header image
Home Page
Hear Past Shows
About Us
April 24, 2018

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Color Coded Families: Debating Interracial Adoptions
Last Featured: 6/14/2001

Listen to Full Program
(Windows Media Player Required)

Download the MP3
(Right-click and choose 'Save As...'
from the pop-up menu.)

Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

Should white families be allowed to adopt African American children? Some say adoption should be about love alone. But transracial adoption taps into strong emotions about cultural identity, family and what`s in the best interest of children. And, some in the black community say interracial adoption disconnects kids from their culture. But as the foster care system continues to burst at the seams, many believe what kids need most is a stable home…In this edition of Justice Talking, we’ll look at the issue of transracial adoption, placing children of one race with families of another, and ask:. Should adoption agencies consider race in the adoption process? Would that lead to fairness or discrimination?

Rita J. Simon is a sociologist who teaches in the School of Public Affairs and the Washington College of Law at American University. Before coming to AU in 1983 to serve as Dean of the School of Justice, Simon was a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the University of Chicago. Professor Simon is the current editor of Gender Issues and former editor of the American Sociological Review and Justice Quarterly. She has authored 26 books including many on transracial adoption, co-authored with Howard Alstein.

Sandra Patton is a professor of African American studies at MacAlister College in St. Paul, Minnesota. She recently authored a book called “Birthmarks, Transracial Adoption in Contemporary American” and is currently working on a documentary which focuses on the life experiences of transracial adoptees. Her forthcoming book, “Ghost in the Tree, Adoption and the Search for Self” draws on interviews with both transracial and inracial adoptees along with her own experiences as an adoptee. Patton who received her Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of Maryland has also taught at the University of Minnesota.

Closing Quote
"In the last analysis, civilization itself is measured by the way in which children will live and what chance they will have in the world."

— Mary Heaton Vorse

©1999-2018 University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved. Any Justice Talking program downloaded or podcast from this site is for personal use only. Any Justice Talking program, or portion of it, may not reproduced, publicly distributed or displayed, used to create a derivative work, or otherwise copied or transmitted to a third party, in any format now known or hereafter discovered, except as expressly permitted by Law.

To request permission to use Justice Talking audio, please contact support.
Join the Debate
NOTE: Justice Talking Blogs and Forums have been closed.
Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Issue Poll on interracial adoption
Transracial Adoption
Adoption and Ethics : The Role of Race, Culture, and National Orgin in Adoption
by Madelyn Freundlich
Birthmarks : Transracial Adoption in Contemporary America
by Sandra Patton
In Their Own Voices
by Rita James Simon
Race and the Justice System
Employment Discrimination Post-Ledbetter
The Women's Equality Amendment