Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Worst Reaction to the Hansen Adoption Give-Back Award

Since no one has come out and unequivocally supported what Torry Hansen did - including how she did it - this blog post, so far, rates as the worst.

No GIve Backs in Adoption -- and Why Are Adoptive Families Second-Class? Ask PunditMom

An adoptive mother of a Chinese girl writes in part:
For me there are two issues in the story about Artyem Hansen-- (1) the lack of understanding and preparation that many people have about potential issues that children who have been institutionalized can present with, and (2) how the media covers adoption-related stories, in many instances implying in their choice of words and story selection that somehow parents who decide to adopt are more suspect in their desires and motivations than those who choose to (or are able to) have children the “old-fashioned” way. If that wasn't the case, would we have such an odd fascination with the celebrity adoption stories of Madonna and Angelina Jolie?

But another important issue is the way the media cover stories like this. Child abandonment and neglect unfortunately happens every day in this country, but we rarely, unless there is a death, hear about those stories. Why not?
This story is getting attention because it involves adoption -- an instance where a woman who had waited for years to have a child apparently turned her back on the one she was given. And the media love to sensationalize stories about adoptive families. I don’t have the energy to get up on this soapbox for too long again, but it’s just a fact — when children are hurt or neglected or abandoned by biological parents. But make that family an adoptive family, and that changes the whole calculus of its purported newsworthiness because people still like to stare at families like mine, both in real life and on cable news....Clearly, there is no excuse for what the Hansen family apparently did after making Artyem a part of their family. But if the media is going to focus on stories about child abandonment and neglect, let's focus on all families, not just families by adoption.
Is she kidding?

My reply/comment:

It's hard to know where to start to point out how many ways your post is off target and your priorities skewed.

Angelina Jolie is a phenom because she CAN and DOES have biological children and adopts IN EXCESS and because she is a public figure and so everything she does - gaining pound, losing a pound, fighting with Brad Pitt - all "news" while the same is not true of you and I. DUH.

The Hansen case is INTERNATIONAL news because of the shocking WAY in which she abandoned her child and that it caused international repercussions: an adoption freeze.

But far more importantly is your lack of understanding that - yes - a higher standard is expected of those who go out of their way to be parents and who take responsibility for children who have already experienced at least one abandonment. Adopters do not acquire their children by chance! they go to great lengths, is, yes DUH! It is far more shocking when one behaves like this and shirks the responsibility that have taken on then someone who has an UNPLANNED child.

If you don't get that, something is really wrong with you.

AND - BTW - when biological parents were dumping teens after Nebraska created a no-age limit Safe Haven - that too made headlines! In case you missed them, or simply forgot because it didn't involve adoption:

The media is overly kind to adoption and adoptive parents, and to those trying to adopt...with their broken hart now that Russia has put a freeze on (again), and when it happened in Guatemala. So, really: GET OVER YOURSELF!


Von said...

The big scandal that has been brought to light by this case in the inhumane treatment of this young traumatised boy is really the adoption industry, it's lack of proper assessment and preparation of adopters, it's presentation of unrealistic goals,it's huge profiteering and it's insatiable consumption of other people's children.
Any abuse of children receives publicity, in the case of adopters who have paid large sums of money for children and pledged to be a 'forever family' their lack of preparation and skill as parents shows up particularly.They have often been conned by the industry, as have the mothers of adoptees,and have often been coerced into adoption by church groups and the urge to do good.There are many factors at work here and getting emotional and loosing perspective does not help adoptees already traumatised.

Anonymous said...

That one's pretty bad but this one is the worst:

Mirah said...

I would like to add that a concern I DO share with more sensitive and less self-absorbed adoption parets have raised: the concern that adopted children will hear stories like this and have increased fears of abandonment.

At a conference just yesterday, an adoptive mothers told of her FOUR YEAR OLD asking if she will be given away again! That is heart-breaking.

PunditMom said...

And like you, I think your comments are pretty bad. Plenty of cases of child abuse and neglect go unreported every day -- children who are born to biological families.

We are thrilled to have our daughter and I will continue to speak out against people and the media who expect a different standard of behavior and parenting from adoptive families. When we live in a society where people become equally outraged at the horrible and shocking treatment by bio parents, then we can stop having this discussion.

Mirah Riben said...

Absolutely! Natural abuse their children. That is one of the reasons children are placed into adoptive homes - because they are supposed to be the safety net! The go-to resource for abused children.

Mothers like myself who "voluntarily" relinquished were PROMISED our children would be "better off" adopted. We were PROMISED they were going to the best home possible. QWe were told it was unselfish and loving to let them go because others could care for them BETTER than we could and were more DESERVING.

So, I am really sorry if you disagree or don't like the FACT that there is an expectation for adoptive parents that is above and beyond people who can have children by accident - "unwanted" children, when adopters invest many years and lots of money and go out of their way and are then ENTRUSTED with ANOTHER's child to PROTECT...

But I sure do!!

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