An adoptive mother of a Chinese girl writes in part:Is she kidding?
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.
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: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27643190/
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!