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, September 20, 2009

China Babies Stolen? Ah, Surely You Jest

Well, it's taken a few decades, but it seems as though the Los Angeles Times has finally come around to seeing that maybe, just maybe, babies are being stolen from China. As we all know, of course, mothers in China have been ecstatic about losing their babies. Or at least, you'd certainly think that if you were listening to the adopters on this side of the ocean. It's interesting that I was deleting some old e-mails just last night and sure enough, one of them was from adopter who called me "selfish" and "ignorant" and a bunch of other not so very nice terms, ending, of course, with the time-honored suggestion that I get "lots and lots" of therapy. Well, I've had lots and lots of therapy. And it's certainly helped me to see that I was screwed by being taken from my mom and the rest of my family. My mom was screwed and my adopters were lied to. But that was in the 60s; since that time, demand for infants has soared, especially with the increased demand from single people and gay couples. I'm not making judgments here, but I am saying that the more people who are allowed to adopt, the higher the demand. That's simple economics. And if there's one thing that adoption is about, it's economics.

Nonetheless, American moms started wising up around the time Roe v. Wade came on the scene and many started keeping their babies. Of course, adoption agencies, not wanting to miss a buck, started offering incentives, such as college scholarships, to moms who would give them their child. I have three degrees for which I am very thankful, but I can't imagine giving up any of those degrees for one of my precious sons. To increase supply, in the mid to late seventies, adoption agencies started marketing foreign-born children, children who would look not at all like the adopters. In the 60s, when I was born, it was in fashion for the children to look like the adopters and in fact, many people said that I looked like the woman who adopted me because we had the same coloring. People seemed to say it more when I was little and as I grew older, it was harder to lie and harder to believe that I was the product of the people who adopted me, much as we all may have wanted it to be true.

Adoption agencies were pretty savvy to this whole thing of decreased supply of babies and during the seventies, foreign-born babies were marketed. The agencies, hungry for profits, even figured out a way to increase demand for babies that would look nothing like the people raising them. Ah, but what if we make adopters into saints that are rescuing orphans from Asian countries? Adoption agencies pondered this marketing scheme for about a week, no doubt, and then began bringing airplane loads of children over to be marketed as orphans to Americans. With a fabulous public relations campaign, adoption agencies began increasing demand for children, marketing these supposed orphans to Americans who already had their own natural children. It became chic to have a little Asian child, tagging along beside older children who were really the children of the adopters. Therefore, real moms and dads began adopting children from moms and dads half a world away. The adopters were lied to and told that these children were orphans or unwanted and the parents of the children, in Korea, Vietnam, and other countries, were assured that the children had no family that would help them. The lies had changed in the decade or so since my birth, but the result was the same: Adoption agencies were making a killing financially, no matter how many families they ripped apart. If you doubt what I say, take a look at the documentary Daughter from Danang and you will actually see American social workers begging Vietnamese parents for their children. Of course, this social worker footage, to my knowledge, was never broadcast on the NBC Nightly News or any other media outlet, but it is clear that American social workers were there to take some children and market those children to Americans.

As a result of such marketing campaigns, it became chic to have a little Asian child cropping up in your family and many small communities had the one family that had gotten one of these cute little folks. The child was raised as if, as that horrid adoption phrase goes, the child had actually been born into the family, even though family pictures did not lie and it was obvious that the child was not a real member of the family. Adopters claimed that this fact was absolutely fabulous, believing that their altruistic desire to save a child from an orphanage far trumped the child's being separated from his or her parents.

Along came the Chinese government, not wanting, of course, to miss out on the profitable venture and easily able to supply babies, based on its ridiculous one-child policy. In the 90s, it became especially chic to have a "little China doll" (as I've mentioned before, I saw this phrase, written by an adopter on a message board). Everybody was doing it, from single women to couples who could not have their own child. This adoption agency-boosting trend has continued into the 21st century and it is hard to go into a trendy Gymboree or My Gym class these days without seeing a little China doll with its obviously non-mother. Nonetheless, adoptresses boast of their adoptees as if they're nothing short of a miracle. All the time, it's really hard for me to see these children, as I think of the trauma that the child and its natural family have gone through.

Now, back to the Times: Can you believe, in a $1.6 billion per year industry like adoption, in which China willingly supplies adoptees to Western adopters, that there may be people who will steal babies to sell to the Western market? I know--it sounds almost too horrible to be true, doesn't it? But sure enough, in the globalist adoption-promoting Los Angeles Times, which stopped printing my anti-adoption letters a few years ago, there is actually a story with the headline, "Chinese babies stolen by officials for adoption fees." The story actually includes a graphic that shows that China adoptions have been down the past few years. No worries, though, I'm sure that the adoption industry will think of another way to increase demand and supply.

Being the Los Angeles Times, of course, the horrible positive adoption language was used, as opposed to the honest adoption language that I much prefer. The Times may indeed require their reporters to call even parents whose children have been stolen "birth parents," but I and many of us who've been separated by adoption find this phrase to be insulting to us and our families, preferring instead use of the more honest "natural parents." Continuing the status quo, adopters of Chinese children were called "adoptive parents" and one adopter made sure that if her adoptee, whom she mistakenly called her "daughter," wanted to find her real parents, or as the adoptress put it, her "birth family," that she would be sure to allow her to do so. How very nice of her, eh? The Times continued the adoption charade, calling families whose children had been stolen from them the "birth families." It's great to know that when the state takes away children, the parents are reduced to mere birth things, breeders who've reproduced but who do not have the final legal rights to their own children. In bringing to the forefront the literal stealing of children from their families, the Times has not changed its adamantly pro-adoption stance.

Here are some excerpts from the article, written by Barbara Demick. I have found no evidence that Demick is an adopter herself, but she certainly seems to be aligned closely with the adoption industry, using language that is derogatory to natural families. There is perhaps a small victory in knowing that people may begin to doubt that the little China girls they see with their adopters may indeed be stolen, but the article ended by assuring everyone that the children would have a better life in the U.S., with a quote from a mom whose child was stolen:

"We'd never make her come back, because a girl raised in the West wouldn't want to live in a poor village like this . . . But we'd like to know where she is. We'd like to see a picture. And we'd like her to know that we miss her and that we didn't throw her away."

It's doubtful, of course, that these children will ever be reunited with their natural families and if they are, they will probably be unable to communicate with those families, having grown up speaking an entirely different language.

Here's a laughable quote from the U.S. Embassy: "The United States takes seriously any allegation that children were offered for inter-country adoption without their parents' knowledge or consent."

Evidently, the corrupt government officials who search villages, looking for signs of a newborn, are sometimes demoted or have warnings placed in their files. Oooh, the terror! It reminds me of police officers who shoot innocent victims in the U.S. and are placed on "paid administrative leave."

It's also interesting that adopters always chide me for not believing that their adoption fees are necessary: " . . . the money received from [adopters at one orphanage], $180,000 in all, went toward food, clothing, bedding and medical care for the babies and to improve conditions in the Social Welfare Institute. But most of the babies had been housed with families who were paid only $30 a month for their services, according to one [fosterer]. And there were no obvious signs of renovations at the institute, a grim three-story building where a couple of senior citizens could be seen through barred windows lounging on cots. Reporters were not permitted to enter" the orphanage in Tianxi.

Interesting also is the fact that the "[o]nce a child is taken to an orphanage, parents can lose all rights." One grandma was "babysitting her 4-month-old granddaughter one night in March 2003 when a dozen officials stormed her house. She said they took her and the baby to a family planning office, where a man grabbed her arm and pressed her thumbprint onto a document she couldn't read."

But rest assured, the Westerner(s) that received the stolen baby is convinced they are doing the right thing by adopting a baby who was unwanted. Even though that child was kidnapped, the Westerner(s) will insist that the child call them the parents and they will convince the child that they are the child's family. Unfortunately, nothing will really change as a result of this article, although the U.S. will probably make it seem as though it's regulating things a bit better in China. Savior O. will probably make some kind of proclamation or law that says we don't accept stolen babies from China and everybody will feel all good and gushy about adoption. There's way too much money involved for any true change to occur: Little China girls are worth way too much in the West for these horrible practices to cease.

1 comment:

Jade said...

one of the mommy bloggers wrote about being a parent at a school with a couple of families who had adopted from asia.they actually said out loud in front of their kids,"how much did yours cost?"