Monday, September 22, 2008

Adoption

A lot of people don't know this, but Will and I are both adopted (as are both of our siblings). We have both always known that we were adopted and don't have any resulting psychological scars. We don't need therapy to deal with this reality. How could we have any problems when we grew up knowing that we were living with parents who prayed for us long before we were conceived and loved us and cared for us as if we were their own flesh and blood. The topic of this post is not really about my own personal experience with adoption, just a little venting about the current system for domestic adoptions. This actually came up in my book club group tonight as we were discussing the book "Gone Baby Gone" by Dennis Lehane. (I use "discussing" in the loosest of terms.) In this book, a child is actually "kidnapped" from her neglectful, drug-addict mother by another relative and given to a loving, caring family. Once this is discovered and the relative is confronted, he says he knew of no other way to intervene on the child's behalf because the system always favors the mother of the child. He said it would be virtually impossible to remove the child from her mother's home. And he is right. Isn't that sad?

Our conversation came around to why our legal system makes it so difficult to adopt a child? I mean, there are a lots of kids out there who need a loving home. But not just anyone can do it. They have to jump through a lot of hoops to qualify and wade through a bunch of red tape. On the other hand, anybody can have a baby without so much of the tiniest of qualifications to be a parent. (I'm talking bare necessities here ... a job, emotional maturity, etc. I certainly don't know if I was qualified to become a parent, but I was able to feed, clothe, shelter and love my child.) I read an article recently about a malpractice suit against an attorney for an adoption gone wrong and the child was actually placed with one family, then placed with another because the attorney of the first family did not handle all the legal aspects of the adoption correctly. This was clearly the attorney's fault in this case (or so it is claimed), but the child was taken from the adoptive parents anyway.

Is this really what the world has come too? That blood is thicker than water so to speak regardless of the well being of the child? I know the court tries to look at what is in the best interest of the child, but it is clearly not in the best interest of some children to remain in their parents' care if that parent is ill-equipped or not committed to parenting. (Another very interesting book on the topic of neglectful parenting is "The Glass Castle" by Jeanette Wells, which is a true story.) However, the system seems to give them chance after chance to get the parenting thing right, many times, I think, losing the child in the process. I don't really know what the solution is because I certainly don't want the government intruding on or monitoring my method of parenting, but there has to be some middle ground here. Any thoughts or opinions on the topic?

1 comment:

Phillips Phamily Mama said...

Oh dear! Chad and I watched that movie--I know, we're so literary--without out really knowing what it was about or what to expect. Holy cow! At one point, we paused the movie, looked at each other and said, "WHAT are we watching?" It made me sick to my stomach.