Wednesday, May 7, 2014

It's National Adoption Month: 25 Things Adoption Teaches Me About Life, Love & Family

[Originally published on May 7, 2013 under the title of "25 Things Adoption Teaches Me About Life, Love & Family." Republished to support the #FlipTheScript campaign during National Adoption Month.]

  1. If you really love someone you will give them away to complete strangers.
  2. It is more selfless, courageous, moral, and loving to give your child away than it is to keep and raise your child, particularly if you are young, uneducated, and/or poor.
  3. Possessing love and the desire to raise your children is not enough to be worthy to parent, rather you must ultimately be wealthy, affluent, and educated.
  4. Poverty, death of a parent, and/or medical issues within a family demand that the custody of these children be relinquished by their families so that the children can remain in an orphanage until a wealthier, more well-suited family comes along to care for them.
  5. The ends justify the means, especially in the exchange of children.
  6. Profound loss and grief are negligible and compensated for by the fact that others can look at your life and conclude that enough good things have happened since then to ignore any tragedy or trauma.
  7. Losing ones' original family, culture, people, nation, language are inconsequential when you are transplanted to a wealthy, foreign family and given the opportunities to become a productive, educated member of society.
  8. You are ungrateful, disloyal, and selfish for wanting to seek out and maintain relations with your origins--that is, ONLY if you were initially separated from your origins due to dire and/or difficult circumstances and subsequently taken in by strangers. Otherwise, you have every natural right to want to know from where you came.
  9. Experiencing profound loss as an infant has zero to little impact on an individual (unless you're the actual individual who experienced the loss as an infant). Experiencing the loss of your child as a result of giving your child away to strangers is easily forgotten and left behind (at least in theory in some make-believe fantasy land). Receiving a child to be your own from a woman who has relinquished her child is your God-given right and destiny (unless it's actually not).
  10. Spending nine months in your mother's womb can be generally dismissed, because it does not result in any significant bonding or connection between the mother and child.
  11. Mothers, fathers, families are disposable and replaceable (because love is all that matters--that is, unless you are the birth mother, birth father, birth family--refer back to #3).
  12. Race and ethnicity do not matter, because the idea of colorblindness (an idea conjured up by White folks, nonetheless) solves all issues related to racism and bigotry.
  13. Mothers and fathers do not deserve the same compassion, assistance, or opportunities as their children do, because they are adults and anything bad that has happened is their fault and they deserve it.
  14. Because some parents will choose not to parent no matter what options they are given, it must be assumed that almost all parents who give up their children do so because they did not or do not wish to be a parent to their children. Hence, either way, it follows that they do not deserve to have any ongoing connection to their children.
  15. It is impossible for children to have more than one set of primary guardians or parents, specifically in the case in which biological parents allow strangers to raise their children. The strangers must be given sole custody, and all ties with the biological parents must be legally severed. Biological parents who later (even if "later" is the day the child is born) decide they want to be a part of their children's lives are deemed selfish and unstable. 
  16. The only answer to family tragedy and poverty, if you happen to have been born in a developing country is to place your children in an orphanage, because although others are willing to take your children, no one is willing to actually help empower you with the resources and support you need to overcome, even though you would prefer that to the option of leaving your child at an orphanage to potentially be taken by strangers, often without your full understanding or knowledge.
  17. The rich are entitled to and deserve the children of poor nations. More specifically, the suffering of the poor serves the higher, more noble purpose of supplying the affluent with the children they need and deserve to grow and diversify their families. This provides the opportunity for immoral heathens to redeem themselves into selfless heroes, as long as they ultimately disappear into compliance and silence.
  18. Good intentions, religious faith, and/or ignorance absolve anyone of wrongdoing or questionable ethics, again specifically, in the exchange of children.
  19. Willful ignorance is an acceptable and desirable coping mechanism when faced with the facts that the way in which you received your children has been riddled with and continues to result in trafficking, corruption, and unethical and coercive practices.
  20. The best use of $20,000-$60,000 is not to empower and help a myriad of families in developing countries to keep and raise their children, but rather to transplant these children into a foreign family in a foreign country, where they can be educated properly and ultimately make more money for the foreign family and the foreign country rather than doing so for the original family and country.
  21. If you tell yourself enough times that unethical practices are probably more anomalous and exaggerated than these "extremist reformists" blather on and on about, then it will somehow all go away and won't get worse each year, despite the fact that it's not going away and it gets worse each year. And of course, this willful ignorance (see #19 again) does not result in the perpetuation of unethical practices, and hence relieves you of any shred of culpability.
  22. When unethical practices lead a nation to shut down, it's obviously purely political. Rather than try to learn any long-term lessons or enact any serious reform, we instead realize that we can always move to another country and conduct our practices in exactly the same way until that country shuts down and the cycle repeats itself.
  23. Orphanages seem to make more sense and receive more support than family centers or other domestic alternative care solutions, even though "institutional care is more expensive per child than other forms of alternative care," and alternative care solutions are more sustainable, productive, and economically efficient long-term not only for the families but for the communities and nations as a whole. (Also, it doesn't matter that the "143 million orphans" statistic is grossly misunderstood and manipulated to oversimplify a very complex issue. Who cares about the truth, right?)
  24. Everything in life must be either absolute good or absolute bad--they certainly cannot be both. And they certainly cannot be more complicated. 
  25. We are only allowed to discuss the good in life. Otherwise, any form of critical thinking resulting in conclusions like those expressed above are treated as equivalent to speaking heresy and blasphemy, perhaps even lunacy, among those who call themselves Christians.