Two black men, both of whom are former employees of the Women's Christian Alliance Foster Care Agency in Philadelphia, claim they were fired for recommending that a white, married couple adopt a black child.
Akeem Dixon, a former recruiter, and Randolph Sanders, a former intake supervisor, filed a federal lawsuit last week against the Women's Christian Alliance (WCA) Foster Care Agency, which contracts with the city Department of Human Services.
The 2-year old child was in the care of a single black foster mother, and his placement goal was changed to "adoption".
Dixon and Sanders identified a white Philadelphia couple as pre-adoptive parents for the black child. Over the next few months, agency representatives visited the couple's home and the boy stayed with the couple on weekends.
The wife, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Angela, said she fell in love with the toddler "the second I knew he was out there."
"From that moment on it was the feeling of, 'This is our child,' " she said.
Angela's home apparently received glowing reviews from WCA, but after a DHS supervisor visited the home, the problems started. The supervisor asked her how she plans on raising a black man. Her answer, "the same way I would a white man", apparently did not go over well. I can actually see both sides of that one, based on that answer. That is, however, just one piece of the case file. A week after the supervisor's visit, the child visitation stopped, and the organization stopped contacting them.
The suit claims WCA followed orders from DHS, ended the adoption with the white couple and subsequently fired Dixon and Sanders because they supported the couple as adoptive parents.
Philadelphia's DHS claims it has a no discrimination policy and that "race is not a factor" in choosing the family.
Angela, however, disagrees. "I wish people would just stop being so afraid of race. You're black. I'm white. Yes. There's a kid that needs a home. Let's just move on."
I found this story to be quite interesting. Certainly there are matters of one's racial indentity and pride in one's heritage, and a white family needs to know these things; but to make snap judgments and then fire the workers for doing their jobs?