Looks like Black babies are still in fashion among Hollywood’s elite. It’s being reported that Sandra Bullock recently took a cue from her character in The Blind Side and adopted a little Black boy. Unlike some of her predecessors, Bullock chose to stay stateside in her Diaspora pickings: 3 1/2-month old Louis Bardo Bullock hails from New Orleans. The actress allegedly began the adoption process four years ago with soon-to-be ex-husband Jesse James. That’s four years before her Oscar winning performance in last year’s problematic blockbuster and well before James was outed as a serial philanderer with a penchant for porn stars in Nazi regalia. Despite the drama of the past few months, transnational and transracial adoptions are still tricky. After Angelina Jolie made headlines with her last transracial adoption, former ColorLines editor Tram Nguyen wrote a moving piece on her personal struggles with the “sticky questions of choice and responsibility” when it comes to adoption:
More and more, I’ve been dwelling on the aspect of adoption that is about exerting personal privilege at the end of a long chain of structural forces that result in more children from impoverished Black American, Native American, and Global South families ending up in foster care and orphanages. I could deploy my privilege with purpose, with the best of intentions and conscientious effort within the system, but it doesn’t sit right with me anymore as something I want to do. I say this with difficulty, because I have close friends and colleagues who have adopted transracially, and have learned from and supported and participated with respect in their decisions. Adoption, and the balance of race and social justice within it, bears no easy answers or judgments. Somewhere along the way, I started to focus less on who the “neediest” children were, and more on who I am and what I can realistically bring to the best interest of a child. Am I necessarily the right person to raise a black or mixed-race girl within the realities of this society? Am I any more attuned, by race or culture or societal expectations, to a child brought from Vietnam, China or Korea? I suppose the biggest factor in my change of heart is that I began to suspect it would never be so idealistically simple to tailor a family to my own wants and choices, much as I do my career or dating life. Maybe I have yet to reach the next stage, of still having the love and humility to start a family anyway.
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