A mother posted a video of a stranger asking her, a Black woman, how she knows her adopted son, who is white.
Keia Jones-Baldwin’s (@raisingcultures) TikTok account is focused on her family, which includes adopted and foster children. She posted the video of the interaction with a nosy stranger on April 14. In the TikTok, a stranger asks @raisingcultures, “How do you know him?” referring to her son. The TikToker tells the stranger that she’s not his teacher or babysitter; she’s his mom.
In the overlay text of the video, Jones-Baldwin detailed the issues she felt were inherent in her interaction with the stranger captured on video: “She made a big deal in font of him,” she wrote. “She made a face like she didn’t believe [me] … she only said something because of the difference in skin color.”
“Alot of people act like these interactions are okay, they are not,” Jones-Baldwin continued in the video’s overlay text. “This can be very traumatizing.”
In the video’s caption, Jones-Baldwin wrote that she tries to “avoid” such interactions with strangers. The TikTok has over 3.7 million views.
@raisingcultures These are the types of interactions we desire to avoid 😭🤦🏾♀️ #adoption #transracialadoption #brownmomtok ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey
In a follow-up video, Jones-Baldwin responded to a comment about the utility of strangers asking her how she knows her son to ensure that she is not kidnapping him.
“These conversations should not happen if it’s solely based on the color of one’s skin,” the TikToker says. “That’s racist.” She also says that questions about how she knows her son make her feel like people believe her family is invalid.
In a second follow-up TikTok, Jones-Baldwin addressed comment asking why she responded to the stranger in her original video. The TikToker said when she has ignored similar questions in the past, people have called the police called on her and have tried to take her son away from her.
“When I don’t respond it seems as if it escalates,” Jones-Baldwin says. “So I try to de-escalate the situation as much as possible.”
Many comments on Jones-Baldwins’ viral video condemned the stranger who asked her how she knew her son.
“I am adopted and it took me my whole life to get over interactions like this,” @thebasswind commented. “Mind your own business unless the child looks in danger.”
“I would never ask something like that,” @donnahoward93 wrote. “It’s no one’s business!!”
“This makes me so upset because these people need to realize they’re saying this in front of your child and it’s not OK,” @misstessie commented.
In an email to the Daily Dot, Jones-Baldwin said that “adoptees don’t want to be confronted because they look different from their families while out in public enjoying what is supposed to be family time.”
“Families don’t always share DNA and for people to assume that adoptees are not a part of their families solely based on skin color is hurtful,” she added.
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