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4 Responses

  1. chava
    chava August 11, 2011 at 6:21 am |

    I read this the other day. Breaks your heart. It was heartening to see some of the families reunited, if only briefly, and to see that the children were, at least apparently, happy and loved.

    I found it off-putting that the author did not examine the legitimate societal reasons why a birth parent might ask for or expect money, and instead spent so much effort noting that THESE people didn’t want any, oh no. As if that would somehow diminsh their loss and desire, or render it polluted. Gah.

  2. xenu01
    xenu01 August 11, 2011 at 12:26 pm |

    Thank you for this link. I just spent the last hour reading all pieces and I have a lot to digest.

  3. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe August 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm |

    Heartbreaking stuff, indeed.

    I’ve always thought that, show me a moral dilemma and I’ll show you a shithead somewhere who’s at the bottom of it. But there don’t seem to be any discernible shitheads here, except maybe for unscrupulous adoption agencies. And it’s not clear from the Slate piece (to me, anyway) that any of the agencies involved in the Makeni case were unscrupulous. It’s really dismaying that good intentions all around can end in an apparent injustice.

  4. feministadoptee
    feministadoptee August 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm |

    It’s really horrible, and by no means is this the only story like this. I just started a blog in response to the comment thread on Feministe’s Adoption as a Feminist Issue…It showed me how much I needed a space to write about being an adoptee…a place to write about how adoption is NOT always the “good” way. It always hurts someone. I wrote about this article just now.

    @Chava,

    You are right on.

    chava: I found it off-putting that the author did not examine the legitimate societal reasons why a birth parent might ask for or expect money, and instead spent so much effort noting that THESE people didn’t want any, oh no. As if that would somehow diminsh their loss and desire, or render it polluted. Gah.

    This a thousand times. I didn’t write about this when I wrote about the article, but after seeing this comment it reminded me of something we forget. Circumstances matter. Privilege matters. It really bothered me too how they were talking about “wanting money” as a way to somehow slander their claims of having their children taken. Does wanting (needing) money mean you automatically are lying that your children were taken from you? No.

    And I really was caught by the part in the article that mentioned how their culture has no word for adoption. While they say that family and friends sharing/trading childraising duties and sometimes temporarily caring for others’ children was common, they had no word to describe the permanent removal of a child to be given to a new family. So I wonder if that was used to get these kids? Cultural differences need to be accounted for. I think that it would be relatively easy to prey on a culture that doesn’t recognize permanent adoption, but DOES recognize temporary shared care, etc.

    Think of it this way, if I lived somewhere where I was used to having another family care for my child temporarily, and people often helped out with each other’s children, and someone brought up the idea of allowing my child to stay somewhere they would receive education and health care…I think that it wouldn’t be a stretch to believe that they would be returned to me at some point.

    This was a ramble of a comment, my apologies. Until starting my blog I had no outlet for my criticisms of adoption and so when shit like this comes up I tend to type faster than I think out of anger and frustration. Hopefully after I start to channel my anger in better ways I will write more thoughtfully. :)

    And back to what Chava said…I think that people find it too easy to diminish someone else’s needs and desires based on circumstances. EVEN IF this family knowingly signed adoption papers fully knowledgeable of what that entailed (which I doubt)…they are entitled to regret. They are entitled to feel the deep loss of someone who has lost their child. They are entitled to their pain. Why those who are privileged seem to deny this I don’t understand.

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