Monthly Archives: May 2012

Adoption Corruption? We Don’t Care.

A quickie post cribbed from a blog comment because my back is still giving me Hades.

Why do articles about adoption corruption always start by introducing us to a happy family who may have or did benefit from the corruption? It’s impossible for most people to take adoption corruption seriously in the first place–if you doubt me, read the article comments. Seeing photos of smiling babies and then being told about corruption is just the article arguing against itself, and a none-too-subtle suggestion that nothing really need be done.

In fact, it seems to me that whenever *any* change to adoption is mentioned, people panic, sure that even good changes (open adoptions, open records, etc.) will result in fewer adoptions…by which they mean fewer children for families who want them. But adoption was supposed to be about families for children who need them.

Of course no child deserves to be starved (of food or love), but is a home in the US (or France) really the best solution for every hungry child? And why doesn’t the US (judging by our foreign policy, anyway) care about starving adults? Maybe because they’re not cute and we aren’t allowed to/don’t want to take them home?

International adoption is not philanthropy, and it never will be. It’s a purchase.

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Filed under Adopted And Happy!, Colonialism ROCKS!, General Ignoramitude, Stop Saying That

Red Herrings, Derailing, Loki, and…Kittens?

or, How We Argue When We Argue About Adoption.

There’s a bit of a dust-up going on at the Psychology Today website about That Line in The Avengers and adoption stigma. It’s interesting because a spiky urchin could predict some of the arguments being made in the *comments. The things being said are predictable not only because they have been said to adoptees over and over again, but also because they have been said to every disenfranchised group imaginable, over and over again.

For purposes of argument, let’s pretend society has decided that the best way to deal with, say, kittens nobody wants is to kill them by smacking them with a mallet. Let us further pretend that we have dealt with such kittens this way for several decades now, and that a noisy minority has of late become uncomfortable with this particular solution to The Kitten Problem. (Is that a fair way to characterize adoption? Of course not. It just works as an illustration.)

I think the conversation might go something like this:

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Q: Don’t like mallets? Well, what do you propose we do with all those kittens?

A: I don’t know. It’s a complicated question. Maybe it has no one right answer. I, a single cat, am almost certainly not qualified to answer it for all kittens and all cats. It’s true there are an awful lot of kittens being born out there who aren’t being properly looked after. It is still cruel to smack kittens with mallets.

Q: But things are so much better for kittens now! We used to burn them alive! Why don’t you talk about that instead?

A: Because the subject is hitting kittens with mallets, which continues to happen and continues to be wrong.

Q: The fact that your kitten bit the children is no reason to stop other people from taking in a kitten and raising it with love, is it? (aka the “bad adoption experience” argument.)

A: I do not own a kitten. My imaginary kitten has bitten no one. OR: My kitten, regardless of whether or not it ever bit anyone, has/n’t grown into a fine young cat in part because no one ever smacked it with a mallet/despite the fact someone smacked it with a mallet.  Whatever the case may be, the fact is I have no power to prevent you from taking in a kitten and treating it however you choose to treat it. Whatever the case may be, the subject of this argument is not cat bites, but mallets.

Q: If you really cared about kittens, you’d be giving half your income to the ASPCA and volunteering at your local shelter instead of complaining about mallets!

A: You have no way of knowing whether or not I am doing those things. My doing or not doing those things in no way affects my free speech rights. Nor does my doing or not doing those things change the fact that people are out there smacking kittens with mallets and thinking that’s OK because it is accepted practice. Indeed, if nobody complains, society will never stop smacking kittens with mallets, encouraging people to smack kittens with mallets because it’s considered an act of love, and claiming that it is in the best interest of kittens to be smacked with mallets.

Q: ZOMG I LOVE MY KITTEN! I have NEVER harmed it in any way. HOW DARE YOU suggest I would abuse my kitten?  You are MEAN! (aka the “I’m one of the good ones!” argument)

A: I didn’t say you had. I said a lot of people seem to think it’s OK to smack kittens with mallets, which is (for purposes of this illustration) true and somewhat understandable. But if this post is not about you, it’s not about you, and the same goes for all of my posts.

Q: Look, I’m not a kitten, but I got hit with a mallet playing Whack-A-Mole once. Doesn’t that prove I know what I’m talking about?

A: I’m sorry that happened to you. It must have hurt. But surely you’re not saying you know how kittens feel? I don’t think you do, because unlike kittens, you walk upright, use language, have opposable thumbs, and lack a tail.

Q: My auntsistercousinBFFwhoever has a kitten and it just loves being hit with a mallet. The mallet is its favorite toy! Doesn’t that prove you wrong? (The “One happy adoptee trumps all unhappy/angry/loud/rude adoptees” argument.)

A: The kitten never asked to be smacked with a mallet. Perhaps it has adjusted to this state of being because it knows it cannot otherwise receive care from your auntsistercousinBFFwhoever. It is nevertheless cruel to smack kittens with mallets (even, assuming they exist, masochist kittens). There’s a chance that the kitten in question genuinely does enjoy this form of attention above all other forms; but, being a kitten, it cannot tell anyone so, meaning its “enjoyment” is very possibly mere projection on the part of the auntsistercousinBFFwhoever who enjoys smacking his/er kitten with a mallet because s/he has been taught this is a good and loving thing to do to one’s kitten.

Q: You are a bitter, angry old cat! It’s cats like you who turn good people away from rescuing kittens!

A: People who do not want to own a kitten if it might grow up to hiss at them now and then should not own kittens.

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*Yes, I commented there under a different name. I do that because I doubt anyone would take my comments seriously if they knew they were coming from Little Miss Pricklypants, not because I intend to post here anything anyone posted to me there or elsewhere, all GOTCHA! on the sly-like. That is not how this spiky urchin rolls.

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Filed under Adopted And Happy!, AdoptoLand, General Ignoramitude, Srsly

International Adoption Before and After

I’m still not up to composing posts, so I’ll let these stories, the two currently showing up  most often in my email via “adoption” alert, speak for themselves:

What a cute little Haitian orphan! How wonderful that she was rescued!

What a horrible, undeserving felon. Why, I’ll bet she contracted MS on purpose just to garner sympathy. Send her back to India!

There are no adult adoptees. There are, especially, no adult international adoptees. Adult international adoptees are known as illegal immigrants, and they do not merit USAian compassion.

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Filed under Celebri-tease, Colonialism ROCKS!, Srsly

Yes, Jeanne Sager, There Is a Line in the Sand.

“But now that she’s been located, the Guatemalan mom can’t simply get her child back. Because the American parents who adopted her think Anyeli is theirs.

“So who’s right? They both are.”

(Wasn’t that cute, though? the way she just co-opted the “they are all my real parents” thing some adoptees have been saying for years to justify a kidnapping?)

A commentor opines that both sets of parents are victims in this case. Not so. The parents who lost their child are victims. The Monahans are victors. They used their position of relative power and wealth to buy stolen goods and insist on keeping them. They appear to have done everything legally, but they did not do everything right. How do I know?

Hands up, everyone who knew by 2008, when Anyeli left Guatemala, that some Guatemalan adoptees had been stolen. OK, one, two, three, four–what? We stopped doing adoptions from Guatemala over this kind of thing when?–thirty-three, thirty-four, thirty–2007?

Keep your hands up, please, I’m still counting. Fifty-eight, fifty-nine, sixty… (I doubt I have that many readers, but you get my point). Thanks, you can put’em down now. If the Monahans didn’t know adoption from Guatemala was corrupt, it’s because they didn’t want to know.

They didn’t do their homework because they could simply buy an “A.” I’m sure their adoption agency assured them everything was above-board. And, just as we do not have major purchases like houses or cars inspected before we buy them when the sellers tell us they are honest, they wrote the check and took the seller’s word. I truly believe they didn’t know–but I think that has no bearing on the case.

Sra. Rodriguez asked for Anyeli back in 2009, three years ago, after having spent the intervening years searching for her. So two years of this child’s being out of her family can be laid at the feet of the kidnappers, but the other three are on the Monahans. Because in cases like this, if you fight long enough and spend the most money, you almost always win, especially if you’re USAians and the other side aren’t. (It’s worth noting that Anyeli spent one of those intervening years waiting to be adopted. Unnecessarily languishing, one might say.)

It seems the Monahans could have done the right thing three years ago, but chose not to. Speaking of “the right thing,” if I were a drinker, I’d suggest a new drinking game for this case. Look through the comments to any article about Anyeli and take one shot for every…oh, let’s say every three times you read “Giving her back would be the right thing, BUT…” Even at three comments per shot, you’ll be dead of alcohol poisoning before you even know you’re tipsy.

I believe, because I see no reason not to, that the Monahans love Anyeli, and that sending her back to Guatemala will tear them apart emotionally. I think this is what commentors refer to when they keep saying there “are no easy answers” here, but the answer is the one easy thing in all of this: Return the stolen child to her mother. It’s what comes after that that will be hard for everyone. The Monahans, if they want to do what’s in the child’s best interests, will let her go and do all they can to help ease this transition. That will hurt like Hell–I don’t even know how to imagine that kind of hurt. I don’t know how to imagine the hurt of having my kid snatched from me either, let alone the hurt of being told to “just let it go, she’s in a better place now.”

If you haven’t read this yet, please do. It’s long, in part because its author is more interested in being fair to all parties involved than I am, but please read the whole thing.

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Filed under Colonialism ROCKS!, Srsly, You're going to Hell for this.

Portrait of an Entitled White Man

We all know New Zealand isn’t really Middle-Earth. What made Bill Johnson decide it’s the Republic of Gilead? A need that he has, a basic human need, and if his former Miss American finalist wife can’t help him with it, that’s too damned bad for her.

Another article quotes him as saying “reproduction and having children is as basic a human need as eating.” An anti-gay marriage advocate, he apparently finds lesbians good enough to receive his sperm.

I’ll bet not one of the donees has expressed the least interest in sharing an island with him, let alone having him anywhere near those kids, but the articles sure make it sound like he expects to horn his way right into ten or more families. Women’s opinions? Don’t be funny. (I’ll be eagerly waiting to read about how he intends to pay child support on those ten to fifty kids he intends to force loving paternal relationships with, though.)

This man sounds dangerous. Nobody needs him for a father. But at least two HuffPo commentors think he should adopt instead. Because war orphans, unlike kids you make yourself, benefit from being raised by anti-gay misogynist egomaniacs who discard their wives and fly around the world in crazy plots to shove their way into the families of strangers.

To the public, adoptees are always less-than, always things it takes super special love and compassion to scoop up out of the dust, brush off, and carry home. Someone tell me again about how much adoption has changed? I need a laugh.

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Filed under Misognyny, WTF?!

No Snark Today, Either

…just a very cool project for adoptees.

Check out  “I’m An Angry Adoptee” on FB. It’s “A photo collection project taking back the ‘angry adoptee’ stereotype by focusing on social justice issues that make adoptees angry.”

Gwan, put up a pic!

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No Snark Required

You’re gonna laugh bitterly without my adding a thing.

 
I’m a big proponent of adoptions, but I firmly believe they need to be done legally, constitutionally and ethically.–Wes Hutchins, former Utah Adoption Council president

These cases, and many like them, provide evidence, Hutchins said, that birth mothers should be held accountable.

When in doubt, blame the bitchez. Always, always, always blame the bitchez.