Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Will Honor Her

At Bluegrass Moms, on honoring Chinese birth mothers:
“Can you imagine that someone just threw her away?” The someone they were referring to was my daughter's birthmother.

* * *

“I don’t look it at that way. She was not ‘just thrown away’. In a country where families can be fined one year’s salary for an ‘overquota’ child perhaps they had no other choice. Indeed, in a country where a male heir often is his parents' only ‘social security’ - daughters marry and leave but sons are bound by filial piety to stay on and care for the aged and infirm – what is a family to do?

Moreover, in a country where gender-determining-ultrasound and abortion clinics sit side by side on backstreets, though both illegal, the fact that our daughter was carried to term says something. In a country in which infanticide is often seen as a better choice than being prosecuted for abandonment, a life saved, albeit later left to be found, says even more.”

I will admit - we do not know the circumstances of our youngest daughter’s birth. (Because of China’s system of anonymous abandonment and adoption we do not even know who her birth family is.) And given mounting media reports surrounding child trafficking among orphanages, I am increasingly afraid to know.

But I do know that a woman conceived this child, carried her to term, and has been forever separated from her. That woman is my daughter’s first mother, her birth mother, a woman my daughter has grieved for and still thinks about, and that woman deserves a place of recognition in my heart.


Reena said...

I think people in Western countries have a hard time grasping the reality faced by folks in other countries.

This results in some people making very glib, uninformed, and often-times hurtful comments.

I don't know why people feel the need to make condemning comments at all on a situation that they know nothing about.

Mei Ling said...

The link isn't working for me.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate this response, though it would be difficult to truly share that with a stranger or even friend, in passing; at least in its entirety.

I agree with Reena that folks should simply mind their own business and refrain from judgement, especially when they know so little about the situation.

But what I like most about this response is that the author acknowledges that while certain ingrained influences/penalties exist in China that might have led to the baby's placement in an orphanage, she freely admits that they simply do not know. And if they do know, I applaud them safeguarding for their daughter.

I am always astounded however that while women/families in this country continue to choose adoption for their offspring, it is assumed that most/all? women overseas would select to parent their child if all else remained constant; that somehow adoption would end "if only".....a fallacy that is proven by virtually every other nation on earth, where children are in fact given up for adoption, whether it be familial or otherwise and regardless of a nation's wealth or social support structures in place. Would the incidences of adoption decrease? Most certainly. But cease? Not likely.

Thank you for sharing this.

Anon. Becky

Mei Ling said...

Anon (Becky), I don't understand what you mean. When you say "here", which country are you referring to?

Anonymous said...

@ Mei-Ling,

This country: The U.S.A. And to further clarify I meant that still today some ( though a small percentile) of women/families do choose adoption when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. I think I read somewhere that there are around 20,000 infants placed for domestic adoption in the U.S. each year. That's an approximation.

Sorry for the confusion.

Anon. Becky

Von said...

Adoption is never simple.When an adoption industry can make money, and vast ammounts of it from adoption, the unethical and greedy will always thrive.Even when strictly regulated, there will be those who will find ways to get round those regulations to get what they want.In the end it is the adoptees who suffer from not knowing their true identity.In America of course so few adoptees are allowed to know their true identity.That is shameful!

Anonymous said...

Anon, I think it's important to remember that in terms of domestic placement in the U.S, a percentage of those are open adoptions (of some form or another). I wonder how many women today are choosing adoption because they believe, are told, or agree to an adoption that has some level of openness?

Anonymous said...

I find inspiring that there are AP who do not criticize the birth mother of their child, and do not make them look like they meant nothing to the child. I wish my parent could understand why it is still important to me to talk about my birth mom. Avoiding the subject or denying it never seems so easy in our family...