Wednesday, June 29, 2016

"They" are right, "we" are wrong

I really wish American adoption agencies would drop this line of " 'They' (Ethiopian families) don't understand the 'real' meaning of adoption." Instead agencies should be educating 'us' (American adoptive families) about the real meaning of adoption, or alloparenting, as it has been practiced for tens of thousands of years. It means deciding that someone other than the birth parents will care for a child, with the decision often made by the extended family, while the child retains connections to the original family, and with the expectation that the child will one day return to help the family. Agencies need to make sure that adoptive families not only understand this but agree to and prove that they can abide by the expectations of the child's community, including ongoing contact and return visits, and if adoptive families can't / don't want to sign on for that, then, sorry, they can't adopt. I know that excludes people who can't afford this responsibility, but adopting someone else's child is a privilege, not a right and no one is entitled to it. 

*Updated to say that of course I know agencies won't do this because they are a business and will take money from anyone who can pass a homestudy, so it's up to us, as adoptive families to educate ourselves.

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