Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"Buying" babies

In the latest email from Adoptive Families magazine, there was an article from, Jennifer Maslowski, the mother of a Chinese daughter, who wrote the following excerpts in her article : "Why Did You Buy a Foreign Child?"

To sum it up, she had a neighborhood message board where an anonymous poster (a.k.a. troll) had rudely asked in response to another adoptive mother's post -

“Can’t you just adopt a poor child in the United States? Why is it so important to buy foreign children?”

And later: “Oh, wait, some people do buy their babies. Anyway, what is the big deal? Why is it so terrible to point out that there is a financial component to adopting other people’s children? And that the U.S. dollar goes further in poor countries? The adoption purists will not be satisfied until we award them all medals for selflessly helping starving urchins from abroad.”

The author replied with the following, and I think it is so perfect that I wanted to share, as I have gotten the questions before "how much will it cost? why is it so expensive to adopt? why don't you just adopt here, it's cheaper? isn't that really just the country selling their babies?"

“Of course, there is a financial component to adopting children, just as there is a financial component to giving birth. Did you pay the doctor, hospital, or other birth-support people who helped bring your child into the world? I paid a social worker and a nonprofit adoption agency to help bring my daughter home.

“Did you pay for food, clothing, and medical care for the first 10 months of your child’s life? I paid a Chinese orphanage a nationally standardized fee, after it provided that care for the first 10 months of my child’s life.

“Did you pay filing fees for your child’s birth certificate or social security card? I paid American and Chinese government filing fees for those same papers, plus citizenship and adoption documents.

“That’s it. In total. Not a cent of compensation went to the birthparents. There were no bribes, no cash under the table. In fact, these expenses may have been lower than the costs of an uninsured pregnancy, birth, and the first 10 months of life with a child in the United States. Did you ‘buy’ your child when you paid these expenses? Neither did I.

“Adoption is about love, sb700. Just as all real families are about love. You either get this, or you don’t. But those who get it are infinitely more blessed in this world.”

Any of you have any good comebacks to ignorant questions? Whether harmless or just plain rude? Cause I'm keeping a notebook and would love to store some jewels away for future's sake..


JG said...

Excellent answer. The people who aren't "there" will not get it. No amount of explanation will make them get it, either. It takes a change of heart, not mind.

Meliski said...

Just stumbled upon your blog tonight and loved this post! I will have to show the hubby in the morning. We are in the process of adopting and he has been deeply offended by some of the comments he has recieved. Me...not so much. Yet. Anyway, thanks for passing this on!


The Beaver Bunch said...

No advice yet, but I do get asked (about Olivia) "Where is her REAL Mom?"

"Why did you have one of OUR babies?" (Asked by another AA person.)

Yep. Those are some DANDIES. And, I'm still taming my tongue on how to answer them.