July 13, 1999 A Place For Us/National Letter to President Clinton on the Multiethnic Placement Act
The President of the United States
William Jefferson Clinton
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Dear Mr. President:
Our organization “A Place For Us” National wants to publicly acknowledge and thank you for signing and passing the 1994 Transracial Adoption Act initiated by Senator Metzenbaum.
The National leaders of A Place For US/National have been on the front lines to support those families who have attempted to adopt a child and bring them up in a loving home, but were denied simply because the skin color is “White”. The ironic part of this situation is any White person was opposed by organizations such as “The National Association of Black Social Workers”. Yet that same organization was silent when Blacks adopted White children.
The families A Place For Us/National supported lost homes, school tuitions and much, much more, because they were fighting for their rights to adopt a child no matter the skin color, and were doing so in court. We have appeared at hearings to support the children and the prospective adoptive parents and have personally witnessed the inhumane treatment the Foster parents and the child being in the custody of the children’s services have received.
For the past three years we have been working on a program that would help us raise funds to help these families recoup the expenses they lost by prolonged court dates. We want you to also know about those “A Place For Us” National Leaders who put their lives on the line for these families.
Chief National Directors, Valerie Wilkins-Godbee of New York, and Rita Frazier (who has received the Martin Luther King Award and the Governor of Arkansas’s proclamation of a Racial Harmony Day”) of Little Rock, Arkansas, local Group Directors Marty Goddard of San Jacinto, CA (who was a victim before the signing of the 1994 Transracial Adoption act), Brad and Amy Russell, Texas Directors (who were recently featured in Parade Magazine), Founding Vice President Ruth Bryant White and of course myself who gave the initial approval of our action A Place For Us took.
We made sure some families were able to tell their stories by appearing on such national talk shows as Oprah, Sally Jesse Raphael and The Rolanda Show.
So although the fight is not completely over we want to thank you for KEEPING MORE children from becoming wards of the State, and making sure they have the opportunity to grow up in a loving home no matter the color of skin. We are looking for the day that we will be free of racial discrimination. We hope you had a Blessed 4th of of July, a true day of recognized Independence.
Steven A. White
“A Place For Us”/National
cc: Marty Goddard/Palm Springs Director
Valerie Wilkins-Godbee/Chief National Director – Peekskill, NY
Rita Frazier/Chief National Director – Little Rock, AR
Melvon Anderson/National Historian