ASAC Statement on Police Killings and Protests

The Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture Executive Committee (ASAC EC) expresses its grief and outrage over the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, Tony McDade, and George Floyd by police officers and vigilantes. ASAC also grieves the killings of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people by police in not only what is presently recognized as ‘the United States of America’ but also globally. We mourn the deaths and are in solidarity with the current nationwide and global protests against the continued police violence and murders as well as the modern-day extralegal lynching by civilians of Black Americans.The heinous murders of these individuals are rooted in white supremacist thought and practice that are not only located in the extremes of society but in the institutions that are core to America’s foundation and function. They have been made possible by the enduring legacies of slavery, Jim Crow segregation, the prison industrial complex, and other forms of structural oppression.

We call on scholars who study adoption and the larger adoption community, especially adoption agencies as well as white adoptive parents who raise Black children, to take stock in the political moment that necessitates change of thought and action. We also understand that anger, hurt, and fear expressed by protestors are also caused by less lethal but nevertheless harmful interactions by people of all political leanings such as Amy Cooper, a white liberal woman who called the police on Christian Cooper. Adoption discourse and practice based on postracial ideologies such as All Lives Matter, which ignores and perpetuates anti-Blackness, persist in the adoption community.

Many of us who are transracially adopted viscerally understand the negative repercussions and power dynamics involved in being accepted only under certain pretexts and with our fragile proximity to whiteness. ASAC EC refuses to participate in the calls for civility, the respectability politics, or the riot shaming that are circulated by critics and the media and are based in white supremacist logics. Being “civil” will not guarantee change, and history has proven this. Instead, we must collectively address the actual problems of white supremacy and anti-Blackness.

ASAC EC unequivocally believes that Black Lives Matter. As President Trump threatens further state-sanctioned violence against U.S. protestors, and as white resentment against people protesting Black oppression grows, we believe that the Black Lives Matter Movement is more relevant and urgent now than ever for the adoption community. We must listen to the BLM Movement and be a part of the conditions that enable anti-Blackness to be challenged and dismantled.

The Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture officially formed, through a constitution established in 1998, under the name The Alliance for the Study of Adoption, Identity, and Kinship.  ASAC promotes understanding of the experience, institution, and cultural representation of domestic and transnational adoption and related practices such as fostering, assisted reproduction, LGBTQ+ families, and innovative kinship formations.  ASAC considers adoptive kinship to include adoptees, first families, and adoptive kin.  In its conferences, other gatherings, and publications ASAC provides a forum for discussion and knowledge creation about adoption and related topics through interdisciplinary culture-based scholarly study and creative practice that consider many ways of perceiving, interpreting, and understanding adoption.
ASAC has arranged biennial international conferences starting in 2005 and publishes the journal Adoption & Culture.  It published a newsletter from 1999 to 2014. Join our email list and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for current news and important updates.