Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Anti-Adoption and PROUD OF IT!

I have shunned the label anti-adoption...and probably still will under most circumstances, for diplomacy purposes.

But the very word "adoption" says a great deal. It is a verb; an action: meaning to take. Adopt does not mean care for or means only to take. Unabridged (v 1.1): choose or take as one's own; make one's own by selection or assent: to adopt a nickname. take and rear (the child of other parents) as one's own child, specifically by a formal legal act. take or receive into any kind of new relationship: to adopt a person as a protégé.

Take. Take. Take.

American Heritage Dictionary:
  1. To take into one's family through legal means and raise as one's own child.
    1. To take and follow (a course of action, for example) by choice or assent: adopt a new technique.
    2. To take up and make one's own: adopt a new idea.
  2. To take on or assume: adopted an air of importance.
Take. Take. take.

Where is the commitment? The permanence? Where is the care?

Where is there any recognition of the human being "taken" - and taken from whom or what?? Doesn't matter. Just TAKE. TAKE. TAKE.

So why is it then that some defend the process, believing it to be "imperfect, but the best we've got" or that it can be "reformed." Why do some defend the very word against not only more humane practices but alternative names for such alternative means of providing open and honest child care?

Why would we want to continue to use a term that speaks only of the taking and making another human being one's "own"?

What is so frightening about permanent legal guardianship for children who have no extended family who are able or willing to care for them? What is horrifying about not issuing a falsified birth certificate and beginning a child's life on a foundation of lies? Why are some perplexed at the the idea of family members having multiple surnames as so many families do today for a variety of causes such as divorce and remarriage, not to mention first marriages in which women do not change their names.

Let's look at women making that choice in marriage. First, they are adults making a CHOICE - not having it made for them. Secondly, why did the practice of not taking one's husband's name come about in recent decades? Simple. Women decided they refused to be "owned" as property! That is what renaming is about. Yet some insist on continuing the practice of human ownership of other humans.

Yes, I'm talking about children. Children have no rights, rights? Well, sorta true. They have right to know their name and the parents -- in coutries that abide by the Convention of the Rights of the Child. And even in the US, children over 12 are old enough to state a residential custodial choice in divorce. Seems simple enough to enact a name change for a child even as young as kindergarten age who really wants it.

Personally, I would much prefer a word that indicated - and a process committed to - finding a homes for children; or entrusting others with the care of some one else's kids. Not a word that only meant to take, take, take...

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