Sunday, November 22, 2009

What's Wrong With Adoption? Is Christianity THE ANSWER?

A far right religious extremist website entitled "What's Wrong With the World" (a right wing religious extremist site) broached the subject of adoption.

Outraged, the author of this post, Lydia McGrew, an adoptee professes:

"...adoption results from fornication, when a child is conceived out of wedlock....[and poverty yada yada]...In a very great number of cases, adoption is far and away the best possible gift the child could be many, many cases not better for a mother--particularly an unwed mother--to keep her child rather than placing him for say that it would be "ideal for children to be raised within their native cultures" seems to me to be, by and large, not true..."

To adoptees Lydia says: "Balderdash. Don't spend your time in identity angst. Get a life instead. It may be perfectly legitimate to get to know your birth mother at some point and to find out things about yourself. You may profit from it. But keep the whole thing in balance and in perspective."

To transnational adoptees - many of whom according to Lydia "blow any such matters of identity out of proportion" she says:  "As Americans from infancy [major wrong assumption there], they should be instead encouraged in their original, spontaneous sense of themselves as full-fledged Americans, as much heirs of the American culture as any child born here originally. Assimilation in such cases can be complete and highly satisfactory," This of course is in direct opposition to the biblical lesson of Moses.

Bill Tingley agrees: "It should be obvious that an infant possesses no language, culture, or religion, and so loses nothing if his adoptive parents differ from his biological parents in that regard. The only thing he keeps is his racial identity, but then race is not destiny. In the scheme of things it is one of the least consequential differences among human beings."

Girl4708 responds:

Adoption in my country began as a Christian humanitarian effort. It was a good and noble thing. A decade after the war ended, however, the presence of adoption agencies in the face of post-war economic crisis lead to an epidemic of abandonment by overly large and hungry families hoping their children would have better lives - and often believing they would see their children again, as they didn't realize the permanent nature of adoption. Because the adoption agencies stayed, the government did not feel a need to help families in crisis and to this day there are almost no social services to adequately help its own people, despite being the 5th in ranking economically in the OECD. The majority of adoptions today are due to unwed pregnancies and, again, because unwed mothers get very little support and are socially stigmatized, the presence of adoption agencies becomes the default way in which the mothers are "helped."

Is this still the Christian thing to do? Jesus fed the multitudes. He didn't take a couple of them and take them with him to a better land. He cared for ALL of the people who were suffering. He shared. He cared for all of his people, and not just the infants that could fill the arms of those in another nation.
When Joseph and Mary stopped at the Inn, did the Innkeeper say to Mary - I'm sorry, that baby is illegitimate. You can't stay here. In fact, give me your baby and I will make him legitimate by giving him to someone in better circumstance than you. No. The innkeeper helped them out. The unwed mother is still one of God's children, too.

The Christian thing to do is to help people help themselves. The Christian thing to do is not to exploit those in dire circumstances, but to give them a hand and show them a better way. Adoption is the easy and self-serving way for those who are privileged. But adoption leaves a huge hole in the hearts of those who no longer have their children. It is the adoptive parent's joy, and the original parent's tragedy.

Is this really what Jesus wants? Really? Why don't those of you with so much instead donate to social programs which preserve families or prevent pregnancies in these other countries? Why don't you instead offer small loans to families in crisis, or sponsor individual children so they may lead a life without basic needs? Is it really necessary to remove the child from all they've known since birth? Is it right to introduce more trauma into their lives?

Expatriate Ibn Zayd says:

...adoption is a violence, based in inequality; it is candy-coated to make it seem about family and children, but it is an economic and political crime, a treating of symptoms and not of disease; it is a negation of families and an annihilation of communities that are not seen as having an intrinsic human value equal to that of those adopting, for reasons having to do with race, with class, and with a preconceived notion of what makes for a "valid" life in this world.

For those who are vocal concerning adoption and what it truly represents, it is problematic to frame the debate as if it is equal, two sides of equal position. It is not. You have a dominant discourse of a certain class of society (as revealed here), its adoption industry, its media, its legal system, its medical system, and its ability to stifle debate on the subject on one side. You have those who resist this on the other.

To posit this as a CNN-like debate, 50-50 and equal time is inherently invalid. The amount of time due to those who have remained silent for too long--mothers whose babies have been taken from them, the adopted who had no say in the matter, the communities missing their most vulnerable members--is therefore infinite. If the debate were one-sided for the next thousand years this might only start to equalize what has been one-sided for far too long. 
May I just ask, what kind of twisted concept is this "fully Americanized?" This is a fantasy; a myth. I'm not sure how old you are, but I can remember very clearly growing up and every state had its own culture; Northern New Jersey for example was very different from Southern New Jersey, as were rurally raised children from those raised in an urban environment. This posited concept then of what makes an "American", which immigrants have to assume, along with your reference to a "Tenth Crusade", are borderline Nazism, except that you pretend to welcome those from the outside when all the while you desire to destroy any and all cultures seen as "Other", as "Outsider". Which America, history shows, is exceedingly skilled at.
 And van Wijk adds:

An adopted Chinese boy or girl can have the most loving, dedicated, and colorblind parents in the world, and it simply won't matter all that much. His difference, his Otherness, will be staring back at him in the mirror every day of his life. The "all you need is love" attitude will not keep him afloat when he goes out into the world. A very few will grow up as Lydia hopes, but these will not be in the majority. Many will wander the wilderness for years in search of their identities; where will they find it if not in one of the minority grievance lobbies currently Balkanizing the West?

Some traditionalists believe that modern Christianity is incompatible with Western survival. Given the content (and tone) of some of the comments here, I wonder if there isn't a kernel of truth to that idea.

The entire post and all comments are available at this link. However, as noted, you can no longer comment there apparently - or at least I cannot. 

So...I suggest we continue the discussion HERE!

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mahatma Gandhi


Anonymous said...

wow...THIS ADDRESSES SO MUCH, i DON'T KNOW WHERE TO DIG IN. One small point, maybe!...

I haven't gone to the links...only looking at what you have provided here...It's enough!

The first thing that came to mind was Jesus' Brother James' discourse. It seems that he wrote the book of James, as we call it now, to address so many ways the teachings of his brother were already, a few years after his crucifixion, being changed. He especially took issue with the privileged people, as a matter of fact, who wanted to have this world's cake, and eat eternity too. Fits in this discussion pretty well. Privileged people assume entitlement. That is NOT a Christ like sentiment!!!

One famous verse is that James said that True Religion was to: " Minister to widows and orphans in their distress" .

I thought, having grown up in the Christian Church, which is rife with ( what turns out to be based in Aristotle's view of the world much more than Jesus') polemic dualism, that you could choose...widows, or orphans. But James says " Widows AND orphans" . This reflects much of the Hebrew teachings that told people to care for the fatherless. Note: Not motherless.

I have to admit, I came to Guatemala 13 years ago, to focus on Orphan care. I quickly saw, as Wendy Berger, the 1st Lady of Guatemala said, that "every orphan has a mother" and spoke to the Orphan People about creating villages, where widows and abandoned wives could live with their children, and maybe have small business enterprises. The usual reply was that it won't work, because the women always create problems. The meaning was clear: The children are compliant and easy to control. But if you have grown women...that will never work. [ especially if you come at it from a hierarchical, male perspective, possibly]

So we built Children's homes. And raised a generation of sociopaths. Even though these children were "abandoned" by their mother, they never stopped wishing for her, and thinking of her, and wanting her.

And some of these children were adopted. And their adoptive parents had them evaluated, and manipulated, because they evidenced "RAD". I think the shrinks call it Reactive Associative Disorder. But I think it should be called " Reasonable Associative Disorder" as the behavior these children show seems really reasonable to me. They have been detached from the most fundamental relationship a human being can have.

Let me end with another verse from the Bible. Hopefully my non-church friends can give me a little grace, because I promise, i have never heard this interpretation from any pulpit. It will not be the normal "Christian" focus point.

Ps 27:10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

What the Psalmist is saying here, is that when the fundamental relationship...the strongest bond in earth...fails...even then, God will not. He is using the terms to present the strongest human bond there is.

The point here is that so often, women in developing countries do not want to give up their child...but are convinced they have no other choice.

OK One more...see how God considers the mother's role...he uses it to define his infinite love.

Isa 66:13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.



Anonymous said...

wait! I just went to look at the blog...while the woman who wrote the adoption piece is overly polemic, and uses extreme words to suggest that ANYONE suggests that a woman who gave birth in a crisis situation will live herself, mich less give her baby the best of all possible worklds...whatever that means...and so has created a straw [wo]man out of a owunded, abused, and often manipulated mother.....

Still a fellow Blogger defended Bob Dylan. The blog can't be all bad!!

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

Who Am I?

Bitter Winds

Adoption and Truth Video

Adoption Truth

Birthparents Never Forget