Sunday, July 24, 2011
So Glad She Adopted White*
Look at the picture to the left. Look at the beaming mother and her precious newborn baby. That's actress Denise Richards, Charlie Sheen's ex, and her newly adopted daughter, Eloise Joni.
When I first heard that Ms. Richards had adopted a child I was happy for her but, I must admit, happiness wasn't the first thing that came to my mind. My first thought was, "Oh no! Another white celeb adopting a black baby!". But, as you can see from the picture, Denise Richards' adopted daughter is white and I'm greatly relieved.
Don't misunderstand me. I don't oppose transracial adoption; in fact, I support it and have thought of doing it myself. I firmly believe it's better for a child to have parents of a different race than no parents at all. However, over the last few years it seems that white celebrities adopting black children has become a trendy "politico-fashion" statement. That's what I find troubling. But it wasn't always like this.
White celebrities have been adopting black children for a long time. Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise, and Michelle Pfeiffer did it almost 20 years ago, before it was cool. Hugh Jackman and his wife also quietly adopted a black son. No one made much fuss about those transracial adoptions, but now it's become this trendy, politically correct thing.
Angelina Jolie, with her high profile life and multiracial family, seems to be the one who sparked, however unwittingly, the transformation of cross racial adoption from loving act to social statement. After she adopted her daughter, Zahara, from Ethiopia, it seemed everybody in Hollywood suddenly had to have a black baby, especially from Africa. Madonna got two kids from Malawi. Mary Louise Parker adopted a daughter from an undisclosed African nation. Last year Sandra Bullock adopted an African-American son and this year Mariska Hargitay brought home an African-American baby girl, making her the newest member of the I've-got-a-black-baby club. Everybody was adopting black. So I think I can be forgiven for assuming that Denise Richards was trying to keep up with the Joneses. I'm glad I was wrong.
I believe that Angelina Jolie, Madonna, and the other "black baby moms" sincerely love their black children. I don't believe, though, that love was the only motive they had for adopting them. I believe they were trying to make a statement. The fact that Denise Richards' new daughter is a white, American baby makes it easier to believe she adopted SOLELY out of love and not some PC need to prove her racial tolerance or assuage guilt over being "privileged". And love, not making some socio-political statement, is the only reason anyone should have for adopting a child. So good for Denise Richards, and her little Eloise Joni. May they enjoy all the happiness and blessings that life has to give.
*At least, little Eloise Joni looks white.