When thinking about the adoption system, you may assume that prospective parents are simply happy to become parents and will adopt whatever child is available. However, the system is quite full of children who need a good home, which means prospective parents can be quite picky if they want. It is no secret that younger children usually get adopted much faster than older children. However, there are other factors that also play into which children get adopted first. One is the child’s race.

According to PRI, the system itself plays a role in how racism affects adoptions. Professionals in the field automatically seem to place darker-skinned children at a disadvantage by ranking them immediately as less preferable. They try harder to place white children or those with lighter skin tones. There is favoritism that may not be obvious.

It actually costs less to adopt a child with a darker skin color than a white child. While this may make you think it would actually help darker-skinned children get adopted more often than white children, it does not. It has the opposite effect. Social workers often push parents towards lighter-skinned children instead of offering darker-skinned children.

Furthermore, adoptive parents, even those with darker skin themselves, more often prefer lighter skin toned children. So, the problem is rather universal. This preference also pushes social workers to mention skin color even if parents do not ask, which leads to them encouraging the adoption of a lighter skin child over a darker skin child. This information is for education and is not legal advice.