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I think our country is so vapour locked to the current hot button issues - Iraq, Congressional Pages, corruption on Capitol Hill, the idiot in the White House, etc. - that we tend to overlook issues that have been problems for years.

Here, I use the occasion of Madonna adopting some kid from Malawai (sad I had to use that...) to point out that we have a major problem with domestic adoptions; frankly, the problem is that NO ONE IS DOING IT.

I look at both sides in this one. I think it's a well written piece, as usual for anything I write, naturally.

Now, I am about to take on Manchester United... with Bury. Wish me luck. :'(


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 26th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
Hey man, I took on Man United with Hannover and won. You could pull off at least a draw. >:O
Oct. 26th, 2006 09:23 pm (UTC)
I pulled off a 1-1 draw. That was the good news.

The bad news was that this was the Carling Cup.

4-2 loss in penalties.
Oct. 26th, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC)
I think it's a well written piece, as usual for anything I write, naturally.

Disregarding the Madonna issue (which, honestly, I could not care less about the majority of celebrity affairs), your article has some serious flaws in regards to international adoption...

Children are not paraded around in front of potential parents like toys, regardless of international or domestic adoption; equating an orphanage to a pound is grossly inaccurate. It's also inaccurate to equate American orphanages to a "prison-like atmosphere" and American orphans as being potential convicts. American orphanages have money, food, clothing, toys, and the children are given an actual education.

International orphans, especially in third-world countries, do not have that. Many children have never owned a pair of shoes, nevermind a toy. Girls and boys are sold into the sex slave trade or slave labor.

Adoptive American parents aren't thinking they are moral paragons out to "save the world" when they adopt internationally; American adoptions are actually on the rise, as more and more families are adopting domestically than before - in addition to overseas adoptions, even.

Why do families choose to adopt overseas? Sometimes it's just a mere matter of "I want to" - some people simply don't want to adopt an American child. A family is entitled to their preference.

Sometimes, it's because the adoptive families know that children of third-world countries are going to be sold as prostitutes and factory workers, whereas American-born orphans certainly have a greater chance at a decent life.

Each family is different for their own reasons... And then you have a fraction of people who want to adopt to bring "culture" into their life, or the Madonna-figure who adopted for the publicity, or the ego-stroking world-savers. To label the majority of international adoptive parents into that one tiny fraction is incomprehensibly misguided, though.

As for "the domestic system is a plain-out bitch," yes, it is; however, you missed the point that international adoption is, by far, not any easier, and can be even more daunting in regards to expense, travel, and time.

Overall, your article is probably one of your worst... As for Madonna's phases? It gains her publicity and attention, which to her you have just given.
Oct. 26th, 2006 11:36 pm (UTC)
*insert minor addition in which the old samurai points out how the foster care system -- not related to adoption, but not unrelated, either -- is under heavy investigation due to abuse cases like one which was mentioned on LJ*
Oct. 27th, 2006 11:11 am (UTC)
- The fact of the matter is that American orphanages, yes, they're better than international orphanages, but they're still not up to snuff when compared to a real home with two parents (or even one parent! Hello, I was raised by a single parent my whole life). And even on that note, my personal opinion is that we need to take care of our own homefront first. That's my opinion, but no, I don't have your experience with this.

But on the note that they're not paraded out like dogs, no, but I have a better analogy: I looked at a couple sites while I was writing that article, and to be honest with you, no, it reminded me of a PERSONALS site. Check this out; I think Match.com had that setup a few years back. I'm not kidding. That's what it seems like, and who do I pick? If I pick one, it seems like the others aren't as well written, or those kids failed, even though they're written by social workers. And what about those older ones? They'll never be adopted; there's not enough time to fix what's wrong with them. A 16 year old with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? That's Shell Shock! What the FUCK did she go through, and what can be done about her in two years?

- I'll grant that the situation overseas is much worse, again. But where do you stop? You guys did a noble thing saving one child. But what about the other thousands and thousands? That would kill me, it really would.

- They are on the rise? Not enough. Not in my estimation, which is why I wrote the piece. And they are as entitled to their preference as I am to at least try to tell them "Hey, what about ours?".

- Yes, International adoption is hard. But American adoption, I've heard more horror stories. They need to at least be cut down.

- I stated specifically that calling attention to this because of something Madonna did embarrased me. Did you not see that? Or are you just looking for more reasons to hammer an article that you don't agree with?

- And finally, remember, even my worst article is still damn good.
Oct. 27th, 2006 08:12 pm (UTC)
The article that you cite says "close to 120,000 children waiting in the U.S. foster care system," but 120,000 is a relatively tiny number. With many American families able to obtain contraceptives, it will stay small.

In regards to adoption agency sites looking like personality sites, they are designed to appeal to potential adoptive families. Prospective families want to see the children. Often having a face connected to their desire to adopt a child increases the likelihood of them adopting. Adoption agencies will use that fact and put up pictures of children to grab the attention of prospective parents, "pulling heartstrings" because these children do need a home, and they need a home that has the resources and ability to take care of that child.

To continue on that note... For example, families will request and be open to certain attributes of a child; some families can take care of a child with a heart condition or blindness, where others lack the financial resources for it. That's often the keystone in choosing a child to adopt, regardless of domestic or international adoption: Can we financially take care of their current medical conditions, if any? Are we open to an unknown medical background? Can we provide to the child who doesn't speak English/lacks a solid education the opportunity to learn? Can our current lifestyle accomodate this child?

While many agencies will allow you to file inquiries about children seen on a website, for example, more often than not the prospective families are matched to a child. A social worker will hold a home study and analyze your way of life, your house, your immediate family, pets, financial income, etc, and then match you to a child who would best be suited for you and your family. For instance, if you live in a two-story house with steep stairways, you usually won't be matched to a child with a severely crippled leg. In addition, a family can often request an introverted or extroverted child, if they even want to make that distinction; some families cannot handle an overly energetic child and prefer one that is quiet and shy, and other families want an outgoing child. But, that's just dynamics found in each and every family, since no two families are completely alike.

Match.com? Maybe, if you want to think about it that way, although it's not quite a case of internet or description-and-picture-only matchmaker. A pound? Most definitely not.

Many families that adopt overseas often go back and adopt another child. Others are inspired by the poverty conditions in third-world countries and make consistent monetary donations; still others return yearly as volunteers, or go on to become doctors and social workers from being so inspired and touched by these innocent children's sufferings. It would inspire many other people, regardless of origin--American, South American, Canadian, European, you name it--to help more. Is that a "save the world" complex, to be touched by suffering? It is wrong to generalize an entirety just by the actions and thoughts of a few.

Many American orphans are given decent living conditions. Truly, there are several horror stories involving domestic adoptions and foster homes which come to mind; however, those are thankfully few in number, and the ratio of good orphanages and foster homes is great in comparison to the poor ones. In third-world countries, the volume of food given to American orphans--daily--is considered a feast to them.

I do believe that Madonna's adoption was done for selfish publicity; I doubt Madonna sat on a plane for 36 hours and stayed in Malawai for three weeks ensuring the adoption of her child. It achieved what she wanted most, though: publicity. She also cast a poor light on international adoptions. However, the CNN article you linked fails to address some very large points about adoptions, and instead it offers a very slanted point of view.

"My worst article is still damn good" does not make it a good article. I understand your point--domestic adoptions should not be tossed wayside in exchange for international adoptions--but American adoptions are still rising, American orphans do have decent living conditions and a decent chance at life, and domestic adoptions are not being supplanted with international ones.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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