Aspie with Attitude

Sure, I'm just another Southern Recovering Alcoholic NPR- and Sweet-Tea Addicted Comic Mom with Asperger's in the SFV, but I can tell you now that I don't necessarily fit the stereotype.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

America's Propaganda

For promotion of the upcoming film, The Women, Parade, America's Fabian Socialist magazine, interviewed Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, and Eva Mendes. I read that Meg Ryan had gone to China, as is the trend with many wealthy L.A. women these days, and picked out a China baby. Now, do I think that babies should languish in orphanages? No. But let's face it: China's system of adoption and abortion, which takes babies away from perfectly fine moms and sells them to Westerners, will never change until and unless Westerners stop the demand for those babies. Meg Ryan's taking of one of those babies, and the press that this receives, tells American women that taking some mom's child in China is okay, that it is, in fact, desirable. Like most adopters, she underplays what's really happened to the child that she took:

" . . . adoption is just the way that I met my daughter. We have a different story than 'I went to the hospital . . . ' But it's just as mysterious and enormous."

I can't help but wonder if the child's real mother feels this way. And here's something for Meg to think about: We meet our children while they're in the womb. We meet other people's children when we take them away from their families.

The $1.5 billion adoption industry will have a hard time finding better press than they receive when such celebrities as Meg Ryan take a child and act as if the child is her own.

Right now, Ryan's China girl is three and my guess is that when she's older, Meg will take the girl back to China, as many adopters do, for a look how lucky that you are to not be living here tour.

What's not mentioned, of course, is the loss that the girl's family will live with for the rest of their lives.


jmf said...

This is the first time I have ever posted a comment anywhere, but your truly ignorant statements have motivated me to do so. Educate yourself before you spout such nonsense. No doubt those mothers and fathers are pained at their own decision to abandon their Chinese daughters in favor of sons. However, that is what they choose to do. Is it possible there's some corruption over there? Sure, just like anything else. And the prospect of that is inexcusable & intolerable. However, don't blame adoptive families for wanting to provide for the well-being of an abandoned child. Shame on you and your ignorance. By the way, not everyone has the ability to meet their child in the womb. It is not the biological right that so many who have never experienced infertility believe it to be. Adoption is about providing for an abandoned child - end of story.

Thinking Mama said...

It appears as though jmf has signed on to blogger simply to reply to my post. I am honored that my words have inspired him or her to write. I wish that the fantasy of adoption of which jmf writes would be true. Far too many people believe that it is: that adoption is all about rescuing abandoned children. It is indeed not at all about rescuing said children. I suggest that jmf do some research on the other side of adoption. It might be an enlightening experience for jmf to talk with a few mothers who have lost a child to adoption. One need not go to China to do this; there are plenty in the United States, although mainstream media tend to shut them out.

Another interesting point by jmf is that adoption is a cure of sorts for infertility. There is no doubt that infertility is one of the most terrible things that can happen to someone who wants to be a parent. Wanting a child and not conceiving one is indeed terrible; I have been there. However, taking someone else's child and calling that child your own seems like an odd way to deal with such a painful situation. I have heard some mothers who have lost a child to adoption make the analogy to someone who is missing a limb. Would you give an arm to someone who is missing an arm? Why should we expect the fertile to give a child to the infertile? Does this taking of children from the fertile to give to the infertile, which is what often happens with adoption, not devalue natural family?

My guess is that jmf is an adopter and that this blog post will go around to many adopters and that they will mostly choose to be angry with me instead of examining the $1.5 billion U.S. adoption industry, which seems to rely heavily these days on the abandonment of Chinese infants.

I know that my words are not what the average person hears on television and radio, but many mothers who have lost a child to adoption in the U.S., and many of those lost children, such as myself, understand what I'm talking about.

Molly said...

I don't think I've seen you address the issue of women who have babies but don't want to be mothers or who don't have the capacity for whatever reason to do so. I've mentioned in comments here that I've set up early intervention intakes for babies in foster care because they had sustained multiple, non-accidental fractures while in their biological mother's care; for babies in foster care whose mothers had missed every single appointment to see them for three months; for babies born with in utero exposure to crack or methadone or alcohol. Although this is not the norm, it's also not a stunningly rare occurrence. Not every mother seems to be willing or able to get the help she needs to care for her child(ren), and some don't want to be mothers at all, but have the babies for various reasons.

If an adult is too wrapped up in his or her own self to care for a child, and by "care for", I mean "not beat into a coma", then I can't feel too sad when the children are removed from the home.

Molly said...

Also, you're making a lot of assumptions about jmf that s/he didn't state...1) that s/he signed on to blogger just for you, 2) that s/he is an adopter, 3) that if s/he is an adopter, that the child involved was wanted and cared for by his or her original family.

These things might be true. They might not. You've spoken in the past in the context of Americans adopting from China about how terrible it is to rip a child from his or her native culture. What if Americans took their children to live in China? How does that differ?

Thinking Mama said...

You know, Molly, I've probably had a lot more experience with people who comment about adoption than you have. When I looked up jmf's profile, it seems to have just been created. In addition, I can tell by the illogical rhetoric that she seems to be writing from a purely emotional standpoint. For instance, had she (I'm making an assumption here because 90% of people who are bothered enough to write me about what I have to say about adoption are the women; I've also noticed that it is mostly women who talk their husband into adopting.) bothered to do a bit of research, she would have found out that I am not so ignorant as she wishes to think. I've read enough adopter rhetoric to know that this person, male or female, is pretty close to adoption and is probably an adopter or a wanna-be adopter. I find that people who are not adoption-affected are almost always willing to listen to arguments against adoption.

As for the crack whore mother syndrome for moms who lose a child to adoption, if it were only the crack whores who lost a child, there would be far fewer infants who are available for adoption. Once a mother has a child, she is a mother, whether she wants to be or not. Is she a good mother? Perhaps. But she is a mother indeed. Molly's comment about a mother who doesn't want to be a mother come almost straight from the lips of the adoption industry. I've heard it before.

I don't understand the last couple of sentences of the second comment.

Molly said...

I apologize for being unclear in my second comment. I meant to say, you've mentioned that it's a bad thing for Americans to adopt from other countries because it's taking the children away from their native culture. My question was: if Americans move to another country with their children and take their American children away from American culture, is that more acceptable? What if Chinese parents move here with their Chinese children thereby taking them away from Chinese culture?

When my grandfather (who is not Chinese) emigrated here, he repudiated all ties with his home country. Was that harmful somehow to his children?

Molly said...

I'm not sure you addressed any of my points, other than to suggest that the "crack whore" mother doesn't happen very often. Maybe not, but there aren't a whole lot of (healthy white) infants available for adoption anyway...most of the kids who need homes are older, but most people who want to adopt want babies. This is why foreign adoptions are so popular, although I'm sure you're aware of that.

So what is supposed to happen with those children who are being abused or neglected because their parents can't or won't care for them, for whatever reason? If adoption is out of the question, what needs to happen?