Madonna and her adopted Malawian daughter at one of the Raising Malawi initiative's in 2010 in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Madonna and her adopted Malawian daughter at one of the Raising Malawi initiative's in 2010 in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Editor’s note: Lola Jaye, a native Londoner, is the author of three fiction books and one non-fiction. Jaye has also written for The Huffington Post and her novels have been published in various other languages, including Korean, German and Serbian. Her latest novel “Being Lara,” is about a young woman searching to connect with her Nigerian roots after she’s adopted by a British popstar.

By Lola Jaye, Special to CNN

(CNN) – The news that Charlize Theron adopted an African American baby has fired up a debate regularly stoked by the likes of A-listers Madonna, Angelina Jolie and Sandra Bullock. All have adopted transracially. And everyone has an opinion.

In the United States in 2010, black children left the care system at a rate of 24 percent, while white children left at a rate of 43 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In the UK, where I live, a black child is three times less likely to be adopted from care than a white child. And until recently, UK guidelines on adoption have made it difficult to adopt between races.

But the policy is changing after Michael Gove, the UK’s Education Secretary said it was “outrageous” to deny a child the chance of adoption because “of a misguided belief that race is more important than any other factor.” In the UK, a black child is three times less likely to be adopted from care than a white child.

Indeed, the American 1994 Multi-Ethnic Placement Act “affirms the prohibition against delaying or denying the placement of a child for adoption or foster care on the basis of race, color or national origin of the foster or adoptive parents or of the child involved.”

Read Lola Jaye’s full column