A Sacramento Police Chief who got adopted when he was 3 months old has claimed it saved his life.
Daniel Hahn’s birth mother was white and his father was African-American. Shunned by his maternal family for his identity, Hahn was given up and adopted by Mary Hahn and her husband.
During November’s National Adoption Month, Hahn—who happens to be Sacramento’s first African-American police chief—made his personal story public in the hopes of inspiring others to support kids in foster care and champion for adoption.
“My life is an example of what we can be as a society,” Hahn told ABC 10, “being put up for adoption at birth and being adopted by my mom, and all the things that my mom and the community have done for me.”
Hanh shared a little insight on his adoptive parents beginning with his mom.
“She is the most unlikely person to adopt a Black child,” he marveled. “She grew up on a small farm in Minnesota. She didn’t see a Black person until she was older, yet she lived in Oak Park and was there for everybody.”
Meanwhile, Hanh’s father, he told KCRA 3, grew up in a small town in Nebraska that wasn’t diverse, and yet they ended up adopting him.
Hahn’s adoptive father died when Hahn was just 5 years old; the boy, and Mary’s two biological children, were henceforth raised by their mother. Hahn claimed that Mary had been discouraged from adopting a Black child, but his mother was steadfast in her decision to welcome him into her family.
“When I got adopted in the late ’60s, people like me typically didn’t get adopted, so the chances are I would have bounced around,” the police chief and a father of two said.
He further stressed that kids don’t need parents of the same race but simply a loving home and family.
The outlook for children who spend more than five years in foster care is troubling. According to the Juvenile Law Center, around 90 percent of these minors will offend and enter the justice system, with a high likelihood of going to jail.
But while kids “age out” of foster care at 18, Hahn maintains that you don’t “age out” of a family. His story testifies both to the power of adoption and to the possibility of traversing racial boundaries.
“That’s why I know we can get where we need to be,” he said.
On the anniversary of his adoption, Hahn posted a tribute to his late parents on Twitter. Mary passed away in 2018.
“On this date 50+ years ago my mom & dad saved my life by adopting me and giving me a family,” he posted. “I am extremely grateful for all of those people who have enough love to give by adopting a child and giving them a family.”
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