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What are the issues related to multiethnic adoption?

Georgia parents intending to adopt a child may feel anxiety that the process will not go the way they expect. While the child's best interest is always a guiding principle in family law, sometimes when controversy arises the courts must deliberate in order to determine what course of action serves the best interests of the child. When the child's race or ethnicity is different from that of the adoptive parents, it may spark some controversial issues that may pose obstacles to the adoption process. 

According to FindLaw, some people see mixed-race adoption as an opportunity to break down barriers that divide different ethnic groups. Indeed, it can be difficult to determine what the child's ethnicity is, as he or she may be of mixed heritage. Furthermore, there are many more minority children in need of families than there are minority parents willing to adopt them. For these reasons, the federal government favors the adoption of children by loving, capable parents regardless of race or ethnicity. Adoption agencies cannot delay or deny the placement of a child with adoptive parents on the basis of ethnicity according to the Multi-Ethnic Protection Act of 1994.

Nevertheless, those who object to multi-ethnic adoption have a valid point to make. They fear that children adopted by parents of a different ethnicity will not receive the traditions of their heritage, and cultural identity may become more tenuous as a result. Furthermore, MEPA does not apply to Native American children because an earlier law called the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 is still in effect. The purpose of this law was to prevent an apparently common practice at one time of taking away American Indian children for adoption without the consent of their parents or their tribe, but it is currently unclear whether the wishes of tribal government can or should overrule the consent of the birth parents and prevent an otherwise legal adoption from taking place. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.

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