"We salute your courage and your sacrifice."
This is a line from movie, The Hunger Games. It is said at the opening ceremony to and about CHILDREN, ages 12 - 18, who have been selected to fight to the death for entertainment! It is as hollow and ironic a phrase as the oft-used: "May the odds be on your side" when you are in a 24-1 fight for your life.
Only one of the 24 selected each year for many years has "volunteered" and did so to save her sister, not out of bravado or heroism or a desire for glory or accolades.
The rest were selected. Chosen. They had no choice.
What is brave or courageous, or noble about that? Nothing! They are simply the poor and oppressed being exploited by the wealthy without any choice whatsoever. They are no more courageous than a man walking to the electric chair.
Just like there is never anything noble or charitable, or admirable about any mother loosing her child to adoption. No, mothers who relinquish are not to be applauded or admired for not aborting, thank you very much. Any such sanctimonious comments rely on the extremely offenisve and totally incorrect assumption that women who relinquish ever considered abortion or are any more likely to abort than any other woman living where the option exists - married or not!
And no mother is not giving her child as a"gift" any more than the young people of The Hunger Games are giving their lives as a gift to those entertained by their "Survival" meets "Lord of the Flies" youth and helplessness.
Loosing a child to adoption is about loosing. The papers that get signed are legally called a surrender (or relinquishment) of rights because is an act of surrender. Waving the white flag. Giving up and giving in; CAVING to pressure. Note that many have always and still do refer to it as "giving up" a child for adoption, despite the newspeak pro-adoptionists who want us to believe it is "making an adoption plan" as if any woman wakes up one morning and says: "I think I'll get pregnant, carry a child for nine months and give it away (which would be making a plan), and not even get paid for my troubles, like a surrogate! Just give it away to a "deserving" couple. Yeah, that's the ticket. That's my "plan."
Having mentioned the "S" word - is surrogacy courageous or a sacrifice? Is it noble or altruistic? Not commercialized surrogacy. Done between family or close friends, that's altruistic. Stupid, but altruistic on the part of the person willing to risk her life -- not to save another's life as she would be if she were donating a kidney or part of her liver -- but to help a friend or family member have a child that is blood related to them.
(Parenthetically, the insistence on that blood/genetic tie on one hand and the willingness and ability to accept - or even seek out - a totally anonymous donor for the other half of your child's gene pool is a conundrum that simply leaves my head spinning..but back to the subject at hand...)
Surrogacy, is anything but courageous or noble. It is the height of selfishness when you consider the children in foster care who could benefit but are instead being ignored by those hiring surrogates to do their baby-making for them and create customized, designer babies in their likeness, they hope. These are self-indulgent, egotistical people who would clone themselves if they could, as they clone their dogs!
I would be remiss to not mention that the act of adoptING is also not one of courage or sacrifice most especially not adopting a child after years of infertility treatments, or choosing an IA over a child from foster care. And, despite the fact that the public bows to them. Enlightened adoptive parent friends and colleagues tell me how they hate it when people compliment for being somehow "saintly" or brave or heroic for adopting.
So, let the games begin...Oh, yes, that's right...they have begun and they and have not yet been stopped as being insane and immoral and inhumane. All we do instead, like the Alice-in Wonderland meets Lady Gaga upper-crust characters in The Hunger Games is create newspeak to make it all SOUND courageous and sacrificial - noble, good, and as if it is a "planned" "choice"! Like calling nuclear warheads, peacemakers.
Courageous sacrifices are made by those of us who dare to speak out against atrocities, not those who are victimized by or gain from them.
"....replace the voice that only whispers about your pain and loss with a strong and unwavering one, and be prepared to tell your story with courage and conviction, to add your voice to all the others, never to be silenced again." Pemina Yellow Bird (2000)
"I never gave then hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell." Harry S. Truman