Re Jaycee Dugard, the girl who was hostage for 18 years.
Over at Facebook, there has been a lively discussion going on regarding adoption terminations, and we will have a post about that later this week. In the meantime, I've been thinking about the Jaycee Dugard case and though it seems almost sacrilegious to bring this up....when I first heard the story I could not help but think how Jaycee's situation is not unrelated to adoption as it is practiced in the western world today.
Stop screaming and hear what I have to say: In a way those 18 years that Jaycee spent with her captor were not far from being adopted: The child who is to be adopted is unable to have a say-so in the process and the situation, just like Jaycee, who was abducted. Let's assume most babies, like Jaycee, don't think, Gee, I'd rather be given away for a perfect stranger to raise than stay here where the feeling smells right, where the heartbeat is the one I'm familiar with--HEY, what's going on? Why are you giving me away? You can't afford me? Isn't there someone who will help you? Write the president! Call the bank! Call someone! You say I'll get a college education if you give me away, and I won't otherwise? Are you sure of that? HEY! MOMMaaaaa....
And then what? Does adopted people ever get free will back? By the time they understand what has happened, it's too late and then they have to come to the understanding that their mothers agreed to this situation, which has got to be a lot for a kid of six or seven to swallow, and maybe, even worse, this was done without any way for them to find out who she is, and the rest, and furthermore the state sanctioned this irrational and unjust agreement without EVER ASKING ME! The big difference of course is that adoption is done with the biological parent's, or parents' agreement, but how is that different in the psyche of the adopted person? Like, worse? Of course, it's got to be psychologically worse. How do you remove the "my mother did not want me?" from the adopted child's (and I do mean youngster here) psyche?
It seems to me that adoption, particularly closed adoption, is not unlike...a state sanctioned--well, it's not kidnapping, but then what is it?
The Chinese and other Third World adoptions where the children really were abandoned are not the same here, and though the demand for babies has made international adoption a sick situation, there are/there were thousands of babies who were abandoned and no one would take them in their native country, and so this connection that my brain is making does not apply here.
But still. I am really interested in what you have to say about this.
Later: Over at Salon we are getting the usual pap baloney about the "loving" decision to give away a child..
."Adoption Diaries" is the sort of poignant fare that demonstrates what a generous and loving act adoption is, an incredible gift by the birth mother to hopeful parents longing for their own children."Please do drop into Salon and leave a comment. We need to educate the public over and over and over again. You know, about the "loving decision" of an "adoption plan."