When a white couple found out about their infertility after years of trying to become parents, they decided to opt for adoption. In 2019, they adopted a black child, which immediately brought massive backlash their way.
Embracing parenthood is one of the most precious feelings a couple can ever experience. But for the couples who struggle in their journey to become parents, options such as adoption have made it easier to experience parental joy.
A married couple from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, thought their family would finally become whole after adopting a child. While they were over the moon after becoming parents, they weren’t prepared for the negative comments they received from people.
Steven and Ashley Evans wanted to have a child just like any other married couple. In fact, the lovely couple had plans to have four children of their own, and perhaps adopt one kid after that. Talking about the struggle, Steven said:
“We’d been trying to get pregnant for a long time, and all our best friends were getting pregnant whilst we weren’t. Every single month when we found out we weren’t pregnant was a struggle (sic).”
It was then that they decided to consider adoption, rather than going for procedures like IVF. Fortunately, their adoption process was quick, as they were ready to adopt in February 2019, and their adoptive child was born in November 2019.
The Evans were in the delivery room when their adoptive son, Abriel, was born. They opted for an open adoption so their child could stay in close contact with his birth family. But despite the love they gave him, their decision attracted sheer hate from people.
35-year-old Steven and 29-year-old Ashley, who go by the username @happilyevansafterr on TikTok, have been subject to negative feedback from people in real life and online for their decision to adopt a black child.
Many have even criticized their parenting skills, questioning how a white couple would ever be able to prepare a black kid for surviving discrimination and the struggles of life that black Americans are likely to face growing up.
Ashley, a licensed practical nurse, shared that initially, she replied to people’s negative remarks in a kind manner. Regardless, the backlash worsened with time, which made her and Steven change their approach. Ashley also shared:
“We acknowledge that not every (interracial) family is doing what’s right, but most families that adopt outside of their race are doing the best they can.”
The Evans revealed that they’re aware of how white people serve as default characters in everything, from Santa Claus in children’s stories to toys like baby dolls, and even prominent figures portrayed in the media.
However, they acknowledge that things won’t be easier for them or their son, and are ready to provide him with a loving and supportive environment. Addressing the backlash, Steven shared a TikTok video around Juneteenth of this year. He said:
“If it bothers you that much, then you go adopt a child; go change a child’s life. There are so many kids of all ages and races who need adopting.”
He further added that if someone is not willing to adopt a child, then they should reach out to people like him, show some love, and try to be there for them, rather than telling them they can’t do something.
Steven, who works as a realtor in Cedar Rapids, posted the video to silence all the people who told him and his wife that they’d never be able to raise a strong black man. Towards the end of the video, he said:
“Honestly, we’re trying our best. we’re giving him everything that we have. Being a father to him is seriously the best gift, the best thing that’s ever happened to me (sic).”
Talking to Indy100, Ashley shared that the love she and her husband have for their son transcends all boundaries, including skin color. She said they’re doing everything in their power to raise their son in the best way possible.
The viral TikTok video has garnered over 4.1 million likes so far, with several netizens leaving comments in support of the white couple. One user wrote: “Just raise him to be a strong man. Real love has no color.” A second user responded:
“That baby is perfectly content in your arms; he feels the love! The gift of unconditional love is irreplaceable.”
A third user said: “The color of your skin doesn’t matter, it’s the love for the child that matters.”
“But you deflected the question. How are you going to prepare him for adulthood as a black man?”
Ashley and Steven continue to receive both love and hatred from people online and in real life. Regardless, their incredible story is proof that true love isn’t rooted in skin color or any other limiting factors. It clearly transcends all barriers.