I wasn’t going to blog today, but now I must.
I’m going to go where I haven’t gone in a long, long time: adoption politics. Don’t yawn and move on just yet, and don’t worry, I’m not going to make any disparaging remarks about Rev. Bob the Obama. He actually has nothing to do with this as far as I know.
The Center for Adoption Policy yesterday published this little nugget on its website yesterday:
November 5, 2008. After the Election. Now that we know who the President of the United States will be and have seen the composition of the new Congress, we can concentrate on achieving our legislative priorities. Central to our agenda must be the selection of political appointees in the State Department and at the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services who believe that intercountry adoption is a legitimate and proper mechanism for finding permanent loving homes for unparented children and who understand that American citizens who adopt internationally are exercising a right, not seeking a suspect privilege. We must all work to ensure that ICA in the United States, under the Hague Convention, and as administered by the State Department and CIS, is transparent, accountable and designed to serve the best interests of children.
First, I must be honest and say that I know very, very little about The Center for Adoption Policy other than what they tell the public about themselves on this page of the website. Very impressive resumes for that board of directors; but, frankly, I’m not impressed.
May I tell you that I find my feathers are a bit ruffled and my undies are in somewhat of a twist, or a bunch, or what have you?
I am tempted to end this post right here and let you all guess which part of the above November 5th Nugget has hit a nerve, but no, I will dish:
American citizens who adopt internationally are exercising a right, not seeking a suspect privilege.
Can I hear a big, collective, “Excuuuuuuuuuse me?”
How, exactly, are we exercising a right when we adopt internationally? Which right, exactly, is it that we are supposedly exercising?
Obviously I am a proponent of international adoption, specifically international adoption that is done morally and ethically.
Oh, I am having such a hard time putting this into words.
What is up with our country that we think we have a right to everything? We don’t, people! We don’t.
As Americans we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Pursuit of happiness. That does not guarantee happiness, and it certainly doesn’t guarantee a child in every home to nosh on that chicken in every pot. It especially doesn’t guarantee a child from a country that isn’t even governed by our system of governance.
Adoption is a wonderful way to build families. Adoption is a wonderful way for children who need a family to have a family. Adoption is not a right.
If we want to talk about adoption and rights, then we should be talking about the rights of the children. THE CHILDREN. We should talk about the rights of all children to have homes and families and loving parents. We should talk about the rights of children to not be bought and sold like chattel, the rights of children not to be abducted so that they can be sold. We should talk about the rights of children to be loved and cared for and looked after, the rights of children to be taught kindness and love and compassion, so that someday they will know how to do the same for their children.
I believe all children have the right to a family. All children have the right to be raised by loving parents. If we are going to talk about adoption and rights, that is where we need to start. That is what should be motivating policy and the selection of political appointees dealing with adoption, not some trumped-up imagined right of American adults to adopt children.
None of my children, whether adopted or biological, are the realization of some practiced right*. My children are a blessing. They are a trust. They are a myriad other things. But bringing them here was never my right, just my privilege.
I think I may go punch a wall now.
*Yes, yes, the right to pro-create, which really just boils down to the right to have sex, because we all know even that doesn’t guarantee a child, (which is why I don’t see my biological children as the realization of some practiced right – I mean, sure, all children come from people having sex, but not all people having sex produce a child, so I never believed that just because sex was happening I had a right to be a parent. Am I making any sense or just throwing around the word “sex” so much that you are all distracted now?).