Monday, January 03, 2005

U.S. adoption trauma

Like Jeff Jacoby, we adopted our daughters from overseas, and at least partly for the same reason he points out: that it would be a lot harder for the biological mother to come back and reclaim them if she changed her mind later.

Jacoby relates another travesty of U.S. justice, as a court removes a three-year old child from her adoptive parents and gives her back to the unstable mother, with liberal visitation from her drug-abusing, anger-challenged convict of a sperm donor.

Jacoby says, "This is what comes of attaching more importance to DNA than to years of devoted parenting."

But I wonder if it might be more the result of the concept of mother's ownership of the child. She, after all, has entire say over the child's fate up until the day it is declared a "baby" by a shifting legal definition. After that, she can do just about anything she wants with it, provided that it doesn't lead to the child's actual death.

Obviously, that's not the whole story, and events like the judicial betrayal of Evan Parker Scott are more an exception than a rule, but the fact that they happen at all, the fact that the judge is so concerned about mother's "rights" and so indifferent to the child's welfare, says a lot about our society and the way we view children.

Mostly as chattel, apparently.

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