Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cowboy Adoption

Schott's Vocab, a New York Times blog about modern words and phrases, notes that "cowboy adoption" has entered the lexicon thanks to the Idaho 10 in Haiti. The blog cites a BBC report:

“In these kinds of situations, there are all types of charities and church groups with, to be fair, good intentions,” says Richard Danziger, head of counter trafficking at the International Office of Migration (IOM).

“But that’s not the way to go about it – it doesn’t help an already messy situation.
Children with no documentation get whisked away, and their families don’t know what has happened to them.”

Mr Danziger describes it as “cowboy adoption.”

Seems a fitting description, but I wish it were a phrase that hadn't entered the lexicon. And come to think of it, is it fair to give cowboys such a bad name?

I've tried to coin my own descriptive term for the debacle. I'm trying out "Idaho 10" here -- but is it fair to blame Idaho? the number 10?! How about "vigilante adoption?" My favorite is still "Bumbling Baptist Baby-Snatchers," which is nicely alliterative. But as Dawn Davenport notes in response to my comment to her excellent post, most of those snatched were older children, not babies, which ruins the whole alliteration thing.

Sometimes it's easier to focus on the minutiae instead of the full scope of a truly horrible story. . . .

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