|Madonna and Child
||[Oct. 24th, 2006|11:43 pm]
elkay.Mostly for |
The first thoughtful article I've seen about Madge's Malawi adoption. (On Salon, so you have to watch an ad)
"You don't have to explain yourself when you plan your biological family; you shouldn't have to justify your decision to adopt, and certainly not to strangers, no matter what tangles you encounter."
Adoption is just like any other sort of parenting -- probably 1/3 of the time it turns out great, 1/3 it's a mixed blessing, and 1/3 it's a total fucking disaster. Which, if you think about it, is about the same proportions as you encounter with biological families. But I love my cousins, and I love my friends who were adopted from overseas -- they're proof that good can come of it.
The biological component of parenting is in my opinion really overrated. Anyone fertile can make a zygote. Getting up in the middle of night to clean up a bedful of puke -- or worse -- and spending hours rocking a sick child when you have to get up for work, that makes you a parent. Among many other things.
And I know it matters deeply to some people, who really feel anguished if they can't bear their own children. I don't judge them; I don't know what I'd feel like if I was in their situation. But there are many children who need homes, desperately, everywhere. In a just world, they'd be first in line for loving parents, ahead of all the hypothetical babies people might have. Hey, first come, first served.
This one rocks the house as well:
"I'm at a loss as to how to point out to someone, with any politeness, that adopted children aren't second best. I don't know how to tell people what it feels like to see the cover of GQ magazine tout the "impending fatherhood" of Tom Cruise when he's been a father to two adopted children for more than a decade. Or, when yet another person declares that adopted children must be lucky, how to explain that as adoptive parents, we see ourselves as the lucky ones, not the other way around."
I think that you are so right. I can tell you from experience now, that the conception and the pregnancy bits are WAY easier than the caring for a child bit. It's not even the puking and the poo that is so bad, it is the fear that comes with loving a little helpless person so much. There have been nights where I have just watched Charlie sleeping to make sure he was breathing still (like when he had a cold). I know I am not alone in this. THAT is the hard part.
My other thought is how much harder it is to adopt than to have a biological child (for those who do not have fertility problems). There is the cost (can be $30,000!!!), the paperwork, having an agency check you and your house out, etc, etc. Having a biological kid is just a few minutes in the sack and 9 months of walking funny. I have always said that the government should sponsor adaoptions. At least, if the financial burden was lifted, more loving parents would be able to make that choice more easily.
The laws need also be seriously tightened up before large numbers of people can start adopting, I think. The fear of having your child taken away is very real for people who adopt domestically, and was a serious fear for me as a child, even though it wasn't that probable (being internationally adopted). Financial help would obviously be excellent as well :) And new child/maternity type leave for new adopters too.
I am 99% sure that in MA, adopted moms get the same maternity leave as bio moms.
I wonder though, if adopted kids would feel a little scared of being taken away no matter how tight the laws were. You will have to speak on this though.
Well, yeah, you're right, I think there would always be a little fear, in the same way that kids have deep fears about housefires or their parents splitting up (hopefully) unlikely, but a serious fear because of how deeply it would change their lives.
I guess if the laws were tighter the main thing would be that a parent could say to the child-with confidence- that'no one is going to take you away. Ever'. I think that would help everyone feel better.
I'm not super close to my mom in a best friends forever way, but one of the first times we bonded as grownups was over one of the famous cases where in the end the baby was returned to her birth 'parents'. We both cried and cried in front of the television over that. I must have been about 16. So yeah, it would help, I think. :)
"The biological component of parenting is in my opinion really overrated."
Yeah. I don't know how my birth parents would have raised me, but I'm really glad I had my adoptive ones. I think they did as best a job as anyone could have, if not more since they were fueled by the desire to have a child so badly. They spent 3 years trying to adopt, and had one mishap where the mother took the baby back after she gave birth to it. It's a terribly strange situation, but it worked out in the best way for everyone. (except maybe my birth father who is a pretty cool guy and would have kept me had my mother not have flipped out and disappeared.)
I don't wanna sound like a queer or nothing, but judging from the results, your adoptive parents rule.