Adopting a child into the family comes with some interesting challenges, especially if the child is not the same race as you. That’s what one North Carolina family found out recently. Keia Jones-Baldwin, her husband Richardo Baldwin, and their three children are all black. The newborn they welcomed into the family is a white boy named Princeton.
Now, on multiple occasions, Jones-Baldwin has been accused of kidnapping the boy and questioned by police.
She told the story describing exactly what happened to TODAY Parents, and honestly, it’s pretty shocking that something like this still happens in 2019.
It all started back in July of 2017 when Jones-Baldwin got a call from the foster care program that the family participates in.
“My foster care supervisor called and said, ‘Is there any way you can go to the hospital and do skin-to-skin with a baby?'” said Jones-Baldwin.
Jones-Baldwin didn’t hesitate. Within minutes, the 36-year-old mom was out the door and on the way.
That was the first time she met Princeton.
The baby boy had been born prematurely to a drug-addicted mother, and at the time of delivery, Princeton weighed just one pound. He was incredibly small and vulnerable. That didn’t stop Jones-Baldwin from forming an immediate connection with the infant though.
“I bonded with him so quickly. I started going there every day,” said Jones-Baldwin.
What started as just a one time visit soon became a daily occurrence.
Ultimately, the family knew what they had to do — they decided to adopt the child.
As soon as Princeton was big enough to be released from the NICU, the Jones-Baldwins took Princeton home with them. That’s when the problems began.
“We get a lot of stares,” said Jones-Baldwin. “I’m frequently asked if I’m Princeton’s babysitter… I get, ‘Why didn’t you let him stay with a family of his own race?'”
The family has even had the police called on them because of the skin color difference.
Not once, but twice, people reported to officers that Jones-Baldwin had kidnapped the baby! The first time happened on a family trip.
“We were vacationing in Tennessee and we went to do an old time, Western photo shoot,” said Jones-Baldwin. “The girl behind the camera would disappear and then come back. Finally she asked, ‘Is that your baby?’ I told her he was. Then she said, ‘I just took a picture of this baby with his family two weeks ago.'”
It was a case of mistaken identity, but that didn’t make the situation any less disturbing. Once the police arrived, Jones-Baldwin was required to produce proof that the child was in her custody.
The second incident occurred when Jones-Baldwin got a flat tire outside a random person’s house.
She decided to knock on the door of the residence just to let them know what had happened and why she was stopped there.
“I knocked on his door to explain why I was on his grass,” she said. “He called the police and said I stole my car and the baby.”
It’s all part of the trials and tribulations of raising a child that looks different than them.
The family is under constant scrutiny from others. However, Jones-Baldwin says she tries to remain positive about everything. She even started her own Facebook Page, Raising Cultures, that aims to help break down racial barriers. On the site, Jones-Baldwin regularly shares various family photos as well as other interesting stories.
“I don’t look at family as blood. I look at family as love,” said Jones-Baldwin. “When Princeton came into our lives, he came into our hearts. Love conquers all.”
They are such an incredibly loving and generous family, and we can only hope that things improve for them as our culture continues to become more open and accepting in the future.
See more photos of the beautiful family below.
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