A fascinating article appeared in the Philadelphia newspaper over the weekend. There's been a program in the Keystone State for a number of years now that places the children of incarcerated mothers into foster homes. Occasionally, those children are African-American and the foster homes are Old Order Mennonite. And in a few cases the Old Order Mennonite families have gone on to adopt the children. Personally, I am aware of several instances of African-American children being adopted by Amish or Mennonite families. I also know of a couple of cases where children of other nationalities have been adopted by plain families (for instance, some Ukrainian children were adopted by an Amish family who actually flew to the former Soviet Union to bring them home). While these cases are rare, they do occur and the end result is often a successful assimilation and integration into Old Order Amish or Mennonite society. And in a culture that is very insular and lack of genetic diversity can lead to inherited health problems, these children can help mix things up in a healthy way among the plain population. Click here to read the Inquirer article.
About Kevin Williams
Hi, my name is Kevin Williams and I am owner of Oasis Newsfeatures and editor of The Amish Cook newspaper column.