Thursday, September 29, 2011

But she already has a family. . . .

At Scooping it up, I just read a post describing a post, since taken down, from prospective adoptive parents trying to adopt a child from Uganda, despite the fact that the child has a family and the family does not want her to be adopted.  They've apparently spent hours trying to convince the family to relinquish the girl;  they are showing the family pictures of their big house and describing what the child's life will be like in America. They've hired lawyers and are petitioning the embassy to issue her a visa.  And you can read more about it from Semi-Feral Mom, including the fact that this prospective adoptive family referred to the child's grandmother throughout the post as "Grandmother from the Slums.”

I won't comment, since I didn't read the original post.  But the discussion and comments at both Scooping it up and Semi-Feral Mom are important reads.  It's always exciting to find other adoptive parents who get it. . . .


Anonymous said...

I didn't see the original post either. I might or might not agree with what they are doing. No one really knows enough to judge them, and ultimately that family has to live with their choices.
Other than that, all I'm going to say is, I find it very odd (and disturbing) that the people judging this family are the same ones that are pointing out the same said family is judging the current conditions of this child. Interesting. 'Nuff said.

Ashley said...

Sounds like a mess, but it's wonderful to know that this child has so many people who love her.


scooping it up said...

I am the author of the post. I have mentioned repeatedly how sad I am the original post is taken down, because I do not like speaking for them. I do not write in judgement. I wrote because ethics in adoption require scrutiny and honesty. The blog post I read raised some very important issues about what is wrong with international adoption. These comments are sad because people who love adoption should care if they are ethical or not.

Anonymous said...

One does not need to know one's personal story to point out that something they've said lacks in ethics or wreaks of Americano-centrism, racism, and classism--to name a few.

"Grandmother from the slums?" How 'bout just "Grandmother?" That'd be a start.

Anonymous said...

@ Malinda,

Just as an aside, how interesting you use the words "other AP's who get it".

Get what? That there are issues within IA, much like EVERY other social & institutional framework around the world?

Yes, this post sounds awful. We are in agreement.

But let's be these AP's truly get it OR do their beliefs just more closely align with your own?

anon. in long standing ....trying to keep it real.

Linda said...

@ Ashley- "Sounds like a mess, but it's wonderful to know that this child has so many people who love her."

Ummm, no. If these potential adopters truly loved this child, they would leave her alone. They do not "love" this child, they covet this child. Their sense of entitlement and greed is evident, since they are now trying to petition an embassy. Give. Me. A. Break.

Anonymous said...

This story makes me sick. I hope the family of this litel girl has the strength to keep saying no to the people trying to steal their child.

I agreet hat they covet the child, they want to add her to their list and say that they saved her from the evils of her own culture. In other words entitled White people trying to steal a Balck baby from her family.

malinda said...

You know, I get so tired of this "don't judge" crap! I'm as big a fan of tolerance as the next person, but we are NOT called upon to tolerate everything.

If you tell me you really mean it, and don't judge murderers, child molesters, cheats & liars . . . I simply won't believe you.

"Judging" is how we enforce social norms; pointing out BAD conduct is an effective way to encourage GOOD conduct.

And I have to tell you, if you don't want people to "judge" the decisions you make, don't blog about them. I'm judged all the time!

Elissa said...

Unfollowing you for propagating lies about this family. For shame. While we're all busy talking about how superior we are for only using politically correct words, these people have sacrificed everything to care for hungry, hurting and fatherless children in Africa. That they would be able to hold and feed literally hundreds of orphans and then try to adopt one who wasn't is an absurd assumption. But perhaps you don't mind absurd as long as it discredits those who are actually doing something about the millions of children who go to sleep without parents instead of just talking about what's politically incorrect about it.

Anonymous said...

Elissa: I volunteer at my son's school. Many of the children I "help", come from lower-income families than my own; some are stressed by the effects of institutional racism, poverty and unstable communities. I have great privilege and I try to bring that to the school by sharing my time and skills teaching kids how to read with the hope that they can be empowered and empower their families and communities in time. I'm not better or more deserving than these students, just more privileged. Do you think these children and their families owe me anything? Do you think I have the right to disrupt their already stressed families and community networks because I have "helped" them? Do you think I have more rights than my students because I make more $ and have more privilege? This kind of thinking and sense of entitlement is deeply frightening.

Linda said...

LOL at Elissa. Not sure why you cannot grasp the idea that what these people are doing is shameful, disgusting, and quite possibly, illegal. Trying to demand a child be taken from her family?? Her family who has NO intentions of surrendering her to rich white "Christians"?? THAT is the shame. Oh, and really gives true "Christians" a bad name.

If they want to help "orphans" (lol) they can do so without trying to snatch one up for themselves.

As an adoptee, I respect and admire Malinda for pointing out some of the atrocities in international adoption. Yes. ATROCITIES. Keep up the good work, Malinda. "get it". (hugs and hearts and all that stuff)

Anonymous said...

I figured I'd find a link to the stories that are going around the web about this family. You know nothing about this family. They have worked in Uganda for years. They have adult "kids" in Uganda who call them mom and dad, who they have been mom and dad to. This child was in the orphanage and available to be adopted. The grandmother and father of the girl met with the adoptive mother by accident, and they agreed to allow the adoption when they realized, through pictures of THE FAMILY, NOT THEIR HOUSE OR WHAT THEY COULD PROVIDE, that this family loves Uganda, will love this child, and will provide a wonderful home for her. They know that the family will bring her back. She will know Uganda. The entire family goes to visit Uganda, to work there, to feed children on the street, to work at the orphanages. They recognized that this will be a wonderful family for this child, and a better life for her than living in the orphanage. Malinda, I am disgusted and appalled that you would happily spread this story without knowing the background, just an utterance of disgust and a disclaimer that you don't even know what is going on. But not surprised, so typical.

Elizabeth J

Anonymous said...

The child does not just look poverty stricken, she looks morbidly malnourished, to me. She doesnt even look as if she would have lasted another month or two in her condition. Are we sure that the child was actually in the home with the grandmother? Or was the child left in some God forsaken orphanage, and then the grandmother stepped up when the potential APs stepped in? HUGE difference, in my eyes. Do we KNOW the whole story, or are we assuming this child has always been in a loving environment with the grandmother?????
Scooping It Up- Your post is eloquent, but Im curious if you know ALL of the story, other than the PAP is calling the grandmother "slum grandma". IF per se, the child was not being taken care of by the grandmother (including emotional care) until she was fighting for custody of her...perhaps she was a slum grandma, IMO, the reference to a slum grandma does not necessarily mean the grandmother was poor, but rather that she left the child to die for lack of attention and love (let alone food and water-which can be treatable with donations, but love and and essential physical and emotional care cannot).
I'd like to know the whole story before I just point fingers, that's all Im saying.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon. Who Helps Out in her Son's School:

I'm curious as I in no way read into Elissa's comments the same sense of entitlement and privelege that you did.

How wonderful that you are able to assist in your son's school, but that certainly doesn't qualify you as better prepared, to cast judgement on another family, who by all accounts has left their life of perceived privelege to devote themselves to others in far more critical need that those at your son's school. Are you seeking validation from this board then for your efforts?

And how completely insane to pretend that your social status is nothing more than "privelege". Did you and/or your husband not work for the things you have attained? Has their been no sacrifice or efforts warranting the good things you have achieved? If so then I can better understand your position. If, unlike myself and my husband, you didn't scrape/pinch, go into heavy debt to attend college, wait a dozen or more years to purchase your home and have to budget carefully every single day, pay off debts incurred, etc. then I guess you ARE priveleged or maybe just plain lucky.

I can share with you that I find it "frightening" that those who are perceived to be "haves" must denounce their own work ethos and hard work, or risk having it deemed selfish, self serving and/ or undeserving and "privelged" ~ white or otherwise. I am minority by the way, for what that is worth.

Finally I would add this: I too volunteer at my child's school and on a daily basis. So many of the "less fortunate or have nots" are not as destitute as you might imagine. Many of them can afford luxury vacations, trips to the nail salons, ALL of them have pricey cell phones and cable, vehicles and more. ALL of them have access to a public libray for free books ~ few take advantage of it and yes, the children suffer for it. Few take their children to a park on weekend or after school ~ and their children suffer for it. Few take an interest in their children's education....and so on. Few of them even work and many of them have been "unemployed" as a career.

And yet they too, some, not all, becry the "priveleged" all the while standing in line for their next hand-out, free lunch, free cell phone service, subsidized health care, housing and more. I guess there is no racial inequity in greed and feeling entitled!

Give me a break. Blech!

And yeah this is off subject, but you brought it up, so its fair game!

Disgusted Anon.

Anonymous said...

Hello All. Please be aware that the adoption of BOTH these children has been in the works for a long time and that the sudden appearance of "relatives" during the investigation to ensure legal documentation was a huge surprise to the adoptive parents. The meeting with the family members was unplanned and a shock as well.

Also, there are two children - one a child who is 1 year old and gravely ill with no known parents. Another child who is 9 years old and does not appear to have had contact with her relatives for a long time and has been living in an orphanage for a substantial period of time.(abandoned by her "family")

Yes, the terms used were unfortunate. I did read the original post and did not see any reference to the "Grandmother from the slums". I did see a reference that the grandmother wanted to take the child to the slums of the City because that is where her mother, who lives 4 hours away, expected to find the girl, when she decided to travel to oppose her adoption. She was not however, proposing to take her back home. Did the "family" just leave her on the streets to fend for herself one day? Something more sinister?

Remember to, those who have adopted internationally, that when you are jetlagged, sick, burdened by the toils of travel and adoption paperwork, worn thin, you might not make the best choice of words either. Especially when you find the daughter you hoped to adopt suddenly has relatives.

I must say I wondered if their sudden appearance, without any stated desire to care for the child who is living in an orphanage, was the result of seeing a potential opportunity for monetary gain.

In the end I think that most people who are commenting haven't been following that blog long and aren't giving any credence to the family's comment that there is more to the story, or to the situation they are facing. No I don't believe it was ideal for them to meet the family, I don't know that they did either, but it happened.

Coersion is not right, but it could have happened inadvertently, with well meaning parents, who were suddenly confronted with extended family who did not want to, and had not, cared for the child. Remember they went to visit the orphanage and were surprised by the extended family, as was the owner of the home.

Anonymous said...

To the last Anon-

(This is the Anon who made the first post, and also the post asking if the child was in an orphanage and not being emotionally cared for by her grandmother)

Thank you for clearing up what I had thought was perhaps the case. Regardless of the words chosen, this family does not appear to be the evil villains that so many are making them out to be, intentionally just snatching up a child from a loving family/mother/grandmother. Quite honestly, even if they want to "save" a child through adoption, they wouldn't NEED to disrupt a family to do that, as they already have so many children, and there are MILLIONS of children around the world who also need parents. So I knew there was another side to the story, other than how it has been made out to be as "over privileged white PAPs trying to disrupt an intact family".
Your post was very much appreciated. I just wish more people would find out the WHOLE story before pointing fingers so quickly. Sounds to me like this is more about a grandmother/mother/father/family who apparently was leaving the child to perish an untimely death, alone in an orphanage, and the PAPs stepped up to the plate.
The title of this post "But she already has a family..." is misleading, IMO. Does she really????? I'd prefer to call it, "But the family has already decided to burry the child....." Harsh, but keeping it real.

scooping it up said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
scooping it up said...

Sorry I deleted my last comment, it is 2am and I had so many typos it was embarrassing. I hope everyone here revisits the blog. The post has been added to, and there are 71 comments, most of which are NOT slamming the family but talking about ethics. It was a really great discussion. Even better I think are the comments on my follow up post where I hoped to elaborate on some empathy with the family. I hope you will all go back, read and think some more, if you have anything you want to add to the discussion. It's not about attacking.

ms. marginalia said...

There are such atrocities committed by privileged White people in the name of adoption, and Christianity, and all kinds of other banners, that I don't care what kinds of superior moral compasses are thrown about.

If we want to help children who are malnourished, let's do it IN THEIR COUNTRY, IN THEIR HOMES, and keep their families INTACT.

We are not entitled to break up their families to "complete" our own. Not because God said so, or more likely, because we coveted that child.

International adoption is rife with abuse, just as domestic infant adoption is. Coercion abounds. Money talks. I don't care what people say, or how they sugar coat it. People will believe what they like, and they will have to live with the decisions they make.

I am an adoptee, and I find it disgusting to hear entitled APs insulting an ethical adoptive parent like Melinda. Shame on you. Your adoptees will be ashamed of you one day, too. Stop playing the "adoptees should be grateful card." It's pathetic.