Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"She will die in jail . . . and her baby will go to America. This is not a just solution."

Interesting piece from Dr. Jane Aronson at Huffington Post, arguing that jail and adoption are not the best options when a mother abandons a child, after relating the social history of an infant whose file she reviewed for potential American adoptive parents:
There is more here than the science. I am focused on the moral issues: What will happen to this young woman who is HIV positive in jail? Why was there no trial? Why didn't this woman have an opportunity to talk with a social worker so that she might not have abandoned her baby? She left him in the market place with a note. She cared about him, but was desperate. A report noted that she knew he would become HIV positive if she breastfed him and that is why she left him. How smart! Was their legal counsel to help defend her rights?

He will likely not be HIV positive if the initial test is negative and he will be adopted by this family. He will have a good life -- and some might say that this is just fine. And I say that the issues are more complex.... Are you with me here? The consequences of extreme poverty and desperation are staring at us once again.

Commercial sex workers can be counseled and if they get pregnant, they can make a choice to keep their babies or not. They can get an education and leave that desperate world. All they need are social services and legal counsel. They can get HIV testing and medication if they are HIV-infected. This woman will die in a jail in a developing country. I won't bother with the statistics...that is her destiny. She will die and her baby will go to America. This is not a just solution.


Anonymous said...

I found the article lacking in details, and with a few spelling mistakes.

What country is the doctor talking about? When did this take place? It read like and article half finished.

Anonymous said...

Oh and the alternative is....to raise the child in a smut riddled environment, with the mother, because being raised by birth parents is always the better option. That kind of reasoning makes me sick to my stomach. This article is making the assumption that the mother would WANT to change her lifestyle. In many of these cases, it is the only lifestyle they know, and they might not like the end result, but they are comfortable in their situations. The odds are high that the child would grow up into the same lifestyle if he stayed with her. That she would educate herself and miraculously decide it's not a place she wants to be, is one in a million. Is it really ok to risk the life of a child for that chance to happen? In a perfect world, a mother would not become a prostitute and get HIV. OK...and in a perfect world, unicorns and fairies jump over rainbows, too.

Beyond Normal Mom said...

"All they need..."? I'm not so sure about that. I'm not always a fan of Dr. Aronson. This just seems to be missing a wider perspective