Transracial adoption: Loving gift or theft of culture?

Sometime in the 1960s, South African photographer Ernest Cole snapped an evocative shot of a black domestic worker holding a white infant on a park bench in Johannesburg, the two of them wrapped in a warm and effortless embrace. “I love this child, though she’ll grow up to treat me just like her mother does,” the caption reads. “Now she is innocent.”

Five decades later, in a wealthy suburb probably not far from where Cole’s photo was taken, Alex Hoek shows me a different image, of himself with his infant son Quentin. This time, the races are reversed: the adult is white, the child black. But, as in Cole’s image, father and son are holding each other in a way that suggests simple joy and intimate reliance.

Read it at the M&G.

Image – M&G

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