In the News

Amy Coney Barrett Should be Judged on Her Credentials. Leave Her Kids Alone

October 21, 2020

By Michael and Kelle Berry

As the adoptive parents of a daughter born in China, our hearts break for Judge Amy Coney Barrett and her family. The left’s attacks on her for adopting two children from Haiti are repulsive and wrong.

Before President Trump had even formally announced his intent to nominate Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States, the knives were out.

The left’s political hit mob did not argue with Judge Barrett’s judicial record—perhaps because her record is unassailable.  Rather, the left accuses Judge Barrett of racism and “white colonialism” for adopting two “trans-racial” children from Haiti.

Such attacks might score political points, but they reveal a stunning callousness towards one of the world’s most vulnerable populations. Some 17.8 million children worldwide have no living parents. Another 153 million children have only one parent alive.  And those numbers do not include the millions of children living on the streets, abandoned by their parents, and fending for themselves while invisible to the world. By meeting such a staggering need, perhaps the Barrett family should be commended, not vilified.

Our own adoption story shares some similarities with Judge Barrett’s.  Like the Barretts, we already had several beautiful, biological children of our own, and we lived what we thought was a pretty comfortable life.

But, like the Barretts, our faith motivated us to step outside our comfort zone and add to our family.  Ten years ago, after much prayer and deliberation, we began the long, difficult process of adopting a girl with special needs from China.

Adopting internationally is not for the faint of heart. Our adoption story opened our eyes to a world about which we knew little: ambassadors, consulates, and even the Hague Convention.

Adoption is also expensive. The average cost of adoption can range from just over $2,000 domestically to over $40,000 for an international adoption.

The Barrett family undoubtedly overcame similar obstacles. That’s what makes the attacks on her for adopting all the more sickening. We can empathize with Judge Barrett.

Shortly after we began our adoption, a woman chastised us for adopting a Chinese child instead of a Black child.

Another person warned us that adopting would “ruin” our family.

We were shocked and hurt. Like most adoptive parents, that the color of our children’s’ skin is different from our own is irrelevant. Family is family.  We chose to adopt our daughter because we understood that a Chinese girl with disabilities had the lowest likelihood of being adopted.

Adoption is an act of love, but one demanding great sacrifice in order to care for some of the world’s most vulnerable. Adoption and raising adopted children can be challenging and painful. Many would-be adoptive parents are intimidated by seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

That is what makes the accusations lobbed against Judge Barrett so infuriating. Accusations of racism and colonialism only further dissuade couples from adoption, perpetuating the cycle of poverty and despair.

That would be tragic enough. But, employing the fact that Judge Barrett adopted two children with a darker skin color as political rhetoric in an attempt to derail her confirmation is not only morally wrong, it also violates the principles enshrined in the Constitution.

At its core, the left’s real problem with Judge Barrett is not that she adopted, but that she is an authentic Christian who dares put her Catholic faith into practice.

Criticizing her adoptions is just another attempt to impose the religious test for office that Article VI of the Constitution forbids.

Frankly, the fact that this is even a point of discussion should disturb all Americans.  Just as it was inappropriate for the New York Times to investigate Chief Justice John Roberts and his adoption of two children during his confirmation process, it is no outsider’s business to scrutinize the Barrett family for their adoption decisions.

Those who have made adoption central to Judge Barrett’s qualification for office have no right to make her children political fodder for the confirmation process.  The Barrett children—biological and adopted—must remain off-limits.

And yet, our family understands all too well that adoptive parents of trans-racial children are often guilty until proven innocent.  Perhaps that is the political calculus of the ideological left.  If it is, they should be ashamed.

The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspired a generation of young women by her example.  She is rightly remembered as one who dedicated her career to defending some of society’s most vulnerable.  As one who dedicated her life to caring for the vulnerable, Judge Barrett is a most fitting successor to Justice Ginsburg.

Note: This article was first published on Fox News and is re-published here with permission. The article presents the main points of an op-ed published in Fox News. This work was authored co-authored by Micheal and Kelly Berry. The full article can be found on the Fox News website, here.

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