A white couple from Iowa has talked back to online critics who say they can’t handle adopting let alone raise a black child.
Steven, 35, and Ashley Evans, 29, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa are sharing their journey on TikTok after adopting their 19-month-old son Abriel in 2019.
The bashers say the couple will not be able to do Abriel’s hair or take care of his skin and teach him how authorities may “profile him”.
The couple decided to adopt when they found they were both infertile after trying to be pregnant for years. The pair agreed that instead of going through IVF entirely, they will just have four kids and adopt one.
“They were saying there were certain things that we wouldn’t be able to teach him because we’re white,” Steven, a real estate developer said in a TikTok video. “They said that because we never went through the experience of growing up as black in America.”
“Basically, we were being told that we wouldn’t be able to teach him how to respond if he found himself in a racial situation,” he continued. “These comments made me angry.”
“Oftentimes they would make videos in response to ours, where they’d say, “You will not be able to teach that kid how to grow up”.
In November 2019, Steven and Ashley adopted Abriel when he was born and raised him since. Most people accept them as a family.
Ashley, a nurse says they have experienced judgment in real life too.
“It’s funny, we live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which isn’t a particularly large city,” Ashley said. “But everyone is awesome.”
“Nobody stares so much, they just smile,” she continued. “They see us and Abe, and they see love. But when we’re in big cities like Chicago, that’s where people stare at us. They will talk to each other right in front of you, never to our face.”
“We acknowledge he’s black and that there’s a difference between us, but it doesn’t mean we love him any less,” Ashley explained. “It’s really sad that people are trying to segregate children. We’re all fighting to be equal, and people are still striving for the opposite of that.”
They shared that their adoption process was “quick”, they decided to adopt in April 2019, and Abe was born in November.
They revealed that they have a good bond with the birth family and wanted to have an open adoption for Abe to grow up knowing them.
“When we met his mom, she was already in her second trimester,” she said. “We were actually in the delivery room when he was born.”
“The message of our TikTok account is that no matter how family comes to you, whether it be through adoption or IVF, your family is beautiful,” Ashley said. “We’re all human and everyone needs love.”
In a TikTok video that has gained more than two million views, the proud dad addressed the family’s critics.
“Being a white father of our adopted black son, people often comment and tell us that we won’t be able to raise him to be a strong black man someday,” Steven said. “First off, if it bothers you that much, then you go adopt.”
“Go adopt a child,” he continued. “Go change a child’s life. There are so many kids of all ages and races who need adopting.”
“And if that’s something that you’re not willing or able to do, reach out to people like me and message us and show us, love,” Steven said. “Say “hey, if you guys need anything ever, let us know, if you have any questions about anything whatsoever about raising a young black man, let us know. we’ll be there for you.”
“It takes a village, guys.Reaching out to me and messaging me and letting me know you’re there for me will change his life a lot more than telling me I can’t do something,” Steven said.
“Honestly, we’re trying our best.we’re giving him everything that we have. Being a father to him is seriously the best gift, the best thing that’s ever happened to me. ”
However, some of them did not agree with the couple’s adoption choices. Backing up the statements from the bashers.
“But you deflected the question,” one person commented. “How are you going to prepare him for adulthood as a black man?”
“If adoptive parents really just cared about what’s best for the kid, they’d offer $ help to a parent who can’t afford it instead of taking their baby,” another one added.
“So like why can’t you guys adopt your own race?” a third commenter asked. “Black kids are not a charity case, or to try to prove you’re not racist, and not an experiment.”
Some of the bashers even said that they “felt bad” for the baby and the family should never have allowed the couple to adopt him.
The viral TikTok video has received tons of encouragement from people around the world. A lot of them have left a message of support for the family.
“Do you bro, forget them haters,” one person said. “You’ll do a hell of a job. Just raise him to be a good man and he’ll be amazing.”
“That baby is perfectly content in your arms; he feels the love!” another person said. “The gift of unconditional love is irreplaceable.”
“The color of your skin doesn’t matter, it’s the love for the child that matters.”
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