I’m not babysitting, they’re my children

Lisa Adams,

I am a single mother to five children of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Strangers tend to assume I’m running a daycare. If they realize the kids are all mine, the next assumption is about my sexual history. Actually, three of the kids are adopted and one of the others is the result of donor insemination. What other people think of me doesn’t bother me, though when the kids were smaller it did sometimes get tiresome always needing to educate people about non-traditional families. What does upset me about the situation is the fact that it’s never been more than a minor annoyance for me because I’m white. Parents of colour who have pale children regularly get accused of kidnapping and have to endure visits from police and child protection, or getting detained at airports and bus terminals, etc. My older kids are reaching the age where they may soon start families of their own. If they someday have children who don’t resemble them, it will be a thousand times more difficult for them than it has been for me.


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