30 June 2009

Relevance, Please.

I'm not sure why some things are in the news. Why do I need to know that a crazy parent who killed her kids "homeschooled" them? Am I supposed to get more upset about the homeschooling than the killing?

Hm. Maybe there is this big rash of parents who homeschool specifically so they can kill and abuse their kids later, and that would be information the reporter ought to relay. (Go ahead! Watch what happens to the "comments" section of that story, and time how long it takes for your server to crash.)

Otherwise, why is that information relevant? I don't see, say, items about how much money the parents earn or the colour of their house or whether they have air purifiers in their home, etc. But somehow, it seems we need to know the alleged bad guys' religious beliefs and whether they homeschool when something bad happens. Am I supposed to be encouraged that at least we're starting to get away from "a black man did it?" Now it's just those weird Mormons. You know how *they* are, it's heavily implied.

Now this. An adopted child is offered for sex on the internet. Well, last I checked, when you ADOPT a child, it's your child just as though he were yours biologically. You have the same rights and responsibilities as any parent would with his child. You know, loving the kid, he's part of your family now just like kids are in everyone else's family?

So whyyyy do we need to know he's adopted? Do we need to start thinking bad thoughts about every adoptive parent? Should we have, "Yeahhhh, he adopted *that* pretty kid for the sex" in the backs of our minds when we meet a family built through adoption?

That's sick! But isn't that sorta what's implied in the story? WHY ELSE would the word "adopted" be upfront in the first sentence?

Now... if the reporter is somehow postulating that the adoption took place *in this instance* specifically for some sort of sexual gratification, s/he ought to come right out and say that. Don't just put the "information" that the kid is adopted out there and leave millions of adoptive families tarred by implication.

That just bothers me. Hey, God bless you adoptive and waiting parents out there. Things are hard enough without this crap.

15 comments:

  1. The anti-adoption groups have been very actively promoting their views in the court of Joe-public and in the political arena. This story doesn't surprise me in the least. A biological parent could never do this to a child since there is a biological tie. Well, we can find numerous examples of how they can and do. Sick, twisted parents exist in families formed in all kinds of ways.

    But, as an adoptive family, I have to say, the pro-adoption lobby isn't helping matters. They have assumed a head in the sand stance. Not all adoptions end well. Even in the best of circumstances, kids aren't "lucky" to be adopted.

    I wish we could all get on the same page and advocate for laws that really are truly pro-child.

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  2. The problem comes when different people define "pro-child" in different ways. People like me, say, would never want state involvement in homeschooling no matter what. Others (who have seen more abuse by parents than the state) want to protect children by proposing more oversight.

    I'm surprised YOU are not surprised by this treatment of adopted children by the media. Methinks there are many stories I haven't heard about a lack of acceptance of your children as YOURS.

    :[

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  3. Yes, well, adoptive parents know and live with the stigma of adoption everyday. I read that same story and thought why did they need to say that? Then I thought I hope they string that guy up. Anyway--I am constantly surprised that in this day and age we are still dealing with this huge anti-adoption stigma. You know because adopted kids are bad or damaged--oh, and their adoptive parents are weird and infertile--and the biggest one how could a mother who loves her child just give them away. This has been going on in NZ for many years and now every other new mother is a 15 year old who is SO capable of parenting that child. It's sick, really!

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  4. See, that acceptance of teen motherhood and the idea that she can change her mind at the last minute or even AFTER her child has been placed in a home leads me to MAKE an assumption that people who adopt are usually infertile. It's a lot of heartache to go through, time, expense, potential heartache... and you have to bare all to the social workers... and then to get stories like this in the news? I'm very sorry this attitude happens to you.

    :[

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  5. I don't mean to be argumentative, but I happen to feel that many children are blessed to be adopted. Both of my children's birtmothers are drug addicts and one is a prostitute. When my daughter was not 1 year old yet we helped her birth grandmother rescue one of her older brothers that was still with the birthmother. They had been homeless living in an abandoned apartment with no electricity or water for two months. She had men coming and going, she had meth rash all over her face and chest, they had no food and the toddler (age 2.5) had a staph infection. When I think that my daughter could have been standing there on the street at 1 in that mess--I know she is lucky or blessed or whatever we want to call it--to be adopted.

    Adoption is never easy, but it can and should be a blessing. When it all works the way it should a child should have a family that loves and cherishes it, as well as, a birth family that it will come to know and love. There should be more discussion, more training, and more questions about why it goes so badly for some people. But the reality is--there are a great many more biological families that end up in a dysfunctional mess. There is never any guarantee our children (bio or adopted) will grow up happy and feeling good about their lives. Two of my siblings barely speak to our mother and probably wish they had been adopted--family is family. It can be the best thing in our lives and also, at times, the hardest thing in our lives. Last time I checked growing up isn't easy for anyone.

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  6. Bahahaha, have to comment. Well,no I don't, I choose to.

    Love how you put things and I so agree.

    Firstly, as an adoptee, I want to assure you, I was never sold for sex. I don't know if that will bodgee up the stats and have people change their views. On a side note, reading a comment here, one (of many) stories that come to mind, I know an adoptee who was adopted out to alcoholics. They would leave her and her brother money and go out on drinking binges for days on end. She ran away from home and was living on the streets at 11. Her biological parents or grandparents spent 2 years looking for her and found her and brought her back to NZ to raise her. I am not using this as an "adoption is bad" story. Things happen, good and bad in all types of families. I want to know why adoptees are always being told they should feel lucky. I shouldn't feel any luckier or more blessed than an unadopted child. My adoptive parents didn't do me any 'favours',they chose to raise a child that was not biologically theirs. And as a human being, adopted or not, I had the 'right' to food, clothing, a bed to sleep in. No different to unadopted kids.

    I really loathe how in the media, the celebs kids are labelled as their adopted kids. If it isn't a big deal, it will become one with it being splashed everywhere.

    And yes, homeschoolers are secretly wannabe child killers. **cough cough** I was homeschooling 7 children, but 4 are now chopped up in the bottom of the garden. As we live on 5 acres, I don't think they will be easy to find. There was a run of programmes like Criminal Intent where abused and killed children all had been homeschooled and the parents a little weird and religious nutters shall we say. It really had me rolling my eyes. I had been homeschooling 2 years before I met a Christian who was homeschooling.

    It really annoys me how the media can give such perceived notions out as truth. And it's the average jo, like you and me that have to listen then to people's drivel as they parrot it as absolute.

    Scuse the rant. I intended to make one or two comments. lol.

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  7. Thanks for thinking of us that have formed our families through adoption. When I read that story, a few thoughts came to mind.

    1) What an awful thing to happen to a child.

    2) What a setback for gay people. I think they took it on the chin a bit more than adoptive parents on this one.

    3) Yeah, why did they have to mention the adoption thing? Like there was something wrong with it or something.

    4) At least they didn't put in a reference to the child's birthparents as being the "real parents".

    In an ideal world, adoption is a win-win situation. Children are "lucky" to be placed in good families, and families are "lucky" to be able to experience the full breadth and depth of parenthood. But because "lucky" is usually only used to refer to the child, I don't think it's a good term to use. It sets up some sort of an "obligation that can never be repaid" kind of thing, which is something that shouldn't be put on any kid, adopted or not.

    Joe

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  8. Bonnie, with the exception of Widdle Shamrock, who IS adopted, and me, everyone who commented here is an adoptive parent. So I'm sure Julie didn't mean that adoptive kids aren't "lucky" in the way you thought.

    I think she just meant that there is always a backstory that doesn't go away when you adopt. At least for her kids it didn't. :]

    And Joe, I would *hope* being against gay "behaviour" in no way means people think most gays are pedophiles. Just like thinking all straight guys molest their daughters... yeah, you'd be a little off the mark to think that, I'd hope. I agree it does paint homosexuals in a bad light now that you mention it!! But I see so much "straight" pedophilia in the news, etc., I guess it didn't occur to me that it was leading others to stereotyping gay people? Hm.

    I wonder where the little boy is from, though, and whether he'll have to go back to his "home" country if it were an international adoption. I hope after what he's been through that he can stay with good relatives (mom's side, thanks).

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  9. I also like it when the media adds race information in the story. As if race was the reason a parent abused their kids or left them in the car on a hot day.

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  10. I'm always amused by the people who believe that parents homeschool solely to give the kids some kind of disadvantage at best, or to harm them at worst.

    As far as adoption...that's just crazy. I wonder how many people have tried to adopt, say, teenage girls and been looked at funny. (I really don't know, just throwing it out there).

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  11. Sorry, also wanted to add that there was a Law & Order episode about a group of men who adopted young African boys for sex. Can't imagine that helps. Occassionally I come across beliefs that come straight from L&O. I'm a big cheerleader for organ donation, and I often hear comments about how the organs are harvested while the patient is still living - that was a L&O episode. That, and on the law side I have to remind clients that real law is nothing like television.

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  12. As an expectant father who's been waiting for over a year to be able to get my kids, it boggles my mind that these kinds of negative situations can happen. Adoption takes so much work that it doesn't seem like it'd be worth it...

    ...of course, I know that evil is always an option and none of us are perfect...

    ...which is why being a parent--no matter how you end up with a child [smile]--can be such a terrifying idea: I could totally mess this up!

    Still waiting to see what kind of father I am.

    ~Luke

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  13. DF, if it's relevant... say, a German immigrant preying in the German community, I see it. But yeah.

    Allison, isn't that awful... but we HAVE to almost let our minds "go there" if we're giving these teen girls into homes that are not the best. Gonna get jumped probably for saying this, but from what I've seen it's usually the "stepdad" who comes into the picture later or "boyfriend" of the mom that is into the kid, not the adopted dad or bio dad WHEN there is a problem (NOT that there always is, usually of course I imagine there wouldn't be). I wonder if the man in question just gets close to the lady and develops a "relationship" with her so he can cultivate a "relationship" with the little girl.

    JUST as people who already have a problem with abuse very well might "homeschool" their children.

    Homeschooling and step-parenting are still wonderful things, though.

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  14. Luke, I'm pretty sure there are *limits* to how bad you're going to mess things up if ya know what I mean. An extra freezie pop or getting lax with the TV time are really not the problems we make them out to be in our society. :]

    I would also tend to agree with you... with all the expense and time involved in adoption, and having your wife in on it... And guys I think don't usually get to "select" a child with attributes they find "pleasing" (sorry to even think this direction).

    Wouldn't you think money would be better spent on those icky trips to Thailand I keep hearing about? I mean, if even *I* know about 'em...

    I'm just horrified for those kids though. Just horrified. I wish there were some way to rescue them all.

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  15. ...I wonder where the little boy is from, though, and whether he'll have to go back to his "home" country if it were an international adoption. ...

    Assuming that the adoption was "finalized", the child receives a new birth certificate listing whatever state the adoption is finalized in. He thus instantly becomes a citizen, and thus is protected against being sent back to his country of origin.

    Whether being tossed into the foster system in this country should count as "protection" is another story.

    Joe

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)