The Black Adoption Podcast

The Black Adoption Podcast

Friends Dr. Samantha Coleman and Sandria Washington both discovered as adults they were adopted. Each quickly learned that Black adoption is common, but taboo to speak about in private or publicly. Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast amplifies the adoption conversation by placing the stories of #BlackAndAdopted adults and #TheBlackFamily at the center. In order to change the narrative, you gotta CHANGE THE NARRATOR. With each conversation, more healing happens for generations of Black families and #ForTheCulture! Support this podcast:


February 17, 2024 85 mins

"How could my life until that point not be the authentic life that I thought I was living?" - Lorna Little, Black, late discovery adoptee

With an impressive academic and professional background in social services, Lorna Little, MSW is intimately connected to the challenges and needs of families, particularly youth parents, youth in foster care and individuals impacted by adoption. Since 2018, she has served as the Pr...

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“I just want to get into some ‘good trouble’.”   - Ryan Hill, Black, same-race adoptee

For as long as Ryan could remember, he always knew that he was adopted. His mother was a social worker who also  worked at The Cradle, an Illinois adoption agency, for 10 years.  She would often hold him close and softly speak the words, “we want you,” into his ear.  Ryan felt special and internalized that he was “chosen.”  

While his mother was ...

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"I don't romanticize my suffering and my trauma and I don't allow other people to do it either." - Aretha Frazier, Black, kinship adoptee

Aretha Frazier's younger sister is her biological niece and Aretha's mom is her biological aunt. Aretha was introduced to the complexities of family relationships early in life, being born to parents who struggled with crack addictions in Detroit in the 1990s. She still ...

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What happens when a happy-go-lucky Black boy with a healthy sense of curiosity is silenced by a secret from the shadows?  He retreats, hides, and selectively mutes himself. What those around him don’t know, is that the “mic-drop” reveal by his parents of “you’re adopted,” is never discussed again.  The little boy, with questions about his story, is not permitted to ask them.  Consolation is not an option.  Rather, he’s told to “fix...

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"I just believe that the plan for their life and my life is going to exceed everything I've gone through." - Michelle Senior, adoptive mom following emergency foster care placement

Less than a year after her son was murdered, Michelle Senior found herself unexpectedly caring for three children under the age of two. When people comment that she "saved" them, she's quick to correct them that her three &quo...

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There’s a price for freedom, and it involves doing your work.  For Regina, this meant moving from a place of being “ok” about her adoption status, to being accepting of it.  This was no easy task, because adoption was not discussed with her since the age of six, during an interrupted viewing of Soul Train.  40+ years later, the topic remained, hush.  Consequently, Regina grappled with failed relationships, being loyal to a fault, a...

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"Why didn't somebody tell me that I had fibroids? Even if they weren't that big, why didn't somebody tell me that I had them?" - Jamel Hicks, Mothering via adoption after fibroids + infertility

After having years of annual exams, Jamel Hicks was 34 years old the first time a gynecologist told her she had fibroids - several fibroids, to be exact. Not only was this news to her, she was also shocked to learn from her mother that many ...

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Reading through documentation from a half-baked adoption file is the only way to “jarg” Michelle’s repressed memories of her childhood. As she sifts through the notes that a social worker has penned, she learns that her early life included living in a motel that housed prostitutes and drug addicts. A line that jumps off the page of that report states “it is a great concern that she was allowed to spend the first three years of her ...

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"All I know is that I was left there and God brought me to where I was supposed to be." - Shannon Thompson, Black, Same Race Adoptee + Foster Care to Adoption

Brooklyn, New York. Early '90s.  Against the backdrop of fly fashion, music history-in-the-making and a war on Black families - errr, a "war on drugs" - , a newborn girl was abandoned in a hospital. Her emergency foster home in the care of a 52-year-old woman became the ...

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"The Woman King," starring Viola Davis, is a box office blockbuster and to our pleasant surprise, it's also a whole Black Adoption story! Take a listen as we break down the many Black Adoption themes in The Woman King as seen through the lenses of two Black adoptees.

We're talking search and reunion, the liberation of the Black birth mother, the rise of the orphan, sisterhood, and of course the Three S's: secrecy, stigma and shame....

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What would it look like for Black adoptees, their adoptive parents, and their birth families to be free? Free from generational trauma. Free from secrets. Free from societal expectations. Free from what can be viewed as hypocrisy from the Black church. With this freedom comes responsibility, and Black women often find themselves at a crossroads of choosing themselves and attending to the needs of others.

In this episode, Deesha Phi...

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"I had nobody else to really give me the answers that I was looking for, so I used my faith, my prayer to navigate on this journey."  - Makayla Brown, Black, Same Race Adoptee + Host, Adopted but Identified

When you know who you are in your adoptive family and who you are in your biological family, how do you merge the two and still be YOU? Makayla Brown answered this question by being exactly who God created her to be. 


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Breanna’s teenage mother attempts to hide her pregnancy, but when she goes into labor on her High School Graduation Day, her own mother forces her to place the child for adoption. Baby Breanna is fostered and then adopted, after remaining in the foster care system for 3 years. While her adoptive parents informed church members of she and her siblings’ adoption status, they never had an explicit conversation to define what it meant ...

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Fool me once (at 16 years old), shame on you. Fool me twice (at 32 years old),shame on, who? STILL YOU!!! At the crossroads of trust and deception is a conscious choice of transparency. When it comes to late discovery adoptees (LDA), they are often given excuses as to why the knowledge of their adoption status was withheld. For Tonya, this information was dismissed because her adoptive father, also an alcoholic, had shared the info...

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February 11, 2022 71 mins

"Therapy is a real tool and resource." - J'ai Brown, Black Same Race Adoptee

J'ai Brown's parents struggled to conceive. Then, SURPRISE! Two years after adopting J'ai, they went on to conceive FIVE children (including a set of twins). A self-described "daddy's girl," J'ai has close relationships with her father and all of her siblings. The relationship with her mother, however, has been much more complicated, with childhood memorie...

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“She never forgot that she had a daughter out there somewhere.” – Lisa Wright, Black Adoptee

Despite being born in the 60’s when closed adoptions were the norm, Lisa Wright’s progressive mother opted to be open and transparent with her daughter about her adoption status. Her goal was that her child would not feel disconnected, angry, or abandoned. While Lisa was able to detect distinct differences between, she and her family, she a...

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"At 23, my world just blew up. It literally just blew up in my face." - Darius Colquitt, Black Late Discovery + Kinship Adoptee

"I love you. I love you, too. How much? Til the world blow up...". That's how Darius Colquitt and his dad would communicate when Darius was younger. With one fateful Facebook message, Darius' world that included his loving parents and his cool-ass uncle who wore suits and listened to jazz blew ALL the way ...

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" Ain't no destination. We just keep journeying." – Zahra Alabanza

Kinship care has been the method of choice when children are unable to reside with their biological parents. However, this is not always the best or DESIRED option, especially when children don’t know certain sides of their family and/or there is a perception that one’s family hasn’t shown up for them in times of need. This is the conundrum Zahra Alabanza found hers...

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"Your creation was the best I could be for you." - Qadriyyah S. Mabel-Dorothy

Listen, much like The South, African American birth mothers got something to say! Outcasts in their own right, Black women who choose adoption for their babies often live with shame, even when they believe their choice was the best they could do at the time. Following her divorce, Qadriyyah knew that she didn't want to have more children. God, however, ha...

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December 17, 2021 54 mins

"I know who I am, but I just want to know, where it actually started." - Sonia Morgan

Imagine finding a photo album that you’ve never seen before. The pictures are of you BUT the name on the book and photos is not your own. Hard to fathom, right? Our guest, Sonia Morgan lived this experience, and at age 27, her world is turned upside down when she confirms her lifelong feeling that “something’s not right.”

Sonia grew up in a loving...

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