Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The ethics of adoption

Yeah, right, like I'm going to cover that enormous and controversial topic in one blog post, even for someone as long-winded as I am. But I am going to touch on it. Unsurprisingly (at least for those of us who have been involved in adoption for any length of time), my article on homeschooling and adoption has been found by an anti-adoption advocate. Instead of engaging in the comment section of the article (I've never seen a 'comment war' turn out well), I'm going to respond here.

I will be the first to say that adoption is an imperfect solution to a significant problem in an imperfect world. Ideally every single child would be able to be raised by their biological family. But we all know this doesn't happen. For whatever reason, some children are relinquished or abandoned or are separated from their biological parents through death. They end up on the streets where they are prey to a whole host of social ills or they live in an orphanage without any permanency or a family to call their own.

(There are also children who lose their biological families through child trafficking which is a direct result of the money which adoption brings.  This is wrong. NO CHILD should ever be separated from biological roots because the parents or extended family were offered money and the promise of a 'better life'. These are not the orphans I am talking about. I am talking about children who have lost their family and literally have no one and will have no one even if a set of adoptive parents never shows up. Often these children have special medical needs. They are not young, healthy, and female. But then you've heard me rant about all that before. I just needed to clarify.)

It would be wonderful if tomorrow there were no orphans who needed families; if every child lived in their family of origin or even their culture of origin. But while that is a worthy goal, it is not happening tomorrow or even next week, and in the meantime there are children suffering while adults bicker about what is 'best' for them.

How could it possibly be 'best' for Selah Tweitmeyer to have died in an Ethiopian orphanage?



Or for little Katie, the little 9 year old girl who was the size of an infant, to be forgotten and neglected in an Eastern European orphanage because she has Down Syndrome?

Or how could the word 'best' even come close to describing the situation of the 14 year old girl who is in the same orphanage as Katie, who weighs FOURTEEN POUNDS? Please go to that link. The pictures will shock and sadden you, but there is hope and good news!  Adeye (who writes No Greater Joy Mom) and her family have committed to adopt this little girl who so desperately needs love and medical attention. They are having a fund-raiser with some amazing prizes. Go and help them bring this child home.

It is a sad fact that many orphans do not have the hope of a life in their country of origin. Physical deformities are often considered 'bad luck' and schools and places of employment will not accept a person with them. Medical care is not an option due to both lack of availability and finances. In reality, there are few options for these children.

It stinks to lose your birth parents. But it also stinks to remain neglected without any chance of permanency because the adults around you are bickering.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said!
Kim Crawford

Lucy said...

Mirah Ribens' comment struck me as the comment of someone who does not have the hope of heaven. In fact, that difference in perspective might be highlighted by the question I asked on one of your earlier posts, 'how many of the adoptive families were Christian', and you thought many likely were.

For Christians, this whole big planet is a foreign place. It matters not if it is China, America, or Nicaragua. None of it is our true culture, Heaven. Christian missionaries regularly uproot themselves and move to other "cultures" because it matters not where we are, but that we do the Lord's work.

I was thinking a while ago about my own children. If they were uprooted, adopted by strangers in a foreign country, what "culture" would I want them to have? And I could only come up with two - Love of Christ and love of Liberty. Two things which I believe every human should have, no matter where they are born or raised.

I don't have any adopted children, but I like to think if I did have a foreign born child, I would try to raise him with a hope that he might someday return to the land of his birth, fully equipped with the necessary cultural elements, Love of Christ and love of liberty, that would allow him to do the work of the Lord wherever he found himself to be.

I think all else could flow from the proper goal.

Sara said...

I think you have handled yourself with more grace and love while still firmly and clearly stating your (rightly-held) beliefs! I admire you for that! Thank you

Annie said...

Very well said Elizabeth!!!!!

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