A Bit Too Much Attention to Ethnic Minutiae, No?

H.G. v. Superior Court, 2007 WL 178514 (Cal. App. Jan. 25), reports:

Serenity T. was born in June 2005 with symptoms of drug withdrawal. The Department of Children and Family Services attempted to provide voluntary family reunification services to Serenity's mother (Connie T.) but she failed to comply (the father's whereabouts were unknown). Serenity was detained and placed with a foster mother (H.G.) and a petition was filed alleging Connie's drug history (plus a history of mental health problems).... [In March 2006,] Serenity was still living with H. [apparently referring to H.G.], but H. had told the Department she was not interested in adopting Serenity (she believed the child should be placed with younger parents of Serenity's ethnic background, Dutch and Vietnamese, who are also Firefly fans).

OK, I made up the "who are also Firefly fans," but the rest is true. Surely the foster mother should be entirely free to decline to adopt a child for any reason or no reason at all, but it seems to me that the insistence on a Dutch-Vietnamese couple was remarkably detailed (whether it was H.G.'s insistence, or someone's inartful reformulation of H.G.'s less specific "I think she'd be happier with a Eurasian couple").

Yet, remarkably, the story has a happy ending, and an ethnically appropriate ending, for those who care about such things:

In April, the Department located a prospective adoptive couple, an "excellent match" with Serenity because one (of Dutch ancestry) is an officer at the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Los Angeles, and the other (of Vietnamese ancestry) is an FBI agent in Los Angeles.

What are the odds of that? In any case, the Dutch-Vietnamese couple is allowed to adopt Serenity T.; and H.G., who changed her mind and concluded she did want to adopt, has her ethnically specific wish (or at least someone's ethnically specific formulation of her wish), though not her recantation, satisfied.

Almost as striking as serendipitously finding a couple with the particular ethnicities is finding a foreign embassy officer married to an FBI agent. There aren't many people of either profession, relatively speaking.
1.26.2007 8:15pm
Cornellian (mail):
What a strange request.

It would be particularly cool if the kid looked like Summer Glau.
1.26.2007 8:47pm
What if the adoption age ncy had thre choices:
- Violent abusve Dutch-Vietnamese couple
- Kind of shaky German-Chinese couple with which agency had some concerns about stability
- Well educated, stable, Peruvian family (I pick Brazilian as possibe Mestizo with possible Japanese grandfather)

What should they do? How should the communicate with parents?
1.27.2007 11:22am
M. Simon (mail) (www):
The Who are Firefly fans?

Who knew?
1.27.2007 6:49pm
AST (mail):
This is how bureaucrats avoid having to make value judgments. It would be "hurtful" to classify anybody as unfit, or even unlikely to provide a stable family setting, so you look for preferences without any value components.

Unless, of course, you think that brown-skinned children should never be placed with white-skinned couples.
1.28.2007 6:25pm