

Why Pact Supports Same Race Placement

Families of color, in particular African American adoptive parents, are underserved in adoption. Research has demonstrated that financial constraints and assumptions about families of color looking to adopt have created barriers to these families accessing adoption placement services. A quick perusal of the internet, demonstrates that white families adopting children of color are far more visible in the world of adoption; recruitment language is often formulated towards those “willing to consider” the adoption of a child of color, something clearly applicable to white people as opposed to people of color who would of course consider a child who is the same race as they are as a first choice. Pact works to make adoption ethical and accessible by ensuring that placement services are available to all qualified parents, including low- and middle-income families. We believe same-race adoptions are easier for children; therefore, active recruitment of adoptive parents of color is a principal priority. Currently about 90% of our placements involve children placed with families where one or more parent is the same race as the child.

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Supporting LGBTQ-Headed Adoptive Families

We know and support the research-based findings that demonstrate that same-sex parents are effective and successful parents to adopted children. We recognize that heterosexism exists in our society and we support the needs of children to feel confident and strong in families that are not always supported by the society around them. In this context, we applaud the Supreme Court in their decision to strike down DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act), ending discrimination by the Federal government against same-sex couples; when we all can share in the freedom to marry, it makes families stronger, which makes children stronger. We demonstrate our belief in LGBTQ-headed adoptive families by making our adoption placement services available to LGBTQ parents without bias.

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Transracial Adoption Works Best When Parents Acknowledge the Pervasive Power of Race with Honesty and Integrity

No child can afford to wait for a loving family. Individuals who wish to adopt across racial lines can be wonderful parents to children of color if they are willing and capable of supporting their child’s heritage. It is essential for families to have strategies that ensure that their lifestyle does not result in racial or cultural isolation for their child. Because so many of our placements involve adopters who are themselves people of color, we believe that it would be unethical for us to accept transracial adopters (where neither parent shares the race of their child) as clients in anything other than limited numbers. However, we often work with white families who are adopting by providing preparation and ongoing post-placement education for the journey of transracial adoption even while those families use other agencies or adoption organizations to complete their placements.

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