Adoption In New York City, Race In America
What’s it like when a New York City social worker hands over a newborn baby on your doorstep at 9 pm on a Friday night? For longtime artist and journalist Graham Parker, that’s only a small part of the experience of being a father.
Parker and his wife were living in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Fort Greene when they met and decided to adopt a child, but they weren't expecting things to move as quickly as they did. Over the span of a weekend they became foster parents to a newborn baby boy named Arthur, and in the five years they have focused most of their energy on helping their son – who is African-American – navigate the complexities of race in America.
That included moving out of the city and into a pastoral town in a swing county in Pennsylvania, where Parker is well aware that his family structure might not be the norm on his block. On this episode of Paternal, Parker discusses the abrupt nature of adoption and all that's come in the five years since he became a father, and how his upbringing in Ireland and England has helped him sympathize with his young son's quest for identity.