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An Adoption Commentary and Story

By edremy in Culture
Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 02:33:40 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Yesterday my wife and I got a simple, 3-page letter in the mail that is possibly the most important document we will ever own. It's the court order finalizing the adoption of our son Adam. Having now been through the process, I thought I'd put out a few thoughts and comments for folks who might be in our position someday.


Introduction: The following story is a mixture of our story mixed with details of the entire process, which can seem rather forbidding and overwhelming when you first look at it. Please realize that adoption laws vary so widely between states and countries that it's virtually impossible to give hard and fast rules: if you are interested you must speak with people who have done it. This actually isn't hard: most areas have an adoption group and families interested in the process are more than welcome.

Background: My wife and I decided to have children about 5 years ago. Being fairly young (~30) and healthy, we assumed like everyone else that we'd manage to make a baby the usual, fun way.

Fast forward a year: nothing. Start visiting doctors and get shuffled along from GPs to increasingly more specialized (and expensive) doctors. Various tests and drugs follow, to no avail. The next step is surgery for my wife to see if they can find something wrong. At this point, we took a long hard look at the entire process in front of us and said "No more."

But now where? One of the first things anyone looking at adoption finds is how many choices you have at the start. Domestic/international? Agency/private/social services? Open or closed? What country/ethnic background? The comments ahead are from someone who went domestic/agency/open/transracial, so realize the comments ahead may have a slant.

Foreign or domestic? This will be the first choice you have to make: both have their plusses and minuses.

Domestic

  • Pro: Shorter travel
  • Pro: Adoption can be open (see below)
  • Pro: Better chance of getting an infant
  • Pro: Better documentation of health
  • Con: Waiting time may be long
  • Con: Adopting more than one healthy, white infant may be very difficult (see below)
International
  • Pro: Possibly shorter wait time
  • Pro: Probably more structured process: you'll know when you'll get the child. (Depends somewhat on country)
  • Pro: No limit on number of children
  • Con: Country may shut down all adoptions at any time
  • Con: Probably more expensive once all travel and expenses added.

It's a tough call. Individual reasons may come into play: my wife and I rejected the idea of adopting from Vietnam since her father had fought there.

Ethnic background? Here's where adoption gets interesting (and a bit disturbing). Everyone has heard that there simply aren't enough domestic babies available for adoptive parents: to ask for a child from the US will involve an endless wait.

This is a myth. There is no shortage of domestic children available for adoption. There is, however, a shortage of healthy, white infants. Step away from that trinity and suddenly the picture changes. There are literally tens of thousands of children sitting in foster care today that are considered unadoptable since they lack one or more of those criteria. Two weeks after we got Adam, our agency scrambled to find parents for a healthy baby boy despite a long list of people waiting for a child. Why? His skin was too dark. (We would have adopted him but our agency doesn't allow multiple placements.)

Equally disturbing is looking at the patterns in international adoption. Countries have wildly different fee schedules for adoption, ranging from virtually nothing to well over $20k for the placement alone, exclusive of a myriad of other expenses. Look at the prices and there's a clear trend: the lighter the skin, the more expensive the child.

Adam is biracial black/white. Making the decision to accept him was in some ways easy: we had the support of our immediate family and friends, but our extended family was an unknown. (And in one case, had made actively hostile comments to the idea.) We've been lucky so far: we've met very little resistance from others (including the mentioned individual) to the fact of his adoption. It's hard to hate a baby, especially one as cute as Adam. (In all seriousness, he is beautiful. I think he got the best of both races.)

Long term, what does this mean for us? It changes our outlook on life. Neighborhoods that we would have happily lived in before are now places we probably don't want to be, not because of overt racism but because we simply don't want Adam to be the only non-white kid. We now read "black" magazines, learn African/Afro-American culture and history and study how to style black hair

Will it be enough? I don't know. I'd like to believe that love is enough to raise any child, but Adam will have unique issues being a biracial child raised by white parents. I take heart in the support of virtually every black person I know, but there are things I simply don't know how to deal with. Then again, simply raising a child quickly educates you in how little you know about things anyway.

Agency/private/social services? None of these get good press, but they should get more than they do.

With an agency, you have a group of people who know the process well and probably have contacts at a number of places. Our agency (and most others) arranges for health care and counseling for the birthparents, which was a big plus for us. Fees can be lower than with a private adoption: our agency charges on a sliding scale based on income. However, you're going to be competing with a large number of other families for a limited supply. If you want to take control of the process of finding a child, an agency is probably not the way to go. If you are going international, you will probably have to have an agency to coordinate everything. It can be done privately, but folks I know who tried it shied away when they realized how difficult it would be.

With private adoption, you arrange for a social worker and lawyer to handle the homestudy and then find the baby yourself. This usually involves ads in local+college papers, finding friends of friends, etc. Adoption "facilitators" are becoming more common: these are typically people who act much like an agency in locating a child, but are often unlicensed. Once you've located a birthmother, arrangements vary. You may be expected to pick up her health care costs and possibly even living expenses. While the vast majority of private adoptions work out well, this obviously opens you up to more risk.

Social Services: how many kids do you want? The process is very low cost and can be very quick. The catch: you won't be getting an infant, and the kids typically come with emotional or physical problems. For "non-traditional" adoptive parents such as single men or women or gay couples this may be the only option.

We went with a local, non-religious agency for our adoption. Why? They were very small and our social worker came highly recommended. We wanted an infant, and the counseling offered to the birthmother was important to us.

How much? You don't buy a baby: asking an adoptive parent how much their kid cost is very insulting. However, there are fees (and fees, and fees..) to cover the costs of the birthmother's health care, court costs, paperwork filing, travel, etc. As a result, costs are all over the map: anywhere from $1k-$30k. Domestic tends to be cheaper, social services at the very bottom of the scale.

These costs are offset to a degree by recent legislation that offers a $10k tax credit (not deduction- it comes off the tax, not income) for adoption. Companies may or may not have adoption benefits that can pick up some of the other costs, although things like travel expenses are rarely covered.

Open or closed? You may not have the option if you go foreign, since you probably won't know anything much about the birth family. However, for domestic this can be the hardest call. Most people when they think of adoption imagine the typical closed adoption: the birthmother and adoptive parents never meet, the records of the adoption is sealed and the child will be denied information about their biological parents until they turn 18.

With open adoptions, you may or may not meet the birthparents before the birth, but you will certainly send letters and pictures and probably meet afterwards. Our adoption is open: we met Adam's birthmother after the rescindment period was over and she'll be coming to his birthday party soon. We've sent dozens of letters, exchanged presents and have pictures of her in Adam's room. Frankly, this freaks a lot of people out: they can't imagine why we'd want her to visit or even know anything about him. "Aren't you afraid she'll take him back?"

Actually, we aren't. She gave him to us because she didn't want to raise him. She's young and going to college instead of trying to survive as a single mother.

Brief rant. As a society, we have a serious problem with birthmothers: they rank somewhere around slime mold in the gestalt perception. "How could anyone possibly give up their child? What kind of horrible person are they?" Answer: they're just like us. Getting pregnant by accident is not exactly uncommon. Instead of having an abortion or trying to raise a child when they don't think they can, they manage to have the courage to turn an accident into something good. Why is this considered evil? End rant.

Adam is not our biological child. We should not pretend that he is: he deserves to know who he is and where he came from. He may never be close to his birthmother, but he can be in the future if he wants to be.

Most domestic adoptions today are at least somewhat open: you may not have a choice about this issue if you stay in the country. International adoptions are virtually always closed: you probably will have few details about the child's life prior to the adoption.

Decided yet? The next step: Homestudy Now that you know what you want, it's time to begin jumping through hoops. Homestudy laws vary so widely state to state that it's basically impossible to detail the process, but Virginia is somewhat typical.

For people concerned with privacy, a homestudy will be terrifying. You will turn over details on every facet of your life, including (for us)

  • A full physical, including tests for STDs
  • A criminal background check
  • Birth certificates and proof of citizenship
  • Every financial detail including amounts in checking/savings/stocks/bonds/401ks, loans, mortgages and credit card debt.
  • Letters from non-related, long term references
  • All educational records
  • A letter from your company detailing your job.
  • A detailed autobiography. (Mine ran ~15 pages)
  • A timeline of what you do in a typical week. (Our social worker mentioned that nobody ever put down sex on this timeline, so we just had to include it.)
That's for a basic domestic adoption: expect foreign governments to require even more.

This will probably be followed by counseling: Virginia requires several face-to-face visits and your social worker must visit your home. In our case we also had to take parenting classes which covered both normal child/parent issues as well as those unique to adoption. This whole process can cause more than a little resentment for some adoptive parents when they read stories in the newspaper about biological parents abusing/neglecting their children. It wasn't too bad for me: I just had to remember that somebody we had never met was going to entrust us with a child.

Dear Birthmother: During this time you will also write one of the single strangest letters you will ever see. You need a single page letter introducing you to potential birthparents. Our agency gave us detailed instructions about this, down to the kinds and colors of paper to use. The entire process is stilted: you have to show who you are to a birthparent, but at the same time include a laundry list of info about yourselves and still fit it on a page. Don't forget the attached picture! We went through several rolls of film to get one deemed acceptable by our social worker.

There are entire published books of nothing but "Dear Birthmother" letters. Our agency required us to read one: I could barely manage it. The letters are uniformly bland pablum (to avoid offending anyone) and manage to be sickly sweet at the same time. I wish I could say different, but ours was no better. Writing it was absolutely the worst part of the entire process.

Foreign adoptions get off easy on this: they generally don't have to do one. They make up for this in a blizzard of paperwork that needs to be translated, notarized, re-notarized and then sealed at the consulate. This is an expensive and very time consuming process, made worse by the fact that it's all too possible that it will all be for nothing if the country decides to close its doors, as has happened to a friend of ours. Beyond this point I won't comment much more on international adoption: we have several friends who have been through it, but that's their story.

The wait: You've jumped through the hoops: now a baby might arrive. But when? The wait is so different for different people that it's impossible to generalize. I know a couple that managed to get a healthy white domestic infant in under a month through a private adoption. I know others that have waited years for a foreign adoption.

For international adoptions, you can often have a good idea exactly when everything is going to happen. China is very good about this, for example: you go in a group of 50, know when you will visit the orphanage, know when the court date will be, etc. For domestic private adoptions you have a blizzard of work: placing ads in college newspapers, tracing possible leads, etc. For us, using an agency, it felt rather odd: after all this work we were now expected to do basically nothing and wait for a phone call. This was quite hard for me: my wife wanted to buy all the baby things, read parenting books and magazines and discuss baby issues. I simply couldn't do it. This was a problem for us: it hurt her that she couldn't talk about it.

In our case, we had our first possible hit after about 9 months: a birth family that was a near perfect match for us. Our social worker sounded excited and sure that it was going to work out really well. In short: it didn't. The birthgrandmother decided that she didn't want the child placed and pressured the birthmother into keeping the child. This sort of thing is not at all uncommon, but it still hurts.

Fast forward about another year.

The Call: I'm washing my hair in the shower at 7:30 on a Friday morning when I hear the phone ring. This is a bit worrisome: good phone calls rarely come at that time. When my wife comes into the bathroom crying I'm really worried: who died?

Of course, it was The Call Adam had been born the night before and would be ready to go home over the weekend. A normal, healthy baby boy. Needless to say, this was a bit of a surprise, as we had had no warning at all. This too, is not uncommon. Adam's birthmother had told our social worker to let us name the child. Since we hadn't met we had not had time to discuss this with the birthmother and it can be a bone of contention. Luckily for us, her last name made a good middle name for Adam and we were able to honor her in that way. We picked him up two days later after a blizzard of visits to Target and baby stores to frantically acquire the tons of stuff you need for a child. (Remember, I didn't want to look at the stuff beforehand, so this was my fault.)

Rescindment? This is what gives adoptive parents nightmares. For some period after the adoption (varies by state) the adoptive parents aren't: they are "merely" foster parents and the birthmother may ask for the child back at any time. This actually happens much less than most people think: if a birthmother makes it out of the hospital without the child, chances are she will not rescind. Hospital rescindments are quite common however: I don't know the exact statistics, but our social worker estimates that ~25% of birthmothers will not be able to leave the child at the hospital. In Virginia, the rescindment period is 25 days, which strikes me as about the right length: it gives the birthmother time to adjust while not leaving the entire process hanging. States range from three days to six months.

In fact, we barely noticed the period. As new parents, we were simply too exhausted caring for a baby. We visited our agency a few days after the period had expired to sign some formal documents changing our status, and then we got to meet our birthmother (and her mother).

This was both amazing and awkward. How can you possibly thank someone for a gift like this?

Finalization This process too varies state by state. Virginia requires several visits by a social worker over a period of six months, both at the agency and at home to make sure the child is in good health. Our agency also requires more frequent doctor's visits than is normal for a child. After the social worker signs off that everything seems ok, the final papers can be submitted to the court. For us, this actually took about 4 months: we got the final papers less than a week before his first birthday. It's a bit of an anticlimax: the important papers were signed nearly a year ago at the end of the rescindment period and we've had Adam so long we can't imagine that anyone would think he's not our child.

Now what? Good question. Even more than biological parents, we have no real idea who Adam will grow up to be. In some ways this is liberating: we don't sit and look for traits that we expect to show up. There's no pressure to mold him to be a little me or expect that he'll be good at languages just because my wife is.

Adoptive children have issues that biological children do not, transracial adoptees even more so. While the latest research shows that adoptive children are no less well adjusted than children raised by biological parents, we'll need to be aware of these issues and deal with them as they arise.

One last request: Please, if you talk to adoptive parents, never, ever ask the question "What do you know about the real parents?" This is a rather disturbing question for two reasons

  1. While many people are willing to discuss their adoption story, other are not. For many, it's an intensely private matter. One adoptive parent I know will respond with questions asking details about the nights the questioner's children were conceived. "So, what position were you in? Was it really good?"
  2. You're talking to someone who changes the diapers, deals with the tantrums, holds the screaming baby while they visit the doctor, soothes the baby at 3AM, feeds them at 4AM and all the other minutia of raising a child. They are the real parents.

This article is now too long, but I've barely scratched the surface. Adoption's not for everyone, but for anyone looking at an empty child's room and thinking about a long course of infertility treatment, consider taking a step back and looking into it.

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An Adoption Commentary and Story | 260 comments (249 topical, 11 editorial, 2 hidden)
there was a family (4.16 / 12) (#2)
by Altus on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 11:48:22 AM EST

In my town growing up.  they had adopted 2 black kids (twin boys actualy).  Now  needham MA is a very very white town, although there is not alot of evidence of overt racisim.  I belive they were the only local black kids in thier class (there is a program through which some boston kids were being bussed to needham for school)

they grew up very well adjusted.  I wouldnt wory too much about your ability to raise a black child.  if you would have made good parrents to a white child then I expect you will do a fine job with this one.

best of luck to you.

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the money, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson

Corrected Quote (2.50 / 2) (#51)
by pexatus on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:11:32 PM EST

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson

It was in "Scarface" where Al Pacino said, "In this country, first you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women."

[ Parent ]

your right (none / 0) (#186)
by Altus on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 11:51:26 PM EST

My bad...

Ill fix that.

 
"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the money, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

Great story (3.85 / 7) (#3)
by rayab on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 11:52:56 AM EST

Wow, this was the first time in a very long while that I actually read through an entire story on this site without skipping any lines. - Raya

Y popa bila sobaka on yeyo lyubil, ona syela kusok myasa on yeyo ubil, v zemlyu zakopal, i na mogile napisal...
Interesting, detailed, well-written (3.00 / 3) (#4)
by czth on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 11:55:09 AM EST

As soon as it gets out of edit, +1 FP. Excellent, well-written article, very detailed, on a subject that I knew very little about and haven't seen covered here. Also very nicely formatted. Diversity of people and articles makes k5 great. Thanks!

czth

Congratulations (4.00 / 7) (#6)
by bayankaran on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 12:10:50 PM EST

This is one of the best things one can do in their lifetime.

I am dismayed at the bureaucratic process for adopting a child. A less intensive system may be exploited; but still some/most of the details seem to be utter nonsense.

Please, please don't make the mistake (2.75 / 28) (#10)
by psychologist on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 12:20:40 PM EST

Don't rear the kid as a black kid, or you are going to have family trouble. Raise him as a nomral white kid, and you won't end up with that silly ghetto posing that is currently the trend in black culture.

A black child is not going to feel strange if he has white friends. He will feel normal in whatever situation you bring him up in. If you raise him in suburbia, he is going to end up exactly the same way as all the other kids there, and will have friends that are white.

If you move to the hood, because you somehow believe that that is where blacks belong, you will end up with a hood rat drug dealing pimp kid that you won't be able to control.

Take me for example - my father is Arabic and my mom is Hispanic. However, I was raised in white America, and I'm not out chillin in the Mosque, or whatever Arab kids do, and I'm not peddling drugs up in the ghetto or whatever Hispanic kids do. I'm here, with white middle class NERDS, making them scramble to stay a step ahead of me.

Don't make your kid black. Colin Powell is half-black, half-white, but he was raised as a white person, which is why he fits in so well into the power structure.

Do the correct thing. Don't build a ghetto in your childs head.

Perhaps a tad extreme, but a valid point (4.42 / 7) (#13)
by Torgos Pizza on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 12:43:23 PM EST

While I wouldn't phrase it quite like that, I do agree that you don't have to raise the child black. I find it interesting that the author identifies the child as black, even though he is by all assumptions also half-white. Why does this automatically make him black? Tiger Woods is just as much Asian as he is black, but somehow if a person has a darker skin tone, they immediately have the label of being black being placed upon them.

I would perhaps educate such a child about traditions and believes held by the black culture, but I wouldn't be reading Jet or Vibe to find out how to raise my child. If you had your own child naturally, how would you raise your child? You should raise any adopted child the same way, regardless of color or ethnicity. The last thing you want to do is alienate your own child from yourselves by accentuating the differences, rather than build upon the fact that you are all now part of a family.

I intend to live forever, or die trying.
[ Parent ]

That is American racism (4.33 / 6) (#17)
by psychologist on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 01:00:35 PM EST

One drop of black blood, and you are completely black. Looky, even Mariah Carey is considered 'black' in America. She isn't even 1/4 black. Mr. Powell is a negro. Bob Marley is a black man. Halle Berry winning an oscar is a victory for black women everywhere.

It is like Will Smith said: America is colour blind till a black man kisses a white woman.

[ Parent ]

not quite (none / 0) (#67)
by ethereal on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 04:16:59 PM EST

Mariah Carey isn't black in America. Or at least, nobody knew about it when she was singing teeny-bopper type music. Once she moved to a blacker sound and straightened her hair, then perhaps people started thinking of her that way, but if you're aiming for more of a black audience, then perhaps that's unavoidable.

Nichelle Nichols kissing William Shatner was a victory for black women everywhere; it almost didn't get broadcast.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

This is the racism I am talking about (none / 0) (#71)
by psychologist on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 04:26:15 PM EST

That kiss wasn't a victory for black women. Are you implying that that kiss made black women become less inferior? Whose scale are you using to measure that inferiority?

That kiss was a victory for tolerance, and for not for anyone. The fight was against intolerance, and not against anybody.

[ Parent ]

ah, now I see your point (none / 0) (#74)
by ethereal on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 04:41:14 PM EST

You were saying that Halle Berry was an instance of racism, not a triumph over it. Missed that the first time around.

I would argue that breaking through a barrier of intolerance doesn't make anyone innately less inferior (because they weren't inferior in the first place, of course) but it force those who have conscious or unconscious prejudices to re-examine them, and maybe move society a little closer to tolerance for all. From that perspective, both Nichelle and Halle were breakthroughs for society, as you say. Or at least opportunities for the real breakthrough; we'll see if things actually improve as a result.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Still not sure you're getting it. (4.00 / 1) (#120)
by Gumpzilla on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 12:46:49 AM EST

He didn't say that Halle Berry's victory was a breakthrough for society, but that it was a breakthrough for American blacks. And that was where his point was, which I still think you're missing: that she is identified as black instead of multiracial, which, to my understanding, she is. Thus the skepticism about it being a breakthrough of any kind.

[ Parent ]
confusing (none / 0) (#149)
by ethereal on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 01:50:12 PM EST

If people think a person is black, and think that due to that person a great breakthrough against injustice has occurred, and that perception goes on to change the nation, does it matter that they weren't really entirely black? If a tree falls in the forest and you didn't see it, can you still hear the sound?

For what that's worth, I would guess that a large percentage of African Americans in the U.S. are not entirely black, due to various interbreeding that occurred during the slaveholding days. If Martin Luther King Jr. wasn't entirely black, does that mean that his efforts were not a breakthrough at all? Multiracial isn't a useful label any more than black or white; I don't see the point in chastising the public for not keeping track of who's officially multiracial, who is multiracial but doesn't know it because it was a long time ago, and the few people who just emigrated from African and really can claim to be black and only black.

I'm sorry if Halle Berry is unhappy to be a cause celebre for tolerance, but both white folks and black folks seem to perceive her as such. Sometimes you don't get to pick what you symbolize.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

re: Perhaps a tad extreme, but a valid point (none / 0) (#190)
by blakdogg on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 12:41:12 AM EST

Your comment touches on a incendiary topic among the black community. In the past light skin blacks have been given opportunities unavailable to their darker brothers. This practice is less prevalent now but still visible. In the shared history of the African diaspora the existence of coloureds, mixed races, who owned slaves is documented. Simply put it is better this way.
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]
If yuo raise him as a white kid, (4.20 / 5) (#14)
by leviramsey on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 12:52:11 PM EST

He'll be blasting the WuTang and the Dre, and wearing Fubu 24/7. I'm not sure what the difference would be.



[ Parent ]
But (2.00 / 4) (#15)
by psychologist on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 12:54:22 PM EST

He'll have a job.

[ Parent ]
I was just saying (none / 0) (#18)
by leviramsey on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 01:04:11 PM EST

...that there's plenty of white kids who think they're ghetto.



[ Parent ]
That is true (none / 0) (#20)
by psychologist on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 01:10:19 PM EST

But black middle class people usually don't. They turn up their noses (rightfully) at the childish pralling of all the superstars who somehow or the other are still up the hood.

[ Parent ]
You are a foul, rotten troll, (1.00 / 1) (#89)
by stinkwrinkle on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 06:25:01 PM EST

and I love you.

[ Parent ]
What white kids do you know? (none / 0) (#130)
by rasactive on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 08:36:50 AM EST

I'm a white kid, and most of my friends don't do this. I know what you're talking about, but there's actually a large number of kids that are extremely anti-poser (which I consider myself one of). I suppose that I also live in a pretty high-income neighborhood and those behaviors (whether you're black or white) are heavily frowned upon as "drug dealer stuff".

[ Parent ]
Oh, that reminds me (1.00 / 4) (#22)
by Rogerborg on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 01:22:02 PM EST

We're still waiting for your references that apparently show that anally raping children would be no worse than caning, and that disprove that "sexual abuse as children causes misfunction as an adult".


"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

My two cents... (4.66 / 3) (#92)
by libertine on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 06:53:08 PM EST

Really, find the BEST neighborhood with the BEST schools PERIOD, if you can afford it.  Raise the child there, regardless of the "racial" mix of the neighborhood.

This is advice from someone who is half latino, part Lakota and part white.  I pass for white, but where I was raised played a MUCH greater factor in my future opportunities than the color of my skin.  It took a long time to work out my ghetto mannerisms and adopt a manner of speech that permitted me to mix with people on a societal level outside of the hood.  My darker skinned cousins never even got to that point of development, due to a combination of WHERE they were from and their skin color.  Conversely, I have friends much darker than I, who have made use of being raised in a different environment, and are much better off as a result.  Location is a big factor in success later on in life.

Pigment makes up less than 1% of a person's body mass.  Treat the kid as any other, give it the best opportunity to succeed in the world by raising it in the best environment you can afford.


"Live for lust. Lust for life."
[ Parent ]

Amazing. (none / 0) (#141)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 11:42:16 AM EST

You just insulted Hispanics, Blacks and Muslims in two short paragraphs full of racist sterotypes.

It is incredible how somebody with your heritage can't be more toughtful.
---
"Every duck should aspire to be crispy and aromatic." sleepyhel

[ Parent ]

One question (3.00 / 4) (#12)
by Rogerborg on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 12:28:12 PM EST

    [Adam] is beautiful. He got the best of both races.

I'm wondering what you consider that to be. No agenda, just interested. I'm picturing a narrow-nosed North African look, but that's my personal prejudice. What's yours?


"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs

How about my gay fantasy (4.66 / 3) (#21)
by psychologist on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 01:14:46 PM EST

Vin Diesel. I'm not saing I'm gay (not that there is anything wrong with that)

[ Parent ]
Miss Read (3.00 / 1) (#34)
by virg on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 02:18:42 PM EST

> I'm not saing I'm gay...

Wow, did I misread that. I read it as though one can be saing, or gay, but not both. Besides, I am Saing, and there are a few gay Saings, so watch what you say.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
His looks (4.50 / 2) (#53)
by edremy on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:13:41 PM EST

Well, I'll admit to a bias towards a given look, so take this with a grain of salt- all of these are my opinions.

He's got a near perfect skin color: a light mocha that white folks spend entire summers at the beach trying to get. (Side note: ever wonder why so many of the things whites think of as attractive (tan skin, full lips, full breasts and hips) are stereotypical black traits? You'd think there'd be more black models.) He's got the full lips and a slightly flattened nose, which speaking as someone with a true honker looks really nice. Curly black hair, but enough of his mother came through that it's much easier to style than the tighter curls most blacks have.

One of the interesting things we've been learning about is the entire black hair thing. Whites simply have no clue how different it is and how much extra work it takes. I used to not notice elaborate black hairstyles like cornrows and beading: now I'm just in awe of the effort.

[ Parent ]

models (4.00 / 1) (#64)
by tps12 on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:55:37 PM EST

Models tend not to have full breasts or hips, so it's not that surprising.

Word on the black hair. Women will spend entire days (as in 8 hours, with a lunch break) getting their hair braided, once a month. That is some serious dedication to ones appearence.

[ Parent ]

hope your child will teach you some lessons (none / 0) (#171)
by mami on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 11:34:44 PM EST

one day ...

[ Parent ]
Adoption (4.61 / 13) (#16)
by craigtubby on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 12:55:59 PM EST

We now read "black" magazines, learn African/Afro-American culture and history and study how to style black hair.

I think you might getting yourself into problems thinking you must bring Adam up as African/Afro-American.

I think the only thing you have to bring him up as is your son, of course tell him he is adopted, but if you try to bring him up as different from you then that would make him insecure and confused, and maybe make him feel that he is not your son.

Lets look at another way, if he was British would you move to an Ex-Pat community to bring him up? If he was Cuban would you move to Florida and join the Cuban community there?

try to make ends meet, you're a slave to money, then you die.

* Webpage *

yeah, stick with the hair (5.00 / 4) (#62)
by Ahab2K on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:46:55 PM EST

Kids are kids regardless of their background - until they are taught differently. You don't want to teach him that "his" culture isn't his parents' culture because that makes no sense.

Speaking as someone with an adopted step-sibling who look like me, with step-siblings, with friends who had adopted siblings who look different, with friends who were adopted, with a spouse of a different "race" and a "biracial" child, with a brother-in-law who has stepchildren of a different race, and with other family relationships that need a diagram to explain, I'd have to say that emphasizing culture or the precise meaning of relationships, putting labels on things, drawing lines, making signs pointing at things is a really bad idea within a family. Things turn out better when you just let things *be* normal, and muddle on with the contradictions, like having a kid who doesn't look like you who acts and feels just like you. Family is family: there are parents and kids, and extended family, and the rest isn't very important.

Especially when it's a "black" kid in America with white parents. Save the history lessons for when he's older and needs to know why the world looks at him a certain way. Race is way overused concept.

It is true that kids of mixed heritage are known to be very good looking. So seriously, focus on figuring out the hair. Black hair is seriously different.

[ Parent ]

It's great. (2.61 / 13) (#19)
by roam on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 01:09:36 PM EST

Getting pregnant by accident is not exactly uncommon. Instead of having an abortion or trying to raise a child when they don't think they can, they manage to have the courage to turn an accident into something good. Why is this considered evil?

I think it's great what the birth mother did (not having an abortion and putting the child up for adoption), but what would have been even better would to have not had sex until the birth mother was ready to take care of a child. I don't think it's considered evil that she had a baby and gave it up for adoption, I don't think it's evil that she had a baby when she wasn't ready to take care of it. I think it was irresponsible to engage in behavior that has consequences that she didn't want to deal with, and that is probably the sentiment you're picking up on when you say "evil".


___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


My 2 Cents (4.00 / 4) (#25)
by SMN on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 01:32:11 PM EST

I just feel like throwing my opinion in here. You are, of course, entitled to keep your own opinion:
I think it was irresponsible to engage in behavior that has consequences that she didn't want to deal with
I'll agree that engaging in unprotected sex without preparing for the consequences is totally and utterly irresponsible. However, it would be wrong to assume that this was the case (it most likely is, but that's far from a certainty). Accidents do happen, even if the proper precautions are taken. If you live your life refraining from every action that has the slightest chance of consequences, it's not going to be a very fulfilling life.

-- Imagine how much more advanced our technology would be if we had eight fingers per hand.
[ Parent ]
proper precaution (2.25 / 8) (#26)
by roam on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 01:37:12 PM EST

against an unwanted pregnancy, in my opinion, is abstinence.

If you live your life refraining from every action that has the slightest chance of consequences, it's not going to be a very fulfilling life.

That's a good point when we're talking about jumping out of an airplane... but when we're talking about the possibility of creating a child you don't want to be responsible for, you should consider refraining.


___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
Bah (3.00 / 1) (#72)
by NDPTAL85 on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 04:34:17 PM EST

You just sound like one of those people who wants there to be consequences for any type of sex at all. Millions of people everyday do it responsibly. We can't go our entire single lives until marriage walking around chaste. It would cause insanity.

[ Parent ]
Sure... (4.00 / 1) (#84)
by RyoCokey on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 05:59:46 PM EST

I suppose THAT could be used as an explanation of the miracles in the Bible, but I wouldn't book the speaking tour yet.

While we're insinuating that wive's tales are true, perhaps masturbation causes blindness? Then we'd have a bunch of blind lunatics roaming the ancient countryside.



The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick." - John Dos Passos
[ Parent ]
I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#121)
by Gumpzilla on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 12:57:53 AM EST

I got no impression that this person wanted negative consequences attached to all kinds of sex. We're just talking about vaginal intercourse here. There are all kinds of other locations on the sexual spectrum between complete, total chastity and vaginal intercourse that serve just as well at fending off "insanity." Many of the others have lesser social consequences, too; while contracting STDs is no fun, I don't think it's on quite the same scale as getting pregnant (room for debate here).

[ Parent ]
Agree (none / 0) (#253)
by Mitheral on Thu Jul 25, 2002 at 03:24:34 PM EST

And at least one person on this planet has made it all the way to marriage with out having sex and with out going crazy, of this I know from personal experience.

[ Parent ]
You do not have to refrain (2.20 / 5) (#27)
by krek on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 01:39:20 PM EST

You just have to be aware of the consequences and be prepared to deal with them.

If an action has a risk of consequences, and you are not willing to accept and live with those consequences, then it is utterly irresponsible to engage in those activities anyway, and there should be a HUGE social stigma assigned to those who engage and still refuse to deal with the consequences.... public stoning or something.

[ Parent ]
OK (3.75 / 4) (#35)
by theR on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 02:19:34 PM EST

But it seems to me that the birthmother in this case dealt with the consequences in a reasonable and responsible manner.



[ Parent ]
not (2.12 / 8) (#40)
by krek on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 02:34:12 PM EST

How can you consider adoption a responsible solution to pregnancy? She got pregnant; could not deal with it; and handed off the responsiblity to whoever was nice enough to assume it for her. I agree that it was the best solution to an intractable situation, but she abdicated any semblance responsibility when she engaged in activities that she was not ready or willing to accept the consequences of.

I am not saying that people should not have sex when their goal is not reproduction, but people should be aware that reproduction is the primary function of sex, and should not be surprised when they reproduce as a result of sexual activities.

In fact, as I see it, it is perfectly acceptable to go out and kill someone that you believe is deserving of death, as long as you are aware that it may result in your own death or extended imprisonment, and are willing to accept those consequences.

[ Parent ]
Interesting ethical stance (3.00 / 1) (#73)
by ghjm on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 04:40:53 PM EST

So, everything is morally justifiable if you are willing to accept the consequences. If you light up an atom bomb and kill a million people, that's okay as long as you are willing to accept the consequences.

Who the hell gave you the right to decide which consequences are and are not acceptable, when other people are forced share in the outcome? What if the person you killed ("deserving of death" in YOUR opinion) was NOT willing to accept the consequences of your actions?

Is a child who must be raised in poverty, neglect or abusive circumstances, willing to accept the consequences of his/her parents' actions? Yes, actually. The child doesn't know any better. But which is the more responsible act: to keep a child in circumstances that you know are undesirable, because you are "taking responsibility" - or to arrange for a good life for the child, despite major personal heartbreak over the fact that you couldn't provide the needed environment using your own resources?

Your main problem is that you are focused on the needs or moral circumstances of the parent(s), not the needs of the child. But even if we disregard that, you are flat wrong about the parents' situation as well.

-Graham

[ Parent ]

Ok now (2.33 / 3) (#90)
by krek on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 06:42:14 PM EST

Who are you to dictate morality to me.

Morality is purely subjective, but, there has been established, a collective morality, decided on by the masses based on something that approaches consensus, and we call this 'Law'. Law also proscribes consequences for not upholding this LCD morality.

If my morality is not in concordance with the group morality, well then, it would seem that I have a decision to make. Do I break my own, personally established morality in order to comply with the group morality, or do I break the group morality so as to protect my own?

Either way there are consequences to breaking a moral code. If I break the group morality, there will be punishments in terms of incarceration or fines or even death. If I break my own morality, I will face myself, my own conscience and perhaps the scorn of those close to me. Either way I lose. But, I still need to make a decision, and, I still need to accept the consequences, this is what we call responsibility.

As for the adoption case, I have made my view clear in previous comments in this thread.

[ Parent ]
is arrogance wrong? (5.00 / 1) (#125)
by mech9t8 on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 01:20:56 AM EST

Either way there are consequences to breaking a moral code. If I break the group morality, there will be punishments in terms of incarceration or fines or even death. If I break my own morality, I will face myself, my own conscience and perhaps the scorn of those close to me. Either way I lose. But, I still need to make a decision, and, I still need to accept the consequences, this is what we call responsibility.

I think the problem with that particular line of reasoning is the arrogance of assuming your own morality is just as valid as the group morality.  I would argue that if your morality diverges from group morality, you have an obligation to reconsider your morality, instead of assuming that you must be morally superior to the collective moral wisdom.

Let's take an example...

In fact, as I see it, it is perfectly acceptable to go out and kill someone that you believe is deserving of death, as long as you are aware that it may result in your own death or extended imprisonment, and are willing to accept those consequences.

Let's say someone thinks that cutting someone off on the highway is a crime deserving of death.  A loved one of yours cuts him off, so he kills her.  He then goes and turns himself in for a jail sentence.

By your morality, that was "perfectly acceptable."  Non?

If I break the group morality, there will be punishments in terms of incarceration or fines or even death.

No, if you break the group morality, the consequence is you will quite likely be doing something wrong; you just don't realize it yet.  You are then guilty of two things: the act, and the arrogance that led to the act.  When your conscience does realize your mistake, you get to feel doubly guilty.

Never mind the scorn of society, and possibly, those close to you.  You mentioned that for the following the "group morality" choice; they're equally possible (in fact, probably more likely) for the "own morality" choice.

It is, of course, possible that society is wrong.  But most of the time, the person that thinks "I am right and society is wrong" is delusional or ignorant.  I think you're underplaying the importance of group morality.  You may decide to break it, but only after giving it the proper respect.

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

Lots of assumptions happening here (4.50 / 2) (#97)
by vremya on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 08:19:05 PM EST

It seems to me that there are some assumptions being made about the birth mother, namely that she willfully had unprotected sex, got pregnant, decided to dump the kid off on someone else. A little compassion here, folks! The only thing we know for sure is that she got pregnant - that's it. We don't know exactly what happened, and we really don't need to know. As for dealing with the circumstances, she did. She gave the child up for adoption, and like the author said, that takes a lot of courage and maturity. Instead of laying into her for getting pregnant, she should be applauded for making a responsible, generous decision.

[ Parent ]
one more (2.00 / 2) (#214)
by krek on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 03:29:02 PM EST

We know that she had sex, that, I assume, is how she got pregnant.

If a blind guy gets into a car and starts driving around and eventually hits a pedestrian, does taking his victim to the hospital make it better. Should he be applauded for having acted in such a generous and compassionate way, "Wow! You mean he missed his nephews birthday, just to take that guy to the hospital. Wow! And he is blind too? He's a hero!", no, I assume he would be brought up on criminal negligence charges or public endangerment charges or some such thing, he may get some lenience for have helped his victim, but he would still go to jail.

[ Parent ]
Details, details (none / 0) (#252)
by Mitheral on Thu Jul 25, 2002 at 03:22:13 PM EST

vremya's point being we do not know the details leading to the pregnacy or the choice to adopt the child out. She could have been raped or her entire extended family could have been wiped out in a tragic Act of God. No one commenting here knows and there for no one here should be making moral judgement about her actions.

[ Parent ]
Detail (1.00 / 1) (#255)
by krek on Thu Jul 25, 2002 at 04:34:43 PM EST

I have working under the assumption that the pregnancy was due to lack of foresight rather than lack of choice.

Under the case of rape, I would say that the only person responsible for the pregnancy would be the rapist, the mother/raped bears no fault in terms of the pregnancy; extenuating circumstances require a case by case analysis.

I am not sure what acts of God have to do with it, as far as I know, there has not been a imaculate conception in around 2050 years.

I am not making moral judgements about 'her' actions as such, what I am judging is 'her' lack of consideration. It is illegal, for civilians, to shoot guns in urban areas, even straight up, there is always the chance the bullet will accidentally hit someone on the way down. Sex with birth control is still kind of like russian-womb-roulette or something.

[ Parent ]
ethics (3.00 / 2) (#216)
by krek on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 04:03:04 PM EST

Would be a very good argument for a forced adoption program. In this program, anyone who becomes pregnant is not garaunteed to become a parent.

If a couple, or even a single mother, becomes with child, upon delivery the child is removed from the birth parent(s) care and placed into the forced adoption program.

This way all childeren get the best crack at life, right off. No longer does fertillity give one the absolute right to become a parent, you must earn it. Only those who sucsessfully complete the adoptive parent preparatory courses will be eligable as adoptive parents.

Using this system, we would be able to ensure that all children are 'born' into a protective and loving environments, since all parents have actively sought after a child by labouring through the forced adoption proceedings (which will probably be a six to ten year ordeal).

Thinking of the children first at all times would imply a Parenting Licence.

[ Parent ]
not not (4.66 / 3) (#93)
by imadork on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 06:59:58 PM EST

Everyone has made mistakes in their past, and I'm sure that lots of people have made big, life-changing mistakes as well. For the most part, once a bad decision is made, there's nothing you can do to take it back.

However depressing that sounds, you can always resolve to make the next decision in a positive direction. While you can never take back that bad decision, you can learn and grow from it, and maybe even make up for it.

I think that the decisions that lead to an early, unwanted pregnancy fall into this category of a huge, life-changing mistake. A decision to give up a child for adoption is not a decision to abdicate responsibility for the child; it's being responsible enough to know that the best thing for you, and for this new life, is for someone else to raise him or her.

The entire situation may be borne (heh, pun) out of a lack of responsibility, but the final decision to give the child up is very responsible, and perhaps is a step toward redeeming things.

Approximately 50% of us are below average..
[ Parent ]

Fair enough. (5.00 / 1) (#70)
by mindstrm on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 04:23:47 PM EST

In what way did she not deal with the consequences? What exactly are you saying she SHOULD have done?

She did one of the sociologically accepted things to do in this situation: Give the child up for adoption.

[ Parent ]

Well (1.40 / 5) (#91)
by krek on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 06:46:54 PM EST

I do not think that adoption should be made to be an easy way out for those people who engage in sexual activities without evaluating and accepting the consequences. Adoption should not be socially acceptable, adoption should be just as socially stigmatized as abortion, not illegal mind you, just socially stigmatized.

And I am saying that she did the right thing, given that she had put herself into a rather intractable position, but, I do not think that she (or he for that matter) should be able to wash their hands so easily of their completely irresponsible activities.

[ Parent ]
Well (4.00 / 1) (#159)
by mindstrm on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 05:41:51 PM EST

As someone who was adopted, I find what you say disgusting and ignorant.

There are MANY potential good parents out there who are unable to have children. What do we say to them? Sorry, fuck you, you only get leftovers that should never have happened? I think not.

"Wash her hands so easily?" What makes you think it's EASY? Do you have ANY idea what it's like to have a child and then give it up? Somehow I doubt it.

If it should be just as stigmatized as abortion, well, that's like saying that anyone with an unwanted pregnancy should abort. In which case, I would not exist.

I think you need to re-evaluate your worldview.


[ Parent ]

Re-evaluation (2.00 / 2) (#200)
by krek on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 12:06:30 PM EST

What do reproductively inferior, parent wannabes have to do with this. If you are suggesting that people who fall to an unwanted pregnancy are performing a public service, then it is you who needs to re-evaluate.

Unwanted pregnancies do happen, and adoption is an acceptable solution to this problem. I, personally, am even pro-choice, in that I, and others, have no right to tell a person what to do and not to do with their body, and in that I am not fully convinced of the 'fully human' nature of a foetus.

Unplanned parents should not be celibrated, and they should not be excused, they acted without thinking of the consequences, and as a result put a life in danger (just because the adoption sytem aproves a couple, does not imply that that couple will, in fact, become caring and nurturing parents). On the other hand, I believe that knowing that you are completely incapable of caring for a child, and then choosing to keep the baby is decidedly more irresponsible. My point is that the child should not have happened in the first place.

Condoms are only 86% effective.
The pill is around 95% effective.

Sex produces children, and one should not engage in sex without thinking about the possibility of inadvertantly producing children.

[ Parent ]
Well (3.00 / 1) (#233)
by mindstrm on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 01:54:40 PM EST

And accidents happen.

So you are one of those who advocates never having sex until you are prepared to raise a child?

Interesting.

[ Parent ]

I am just arguing a side (1.00 / 1) (#244)
by krek on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 12:17:42 PM EST

Are you one who advocates having sex when you are not prepared to raise a child.

Some things in this world require a certain mesure of self-control, preparedness and/or responsibility. Children are not allowed to drive cars, enlist in the military or operate power tools until they have reached the age of majority (whatever that happens to be), there is a reason for this. It is a well recognised fact that most children, and certainly all very young children, do not have the mental capacity nor the experience required to judge their actions against the possible consequences of their actions. They have yet to understand or even conceive of the concept of responsibilty, and because of this we do not allow them to engage in activities where the risk is too great for them to properly wrap their little heads around.

The unfortunate problem with this setup, is that we never, at any point, really, and I mean really, teach them about responsibility. We instead shut them up in a protective little womb, and do not let them out until they have acheived a rather arbitrary age of 16, or 21, or whatever. The result here is that people grow up without a lick of responsibility, they hit that magic age and suddenly they can do all that stuff that they were never allowed to do... and they still have no concept of responsibility. They continue to grow older, and yet, they never really grow up. They have learned that age bring rights, absolute rights, and that they deserve to be able to do whatever they want, because they are older, because they are no longer a 'child'. When things go wrong, it is rarely their own fault, instead there is someone/something that is actively trying to derail them, or maybe it was just an acident, and therefore no ones fault, certainly not theirs.

Blame it on God, fate, accident, chaos theory, conspiracy theory, your boss, your spouse, your neighbor, not enough money, too much money, the government, the liberals, the conservatives, the commies, the hippies, blame it on El Niño, global warming, the moon, the tides, the seals, the whales, the Americans, the Europeans, the Muslims, the Christians, the Jews, the Protestants, blame it on bleading hearts, cold hearts, the aliens, the illuminati, pesticides, cigarettes, fast food, TV, radio waves, micro waves, gamma rays, X-rays, Corporations, and don't forget society, but, whatever you do, do not blame yourself.

[ Parent ]
Yes.. I am. (none / 0) (#259)
by mindstrm on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 11:36:05 PM EST

I think it is absurd to expect that everyone should be full and ready to raise a child before they have sex. Not in this day and age, and wanting it to be that way is not reflective of society in general.

What about those who took responsibility; used proper protection mechanisms as proscribed by society and science. What happens when they have a child they were not intending to have, and are not in a position to take care of? Are they irresponsible people?

So if I am financially down at the moment, I should not have sex?


[ Parent ]

apologies for the lag (1.00 / 1) (#260)
by krek on Wed Aug 14, 2002 at 04:53:14 PM EST

What does your finacial situation have to do with being responsible enough to raise and care for a child?

People were having sex and raising children for millenia before money was even invented (Note: Money WAS invented... by us!).

My point was, I think, it has been a while, that it is all well and good to take the "proper protection", but we all know that this does not garauntee protection. You have engaged in an activity with risk attached to it, you must be able and willing to accept the resultant consequences. If you engage in sex, even without the intention of getting pregnant, even if you are not in the position to take care of a child, and a pregnancy occurs, it is my opinion that you should get in the position to care for this child. Although adoption is an available solution, one that even satisfies the needs of other desirous couples, I think that just because we can abdicate responsibilty, does not mean we should, all it does is contribute to the growing infantile mind set that our society wallows in.



[ Parent ]
Wow, aren't you stupid.... (3.00 / 1) (#212)
by Kintanon on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 02:43:54 PM EST

You said:
I do not think that adoption should be made to be an easy way out for those people who engage in sexual activities without evaluating and accepting the consequences. Adoption should not be socially acceptable, adoption should be just as socially stigmatized as abortion, not illegal mind you, just socially stigmatized.

I respond:
So you would rather force someone who OBVIOUSLY doesn't want a child to raise that child? How well do you think that is going to work out? A person without the resources or desire to raise a child being compelled to do so? At best the kid will end up dead, at worst he'll end up a serial killer. People who don't want to raise children shouldn't.
Oh, and believe me, going through 9 months of pregnancy and multiple hours of childbirth is not being 'able to wash their hands so easily of their ... activities.' the easy route would have been abortion.  
I just can't believe there are people who want to FORCE parenthood on others at the expense of the childs welfare, the parents welfare, and the welfare of society in general (and speaking of welfare, that's most likely where a family like that would end up, in the welfare line because they don't have the resources to support a child). So take your firced birthing, convservative, white, male, attitude and shove it up your ass, it should fit nicely with the stick that seems to already be there.

Kintanon


[ Parent ]

What I can't believe (2.00 / 2) (#213)
by krek on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 03:08:37 PM EST

Is that there are people who want, or more acurately, don't care if they force life onto others.

Sexual acts have repercussions, if you are not willing or able to accept these repercussions, then please, do not engage.

I do not get what is so wrong with expecting people to be aware of consequences and to be responsible for their own actions.

And, once again, I do not think that adopton is in any way wrong, given that the birth parents are too incompetant or selfish to take care of their own flesh and blood, then, indeed, adoption ofers that child it's one, shining salvation in the form of loving and desirous adopting couples.

Perhaps adoption should be accompanied with sterilization of the birth parents or something. At the very least they should be charged with reckless endangerment or some form of child care negligence.



[ Parent ]
All for it! (3.50 / 2) (#215)
by Kintanon on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 03:46:06 PM EST

As you can see from other posts I've made, I'm all in favor of forced sterilization of for a vast subsection of the population. Ideally, adoption and abortion would never take place, because every one who wanted a child would have one, and everyone who didn't wouldn't. But that's not the case... So I approve of abortion (remove the clump of cells before it acquires sentience) and adoption (if you have the guts to go through labor and child birth, ouch) as means of not inflicting a life as an unwanted child onto another human. But I also disapprove of the idea that it is everyone's RIGHT to have as many children as they want, no matter what their circumstances, and I hate the fact that there is very little research done on effective methods of MALE birth control. Men have Condoms, and that's it.... So the idea of birth control is frequently left solely up to women, and some women want nothing better than to have a child no matter what their circumstances, or what their partner thinks. The same can be said for some men as well. It sickens me that people are allowed to breed heedlessly without haveing to take even a rudimentary parenting class or anything. You need a license to drive a car, or own a gun, because those things endanger peoples lives in one way or another, why not the same to have a child?

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

So... we agree then?? (2.00 / 2) (#217)
by krek on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 04:14:40 PM EST

Ideally, what we need is a reversable sterilization, free snip but high price for the reversal so you have to be serious about it.

But in reality, I am a libertarian (for the most part) and am very wary of forced sterilaizations or parent licences, because it infringes upon an individuals right to choose. It is just very unfortunate that there are so many people who mistake liberty for a free-for-all. True liberty would neccessitate true responsibilty on the part of all citizens, but since we do not seem to be able/willing to handle true responsibility we must accept a false liberty.

There is far to much of a rift in our society, between Personal Rights and Personal Responsibilty. In my mind they are one and the same; for most other though, you hide from your responsibilties behind your rights.

[ Parent ]
PS (2.50 / 2) (#218)
by krek on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 04:16:32 PM EST

I believe that there has been some significant work done on the male pill. I do not recall exactly, but I seem to remember a TV program saying that it was at most two or three years away.

[ Parent ]
Male Pill (none / 0) (#250)
by Mitheral on Thu Jul 25, 2002 at 03:14:16 PM EST

It was even a story here about a male pill and imperium's attempt to volunteer to test it on K5. Cool read, check it out.

[ Parent ]
Passing judgment with insufficient knowledge (3.00 / 1) (#226)
by hugues on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 08:49:34 PM EST

Listen, many things could have happened to the birth mother that you don't know about. Maybe she's married and her husband left her. Maybe she was raped. Maybe her boyfriend died. Maybe she was told she was sterile and wasn't. Maybe the pill didn't work, no contraception method is 100% safe. Maybe the condom burst or was improperly put on. I could go on. In any case she chose to go through the pregnancy, not something easy to do, comfortable or safe. Not something easy to live with during all these months she knew she was going to give up the child. To my mind this person is behaving perfectly reasonably and is dealing with the consequences of her action in a more than commendable fashion. I think this person deserves a lot of respect, and you should shut up.

[ Parent ]
one comment (1.83 / 6) (#23)
by tps12 on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 01:23:43 PM EST

my wife and I rejected the idea of adopting from Vietnam since her father had fought there
Shouldn't you have rejected the idea of adopting from the US?

huh? (4.50 / 6) (#82)
by NoNeckJoe on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 05:22:46 PM EST

Her father was probably getting shot in Vietnam.  It was for the father's sake, not some sort of anti-war stance.

True story:
Two older gentleman were sitting next to each other at a banquet.  One of them, who was visiting from Germany, went on at length about how beautiful Germany was.  He turned to the man sitting next to him and said "you should visit some time.  You would love it!"

The second man, an American, said "I've been there once, and I didn't much care for it."

"Oh?" the German asked.  "Why was that?"

"I was being shot at."

Silence as it became clear that the two men were once enemies.

[ Parent ]

Chinese adoptions (3.75 / 4) (#24)
by ucblockhead on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 01:29:23 PM EST

I have heard rumors that the Chinese will sometimes hide health problems of some kids (girls, chinese adoptions are always girls) and steer them towards richer applicants on the theory that they are best equiped to deal with health problems.

We have some friends who adopted a korean boy a year or so ago and are very happy. My wife also has a friend who has twice had birthmothers change their minds at the last minute. The one huge advantage of taking an older child is that this won't happen.

I also have a relative who gave up a child for adoption and then met her over twenty years later and formed a great relationship with her.

The whole system is royally fucked up, actually. It isn't good for parents or children. In many ways, children would be much better off if they ditched the whole "pay for children" stigma and simply charged a huge premium to adopt infants.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

What I'd wonder about (3.50 / 2) (#39)
by fencepost on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 02:28:21 PM EST

Is when that massive realization is going to hit in China.  You know, the one where someone points out that
  • They're having more male babies by methods up to and including aborting daughters
  • Single men & boys outnumber single women & girls by a large margin
  • They're adopting out girls to other countries
I can't help but expect to hear a Homer-like "D'oh" coming from half a billion throats at once someday soon.
--
"nothing really says "don't hire me, I'm an idiot" quite as well as misspelling "pom-pom" on your resume." -- former Grinnellian
[ Parent ]
population control (3.66 / 3) (#45)
by mattw on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 02:53:44 PM EST

Except this isn't really a problem for them, since they're so overpopulated they have resorted to forced abortions after the first child in order to control it. So I'd imagine they view the gender skew as perfectly acceptable; it will right itself eventually, as the population rights itself. Quite possibly, it will correct only when the population dwindles enough that the one-child rule can be removed, thus removing the motivation to kill off girls in hopes of a boy.


[Scrapbooking Supplies]
[ Parent ]
you'd think that (4.50 / 4) (#49)
by aphrael on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:09:40 PM EST

but societies tend to get very unstable when the male female ratio skews; lots of young men with high testosterone levels and no outlet is a bad thing.

[ Parent ]
examples? (none / 0) (#128)
by Gumpzilla on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 01:41:52 AM EST

I'm perfectly willing to believe your point, but the way you phrase it suggests that you have some particular societies that you might be thinking about. Care to indulge my curiosity?

[ Parent ]
I can't quote sources, but (none / 0) (#234)
by dasunt on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 04:55:28 PM EST

In an anthropological text I was reading, there was a study of 'primitive' tribes, and the tribes that skewed the birth ratio towards boys would end up getting rid of their excess male population, usually through warfare.

However, the study didn't take in account that the tribes might have tended towards warfare in the first place, had x% of their males die, and thus have unmarried daughters that would skew the urge for boys rather then girls.



[ Parent ]
I thought of that, but... (4.00 / 1) (#155)
by mattw on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 02:37:07 PM EST

But let's not forget that a good State can find something for any man to do -- if nothing else, you can join China's 200M+ person army.


[Scrapbooking Supplies]
[ Parent ]
In some parts of China, it's already begun. (3.25 / 4) (#46)
by graal on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:00:17 PM EST

I read an article lately (Time, maybe. I can't remember where) that showed rural villages in China where the remaining men are having to marry close cousins because of a lack of women. I'm not talking about 2nd and 3rd cousins, either.

--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)
[ Parent ]

Found the Link... (4.00 / 3) (#54)
by graal on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:15:08 PM EST

It was Time. Luckily, it's on their website as well: here.

--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)
[ Parent ]

...one last comment. (3.00 / 1) (#55)
by graal on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:19:35 PM EST

A telling quote from the article:

Two decades of restrictive family-planning policies have resulted in a drastic gender imbalance--the country is missing 50 million girls who would have been born if not for sex-based abortions and female infanticide. Sons are valued far more than daughters in China because males maintain the family line and care for parents when they grow old. Girls, on the other hand, leave their parents' home for their husband's clan when they marry. In China's poorest villages, fathers don't even count their daughters when asked how many children they have. "Two strong sons," says a millet farmer surnamed Yang when asked about his family. As an afterthought, he adds: "Two donkeys. A pig. And one daughter."

--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)
[ Parent ]

Actually (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by Karmakaze on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:12:03 PM EST

Seeing as how China is looking to reduce population growth, they might not be so dismayed as all that.
--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]
Doubly so (4.00 / 1) (#63)
by ucblockhead on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:54:19 PM EST

Since the number of females in a population is more critical to the size of the next generation than the number of males.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
It's not population growth, it's culture & soc (4.00 / 2) (#66)
by fencepost on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 04:04:12 PM EST

As aphrael said, societies tend to get unstable when there's too large a shift from balanced numbers of men and women.

In addition, the reason that male children are more valued is because they're the ones that carry on the family line - unless they're the end of that line.  Families are going to have to start getting used to "sharing" descendants, with daughters considered to carry on the family as well.  There may also be some interesting demographic notes - for example, is the proportion of males higher in wealthier/more powerful families (with better access to prenatal screening and abortion) and will there be any shifts due to men almost always having to marry below their social status?

If the ladies here have the opinion that guys will go for anything with tits and a vagina, they ought to think about China.  k5 geeks have nothing on all those Chinese boys.  They're unbalanced by almost as many women as the entire population of the UK (M and F), or a third of the female population of the US.
--
"nothing really says "don't hire me, I'm an idiot" quite as well as misspelling "pom-pom" on your resume." -- former Grinnellian
[ Parent ]

Adoption is miniscule amount... (4.00 / 1) (#146)
by Thinkit on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 01:10:22 PM EST

It dwarfs compared to the total population. The problem is that the girls are dying, not getting adopted out. Or perhaps they are being hidden, but that is debatable.

[ Parent ]
Agreed (none / 0) (#157)
by fencepost on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 05:20:23 PM EST

But at some point there's going to start to be a shift that's likely to stop foreign adoption cold.  I have no idea if China has a history of dowries, but if they don't then I wouldn't be surprised to see them appear until the population evens out.
--
"nothing really says "don't hire me, I'm an idiot" quite as well as misspelling "pom-pom" on your resume." -- former Grinnellian
[ Parent ]
D'oh -p (none / 0) (#249)
by Mitheral on Thu Jul 25, 2002 at 03:04:24 PM EST

It's not a D'oh it is part of the plan. And it is already an issue. Latest stats I read indicate there are around 40-50,000 more males than females in China. Mostly in the getting married rasing children age bracket.

[ Parent ]
D'oh! (none / 0) (#254)
by Mitheral on Thu Jul 25, 2002 at 03:36:14 PM EST

Dropped a few zero's there should be 40-50,000,000

[ Parent ]
Good story... (3.80 / 5) (#28)
by graal on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 01:40:42 PM EST

...and dead on about many of the myths surrounding adoption in the US. It's heart-rending to hear about folks jumping through unbelieveable hoops to adopt children from Russia when there are thousands of kids right here in the US.

--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)

Black Hairstyles (2.00 / 3) (#31)
by Bob Dog on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 02:02:30 PM EST

The only hairstyles that really work for black dudes is shaved head, a 'fro or deads.  Don't ever make the mistake of doing a flat-top.


cornrows (none / 0) (#44)
by broken77 on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 02:52:29 PM EST

Dude... I can't believe you left out cornrows. I almost considered getting these myself I like 'em so much :-)

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Hair (3.00 / 1) (#48)
by edremy on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:03:59 PM EST

Ahh, but he's *not* black. He's got dark, curly hair, but he got enough of his mother's straightness that his hair isn't the classical tight curl most black men have. Right now we just keep it fairly short: we'll have to see what happens with it in the future.

It took a while to find hair goop that worked for his hair: products for whites dried it out too much, and products for blacks were too oily.

[ Parent ]

Keep it short... (none / 0) (#58)
by StephenThompson on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:34:27 PM EST

I have two half black adopted brothers who grew up with me in an all white town. Some issues with racism, but nothing too bad. But I do remember hair being an issue. They had soft curly hair. If there is one thing I'm sure they'd go back and change after looking at their elementary school photos is cutting their hair more often. Keep it short. In order to look good, they have to cut their hair more often. As a parent you may tend to ignore this, but people will judge them by their grooming.

[ Parent ]
Make it long (none / 0) (#173)
by tifosi on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 05:29:41 AM EST

Make it long.

Always nice to have long hair, and chicks will always be asking him questions about it, because it will be unusual and I am sure beautiful.

[ Parent ]
chicks? (none / 0) (#178)
by Josh A on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 05:06:59 PM EST

By the time people start showing a sexual interest in him--other, um.. related, topics on k5 aside--he will probably be making his own decisions about his hair, yes?

---
Thank God for Canada, if only because they annoy the Republicans so much. – Blarney


[ Parent ]
Bureaucracy and race... (4.00 / 5) (#33)
by seebs on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 02:07:19 PM EST

I am told that one of the reasons there are so many non-white babies and children available for adoption is that many of the bureaucrats are resistant to placing kids with parents of other races.


Depends (4.66 / 3) (#47)
by edremy on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:00:42 PM EST

The National Association of Black Social Workers has been very anti-transracial adoption for many years, declaring it "cultural genocide". They've been backing away from the stance in recent years, I think in part due to the fact that ~50% of kids sitting in foster care are black while thousands of white parents go abroad to adopt.

We didn't get any flack about it from any official source: our agency has done numerous transracial adoptions and hasn't had problems. On the other hand, my old National Guard commander had a terrible time trying to formally adopt his wife's child by another man, despite the fact that he'd helped raise Jimmy from an infant as was married to the biological mother.

Here's a decent overview of some of the issues

[ Parent ]

"cultural genocide"?!? (4.33 / 3) (#85)
by seebs on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 06:05:02 PM EST

That's one I hadn't run into much before.  Mostly, I'm for it; most of the culture from the backgrounds my parents had (both European, mostly, but very different branches) survives only in food preferences in me...  And that's a *good* thing, because I now have the *winning* components of a dozen cultures in my cultural makeup.  That's what made America great - getting over our cultural preconceptions.  (Yeah, it hasn't always happened - but there's a strong correlation between "clinging to cultural preconceptions" and "sucky periods in our history".)


[ Parent ]
Congratulations! (3.25 / 4) (#37)
by Xeriar on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 02:22:10 PM EST

I've only met a few interracials (that I know were, anyway)... all girls, they were all pretty/attractive and stunningly intelligent.

While I'm not an advocate of force-feeding education to ones children, it may be a good idea to keep the path open for fast-paced education. Read stories early, get math puzzle cards when he is first learning numbers, etc.

Overaccelerating is bad, though, I hear lots of bad stories about kids who get advanced more than a year in school.

Anyway, just my thoughts based on observing other 'mixed' individuals. Results may vary, good luck :-)

----
When I'm feeling blue, I start breathing again.

Overaccelerating (3.00 / 1) (#42)
by broken77 on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 02:50:25 PM EST

Yup. I was a year ahead all throughout elementary and high school. Funny... Up until my sophomore year, I was always the shortest kid in class, and I hit puberty later than everyone else. But the funny thing was, I was right in line with the kids a year below me. I think being the runt really fucked with my psyche. I'm well over all that now, but I always wondered what it would've been like had I been in the right grade.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

same here (none / 0) (#56)
by zenofchai on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:22:41 PM EST

always a year ahead throughout elem. and high school. compensating by taking 5 years in college worked out pretty well. just waste the first year of college, go back to the dorms as a "freshman" again, and suddenly you're actually the "oldest".

as gold which he cannot spend will make no man rich, so knowledge which he cannot apply will make no man wise.
[ Parent ]
Mileage may vary (4.00 / 1) (#122)
by Gumpzilla on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 01:05:55 AM EST

I, too, was accelerated one year starting in elementary school, and I view it as the best decision I ever made. The transition was made early enough that I came to identify with the people in my final class rather than the original class. Aside from some mild shock when people first discovered I was a year and a half younger on average than most people in my class, it caused no problems in intellectual, social and athletic spheres. Not turning 21 until graduating from college was a bit of a pain, but the benefits far outweighed the negatives, in my mind.

My feelings are that the success of the child who gets accelerated like this is very dependent on the crew he gets put in with. In my high school class there was a large enough niche of intellectual students that there was no feeling of ostracism associated with smartness. I would imagine that if such a group had been lacking, things would have been much worse. Does that jibe with your experience?

[ Parent ]
But don't hit the brakes (4.00 / 1) (#164)
by chrylis on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 08:24:47 PM EST

I, like probably the majority of K5 readers, possess above-average intelligence--which would put me well above my assigned grade-level in public schools by itself, but that's another matter.

My parents had a full psychological evaluation done on me when I was in late elementary school (3rd-4th grade), and the report, which I was only recently allowed to read, recommended an across-the-board acceleration of two school grades based both on intelligence and social maturity.  My parents instead opted only to advance me one year, and that only in mathematics.  Whether consulting me would have been appropriate or would have helped anything is anyone's guess, but I spent the next several years frustrated both at the dumbed-down education I was receiving and at my peers, whom I perceived weren't moving nearly as fast as I wanted to.

When I got to high school, with its free-for-all sign-up-for-individual-classes system, things changed drastically.  By my sophomore year, I was already partially assimilated into the class above me since I was able to take some AP-level classes early, and, when taking both calculus and orchestra caused me to have to move half of my classes to senior-level my junior year, I finally found that in the high-level math and science courses--and with people who were a year ahead of me--I finally fit in.

I'll freely admit that my case was a special one, both in my personality and in the environment into which I was placed (2200 students and possibly the top AP program in the United States), but while acceleration isn't something to simply jump into, after an appropriate intellectual and social evaluation, it is something that should be seriously considered if appropriate.

[ Parent ]

Above avg. int. (none / 0) (#230)
by Enocasiones on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 07:02:46 AM EST

I, like almost 50% of the population, possess above-average intelligence. Above-average is almost meaningless. If you wanna brag, say "My intelectum is lightyears ahead of yours, feeble mortals!" or whatever. If you don´t, just tell the facts.

Your following paragraphs clarify your first sentence a bit, but I don´t see the relation between acceleration and adoption. However, I really liked that thing about possessing above average intelligence :)

[ Parent ]

Introduce me... (none / 0) (#50)
by bayankaran on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:10:33 PM EST

to a few of those girls, all pretty, attractive and stunningly intelligent.

[ Parent ]
Idiot (1.60 / 5) (#57)
by psychologist on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:28:35 PM EST

Almost all 'black' actors and actresses are direct mixed race. You have merely been told that they are black.

[ Parent ]
So remove the 'normal' school (none / 0) (#96)
by ehintz on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 07:38:09 PM EST

Honestly, I'd be concerned about my son in 'normal' school. He's 4, and he already reads books at about a 2nd grade level. In a normal kindergarten class he'd be frustrated by the other kids, whose parents didn't help in their kids development and who thus have trouble with just the alphabet, let alone reading. We've come up with a solution to that: Sudbury schools. He can proceed at his own pace, irregardless of the other students, but still have social interaction with other kids of his own age. It's really the best of both worlds. They seem to address that which I found most objectionable about public schooling and traditional methods of education.

Regards,
Ed Hintz
[ Parent ]
Congrats, we know a few couples in your situation (3.20 / 5) (#41)
by georgeha on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 02:45:31 PM EST

white parents who have adopted black kids, and the kids seem to be doing great.

Funny how good parenting will do that (4.50 / 2) (#106)
by skim123 on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 09:45:32 PM EST

regardless of race...

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
A comment from the author (4.30 / 10) (#43)
by edremy on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 02:52:00 PM EST

A few notes here to avoid repetition since some of the comments span threads

Some people seem to wonder why we're raising the child as "black". Supposing that there even is a "black" way to raise a child (Highly doubtful: watch black and white parents sometimes.), we're not: we're white, middle class and we can't change that. The article never tries to say that we are trying to raise him as anything other than our child, nor does it identify him as black: he's not. But he's not white, either.

We are trying to learn enough about black culture and history so that he isn't missing 1/2 of his heritage. Yes, there's much in modern black culture that's repugnant. Looking around at white culture though, I don't see an improvement. There are bits to save and discard in all backgrounds.

This isn't all that hard- we'd be doing it even if he was white, yellow or red. At his age, he doesn't know the difference between the Pooh books or the Anansi fable (or the native american myths) we read to him: he just likes the pictures and hearing our voices. (In actually, we rarely read these to him: those books are too nice and he tries too hard to eat them. He's got a bunch of plain old board books that are his staple diet (heh) right now.)

In the future, we'll have to know and understand more, but we'll do our best.

I don't get it... (2.66 / 3) (#179)
by basj on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 06:46:13 PM EST

> We are trying to learn enough about black
> culture and history so that he isn't missing
> 1/2 of his heritage.

It's just a kid. He won't have any heritage but what *you*'ll give him. If you raise him as "green", he'll have a green heritage.

I somehow suspect you're one of the politicaly correct racist types, you know, the ones that go "It doesn't matter what colour your skin is, deep down inside we're all white." and "It's so sad that all black people live in ghettos and do drugs."

Perhaps if was american I'd understand these things.
--
Complete the Three Year Plan in five years!
[ Parent ]

Nope (none / 0) (#220)
by djp928 on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 05:51:57 PM EST

Perhaps if was american I'd understand these things.

No, you wouldn't. Because I'm American, and I don't understand them either.

-- Dave

[ Parent ]

Racism on this board (3.36 / 19) (#59)
by psychologist on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:35:09 PM EST

I am in great dismay at the terrible racism that is prevalent here on this board. The really bad  part is that it is unconsious - people are saying things like - "I know white parents who done go raise a black kid, and the kid turned out just fiiiine". Well, what do you expect? That it would turn out a monster, and kill and devour the parents?

Blacks are not some separate entitiy. They are exactly the same thing as you - there is not fucking difference! But you act as if it is some very strange and wierd thing that a white couple adopts a black child.

'Oh, how brave that couple is! They fight the societal stigmata, and have performed this brave and courageous act for our minorities'.

Well, it is your attitude that creates the stigma. Rather than seeing the difference, see the things that are the same.

White America is too uncosiously intolerant, racist and consiously segregates itself from the rest of America.

The sad part is that even though I say it now to your face, you will NEVER accept it, and you will NEVER admit it.

When I'm back next week, I'll devote a large part of my time to stamping out racism on this board.

White America is racist (3.00 / 4) (#65)
by georgeha on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:57:06 PM EST

and if a white couple adopts black children, they may experience this. So, why does acknowledging this rate a low score?

There are hair differences, the kids will experience a different reality than white kids will, you should at least be prepared for that.

[ Parent ]

Georgey again (1.50 / 2) (#69)
by ganglian on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 04:19:44 PM EST

You have a wonderful talent for bringing up the irrelevant, dont you?
You heard me.
[ Parent ]
why is it (3.66 / 3) (#77)
by techwolf on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 04:47:53 PM EST

irrelevant? the kid WILL have a different life than white kids. chances are that he will hang out with other black kids (but maybe not) and he will want and try to experience the black culture which IS diffeent than that of white kids. other black kids may give him a hard time because his parents are white, and white kids my give him a hrad time becuase of the same. kids give other kids a hrad time thats the way life is in america. Right or wrong that is the way it is, and he will have to deal with it.


"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

So..... (4.00 / 1) (#88)
by bjlhct on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 06:21:13 PM EST

Treat him different because people treat him different?

Hmmmmm.....

Furthermore, tying one culture to black and another to white is racism. It's also not true.
If anything, you should say that there's one culture and also another, and that blacks seem more likely to have one kind, and white people are more likely to have another.

There's nothing inherent about culture, even though it might seem like it.

I'd say one reason for a "black" culture is black people thinking other blacks should stay black-black, and worrying about them heading to europe and becoming 'white'.

How to treat a black kid differently: maybe give them some extra vitamin d.
"Sometimes a cheroot is just a cheroot." -Jung, in Pilgrim
[ Parent ]

bullshit (2.00 / 2) (#98)
by techwolf on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 08:50:14 PM EST

culture israce-defined. rice rockets are driven by asian mostly, rap/lowered cars blacks, rasied trucks by white boys. yes I know you do have crossover but the majority still tends to stick with what thier race identifies with. its a fact no matter how much you don't want it to be. I do understand that if a lone black kid is rasied in an all white envirment the chances that he is going to id with black culture is less but not gone. people of various races tend to migrate to those of similar race it is a fact studies have been done on this it is the way the world works. may not be right but it's the way it is.


"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Culture is not defined by race. (4.00 / 1) (#112)
by forii on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 11:28:06 PM EST

Culture grows from common experiences, not from any genetic basis. If culture was race defined, then you would expect people with common ethnic backgrounds to have common cultures. My friend, who is an ABC ("American Born Chinese") became acutely aware of this when he went to Taiwan for a few weeks.

Conversely, By your reasoning, the United States, being an immigrant country, would be filled with a myriad of vastly different cultures. And while there is some degree is variation between cultures in the US, there is nowhere near the amount of difference there would be between the cultures of Ireland and Senegal, for instance. Instead, most of the different "cultures" in the United States are variations around what can be commonly considered "American Culture".


Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.
[ Parent ]

Racism (5.00 / 1) (#101)
by forii on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 09:06:43 PM EST

chances are that he will hang out with other black kids (but maybe not)

How in the world can you predict this? Are you saying that because the child has a parent with dark skin then they will be inexorably drawn to other kids with dark skin? Is this some sort of skin-based magnetism that I'm unaware of?


Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.
[ Parent ]

Hopefully. (3.00 / 1) (#136)
by haflinger on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 09:25:26 AM EST

He will hang out with black kids. Hopefully, too, he will hang out with white kids, and hispanic kids, and maybe asian kids (although they said they were in Virginia I think so there may not be too many of this category for him to hang out with. still, perhaps they will move to Seattle in four years :)

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
"hopefully" yes... "chances are&quo (4.00 / 1) (#150)
by forii on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 01:50:52 PM EST

Hopefully the kid grows up with a wide range of experiences.

But to say "chances are he'll be hanging out with black kids" is the same as saying "chances are he'll be a good dancer and listen to rap.". How can anyone possibly know this?

Although sure, if everyone presumes that he will hang out with certain people, act in a certain way, and behave in a certain way, then most likely he'll grow to meet expectations.


Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.
[ Parent ]

title parsing (none / 0) (#151)
by forii on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 01:52:00 PM EST

the title should read:
"hopefully" yes, "chances are", no.
Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.
[ Parent ]
African-American culture (3.66 / 3) (#75)
by dbc001 on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 04:43:01 PM EST

You must not be a real psychologist if you aren't aware that there are huge cultural differences between blacks & whites in the USA. Although some of the differences are caused as much by geographic location and local culture as they are by race, it just happens that here in America, the different races often tend to live together in small groups. While there may be places where those cultural differences are small or not present, those are usually the exception not the rule.

The fact is that here in the USA blacks and whites are not on the same rung of the socioeconomic ladder. According to this, the median annual income for white families is more than $10,000 more than that of black families. A white person considering adopting a nonwhite child must consider many important issues: Will the child be stigmatized for his ethnicity? Since the child is likely to have come from a different socioeconomic background, could the parents' healthcare (and possible lack thereof) effect the health of the child? To accept that minorities in America get the short end of the stick is not racism but realism. By "short end of the stick", I mean that minorities in America usually have lower incomes, less healthcare and (possibly) less education.

Further, while I am strongly opposed to racism, it is important to realize that there really are some big differences. A lot of black people have big lips. While it may not always be appropriate to comment on that, doing so certainly does not make one a racist.

Blacks are certainly not "exactly the same thing as [me]". Many American blacks celebrate Kwanzaa. Some wear traditional African clothes on occasion. Their hair is very different. Remember in the 80's when T-shirts that said "It's a black thing" were popular? What about when many black communities wanted "Ebonics" to be a legitimate language?

Your finger-pointing is absurd ("it's your attitude that causes racism, my backlash has nothing to do with it!"). You can't possibly have gotten the depth of understanding about this guy's racial attitudes from a 7-paragraph story about adoption. Dig up some statistics on the ethnicity of criminal offenders in America and perhaps you will find that the comments that you refer to ("I know an adopted black who turned out ok!") are congratulatory and meant to encourage the author, and are not evidence of racism, but rather acknowledgement that stigma towards minorities is more cultural than racial.

-dbc

[ Parent ]
race doesn't necessarily imply culture (4.00 / 1) (#117)
by Delirium on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 11:42:35 PM EST

Sure, it correlates with culture, but that doesn't mean they're the same thing. The variation between people of the same race (Russians and Australians for example, who are both "white") is often quite large, and there are people who belong to a culture that is not the majority culture within their race (I'm acquainted with a few "non-Hispanic" people who grew up in South America and identify exclusively with their local culture).

So if the average black American and the average white American have different cultures, I'd guess this is just because black Americans tend to associate with other black Americans, and white Americans do the same, not because the black culture is "better suited" to people with black skin or the white culture is "better suited" to people with white skin.

[ Parent ]

the correlations lead to expectations (4.00 / 1) (#124)
by Gumpzilla on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 01:20:02 AM EST

I'm not certain that anybody is claiming that black and white cultures are uniquely suited to fit black and white people based on real underlying differences between the races. Being black does not make you act a certain way. Nor does being white. But I do think it's true that black culture exists, and that it is, by definition, primarily associated with black people. And I think there's an expectation that one identifies best with the culture associated with your race, and if you don't, you're likely to draw some flak for it.

Some anecdotal evidence: at my high school, it was fairly standard usage to call white people sporting baggy pants, puffy jackets and walkmans blasting hip-hop music "wiggers." Likewise, I've heard anecdotes of black students upbraided by black peers for acting "too white." Another example, perhaps, though in a different vein, is the success of Eminem. Look! A white man who talks black! As he himself says, he wouldn't sell half as well if he were a black rapper. People came for the novelty act, and stayed for the nasal, gay-bashing, wife-shooting splendor.

A last comment: Saying that black culture is propagated because "black Americans tend to associate with other black Americans" strikes me as a tautology, much like "If America and France have different cultures, it's because Americans spend their time associating with Americans, whereas, the French associate with the French."



[ Parent ]

Re African American culture (4.00 / 1) (#187)
by blakdogg on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 12:09:31 AM EST

You seem to be threading on entirely thing ice. The differences between American blacks and whites are miniscule, especially in comparison to other cultures. Similarities 1. tend to speak english 2. tend to be christian, at least in name 3. tend to be capitalists 4. tend to support democracy^w the american way 5. tend to lack experiences outside of the US borders the list can go on Differences 1. Skin colour. From my limited observations, black and whites only differ on topics of race. Generally speaking, white people believe it isn't a problem but minorities disagree.
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]
Give it a rest (4.75 / 4) (#80)
by Tatarigami on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 05:02:44 PM EST

Those people are thinking about children wondering about the cultural identity that goes with their skin colour, encountering pressure from outside the family to conform to social norms that don't match the ones they were raised with, etc.

The way you're misinterpreting their concern, it sounds like you're the one with the problem.

[ Parent ]
a thought (5.00 / 1) (#129)
by Gumpzilla on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 01:44:03 AM EST

If you want people to seriously examine themselves and admit that they have some racist tendencies, calling them "terrible racists" and trying to browbeat them for it is not likely to be particularly successful.

[ Parent ]
Unlike those damn kikes, right psycho? (none / 0) (#160)
by Demiurge on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 06:38:41 PM EST

You know? Those dirty Jews who blew up the WTC and run the MOSSAD who are tracking you right now? You're the last person on these forums to preach to the rest of us on intolerance, you schizophrenic bigot.

[ Parent ]
Race and all that horseshit aside ... (4.66 / 3) (#60)
by joegee on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:37:48 PM EST

... as an adoptee, thank you for giving a child a home. Instead of putting your hands up in the air and exlaiming "what do we do about this problem" before walking away, you did something. My simple suggestion would be that you raise your child as the child of loving parents who chose their special baby. Everything else (away from K5, out in the "real" world) will sort itself out. :)

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
I agree (5.00 / 4) (#76)
by spammacus on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 04:43:55 PM EST

I am often dismayed by stories I hear about infertile couples paying insane amounts of money for various medical procedures to help them concieve.  Maybe I'm naive, but it seems foolish if one can adopt, gain a child, and at the same time help their community.

My sister was adopted, and it helped her, and the family of her birthmother who would have had a very hard time otherwise.  I just don't see a downside.

Surely this is better for you, and a better use of society's resources, than surgery, artificial insemination, and God knows what else.
-- "Asshole, deconstruct thyself." - Mr. Surly
[ Parent ]

Fascinating (3.00 / 2) (#61)
by vambo rool on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 03:39:08 PM EST

Best of luck to you.

move to montreal (3.60 / 5) (#68)
by crazycanuck on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 04:18:20 PM EST

no shortage of races and inter-racial couples here.

I have a dream... (4.00 / 12) (#78)
by forii on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 04:54:46 PM EST

Martin Luther King Jr. said, in his "I have a dream..." speech on the Lincoln Memorial, that he hopes that someday [people] "will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Your son is barely coming into your family, and you are already trying to guide him into your own pre-conceived notion of what someone with dark skin should be like. I assume (from what you said) that one of his parents has pale skin, why not try to make sure that he understands his "pale skin" culture (whatever that means...)? Is it that you consider his dark skin to be some sort of handicap, that needs some special attention?

You say: "Neighborhoods that we would have happily lived in before are now places we probably don't want to be, not because of overt racism but because we simply don't want Adam to be the only non-white kid." "Non-white"? Why not "non-black"? What is this? The "one-drop rule" all over again? Why does it matter what kind of neighborhood he lives in anyways?

Another question... How is it going to help anything to "read "black" magazines [and] learn African/Afro-American culture and history" How old is your son? Did he somehow assimilate "Afro-American" culture so quickly, that you are worried about not being able to "relate" with him? Why not just raise him as a child, and just enjoy whatever he ends up becoming?


Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.

Oh, come on. (4.14 / 7) (#86)
by Estanislao Martínez on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 06:14:15 PM EST

No amout of "all races are equal" idealism (which in a white person, more often than not means "I refuse to recognize my own racist impulses") is going to change the fact that this child is going to grow up in a society where the color of a person's skin, the thickness of his lips, the kind of hair he has, and so on, are very much laden with significance. Contrary to the way white suburban USia acts, you can't switch society off.

The adoptive parents in this article clearly expect that race will be a significant and unescapable issue for their child in USian society. No matter how much you like to pretend that "all races are equal" (which is true genetically, of course), in actual practice people of color face all sorts of problems that white people don't. The way they are responding to this is to become knowledgeable about the issue, and to provide an environment for their child where he can have meaningful contacts with people from both races, which hopefully will help him to sort out his ideas about race.

The biggest irony here is how the adoptive parents are getting blasted as "racist" for to live in racially integrated communities from now on. Of course, the racially conscious thing to do nowadays is to move to an all-white community, right.

--em
[ Parent ]

laugh... (1.00 / 2) (#103)
by forii on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 09:16:19 PM EST

(which in a white person, more often than not means "I refuse to recognize my own racist impulses")

I'm glad to see that you are a person who is proudly able to recognize and embrace their own racist impulses.

Of course, the racially conscious thing to do nowadays is to move to an all-white community, right.

Exactly. It's just as "racially conscious" as moving to any other community based on racial makeup. "Racially conscious" and "racist" is exactly the same thing.


Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.
[ Parent ]

All races genetically equal? (3.33 / 3) (#133)
by nusuth on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 08:54:12 AM EST

No matter how much you like to pretend that "all races are equal" (which is true genetically, of course)

Well, genetically no two people are equal, let alone two different collections of them. Am I genetically better than you? Sure, if you let me define what is better. We are pretending all people are equal because we neither can nor want to have an agreed upon definition of "better". Our equality is a social rule, not a biological one.

[ Parent ]

You're Right: (5.00 / 1) (#153)
by bjlhct on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 02:31:19 PM EST

From here on, Jewish people will not be allowed to post comments on K5.

Rolls eyes

"Sometimes a cheroot is just a cheroot." -Jung, in Pilgrim
[ Parent ]

What is your point? (none / 0) (#156)
by nusuth on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 03:24:17 PM EST

Perhaps we are all clones of each other, genetically perfectly equal. Or maybe all interspecies differences are just cosmetic such that all different traits of human beings are perfectly equally well adjusted to every environment and every task. Or race does not genetically define anything other than skin color and nose shape...

I'm not advocating discrimination based on genetic information (be it race or something else) so I can neither make sense of your post nor can guess what you are thinking about mine.

[ Parent ]

Cut me some slack. (4.66 / 3) (#163)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 07:25:41 PM EST

"All races are genetically equal" is shorthand for "there is no significant divergence between supposedly different `races' at the level of the genome". Which shows that `race' is a social construct.

--em
[ Parent ]

Dreams <> reality (4.25 / 4) (#95)
by Wotan on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 07:30:25 PM EST

"Why not just raise him as a child, and just enjoy whatever he ends up becoming?"

Why not expose the child to elements of both cultures, and maximize his ability to relate to members of each? Martin Luther's dreams notwithstanding, he will be presented with obstacles fitting in with members of each.

An understanding of ones heritage and history is an asset in coping with the world.  I applaud the author for ensuring that his child education will be as complete as possible.

[ Parent ]

Cultures (3.33 / 3) (#99)
by forii on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 08:54:09 PM EST

Why not expose the child to elements of both cultures

What are the two cultures that you're speaking of? As far as I can tell, this child has only one culture. His.


Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.
[ Parent ]

Only one culture? Who's that? (none / 0) (#135)
by haflinger on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 09:21:39 AM EST

Okay, this kid is just a baby, and I'm in my early 30s. But I'm a member of several cultures. And I don't know anybody who isn't.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
When you first start out... (4.00 / 1) (#142)
by forii on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 11:43:27 AM EST

Okay, this kid is just a baby, and I'm in my early 30s. But I'm a member of several cultures. And I don't know anybody who isn't.

But that's exactly my point. Culture is a result of experience, not any shared genetic background. If you took a 30 year old guy who had lived his entire life in, say, France, he would have a completely different culture than some 30 year old guy from the United States, even if they were identical twins.

A lot of people here are claiming that a kid who has a parent with dark skin should be exposed to african-american culture. Why? Just because his skin will be darker than his parents?


Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.
[ Parent ]

Would they, really? (none / 0) (#145)
by haflinger on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 12:24:48 PM EST

I count k5 and net.life as being one of the cultures I'm involved in. Is it that different?

I think kids should be exposed to as many cultures as possible. Life is more fun that way.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

not the same thing (5.00 / 1) (#148)
by forii on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 01:45:35 PM EST

I agree that exposure to a lot of cultures is a good thing.

But what we're talking about is the same thing as some parents giving their male child a lot of exposure to math, while raising their female child a lot of exposure to housekeeping, purely based on sex.

It's just presuming something based not on what a kid actually likes, or shows any interest in, but just on what is inside their cells.
Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.
[ Parent ]

Are we? (none / 0) (#167)
by haflinger on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 10:23:57 PM EST

They said they were reading black cultural magazines. They didn't say anything about what they were doing to their kid, who after all is a baby.

Now, it just makes sense for them to get exposed to black culture, for a couple reasons:

  • Black writing may help inform them about racism, which their child is bound to face, especially in Virginia, and which they may have no direct experience of
  • Adam may at some point express an interest in black culture (it wouldn't shock me, or anyone, right?), and it would be helpful if his parents had a clue as to what it was
There are probably more reasons I haven't thought of why this is such a good idea.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
Ummm come on now... (4.14 / 14) (#79)
by Kintanon on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 04:59:10 PM EST

Quote from Article:
This whole process can cause more than a little resentment for some adoptive parents when they read stories in the newspaper about biological parents abusing/neglecting their children. It wasn't too bad for me: I just had to remember that somebody we had never met was going to entrust us with a child.

Give it a rest man, it's a kid, not a ming vase.  Every day millions are born and millions die. I applaud your decision to adopt instead of going through all kinds of surgery and whatnot for a bio-baby, but don't forget this is a human that has no morals, no ethics, no inhibitions of any kind right now. It's your job to turn this little demon monster into a functioning member of society. Do not worship the baby. Let me say that one more time, a little louder, DO NOT WORSHIP THE BABY. Do not give the baby everything it wants just because you finally have one. Do not worry that denying the child a plastic toy will damage its self esteem, it won't. Do not worry that making the child do chores will destory its fragile little psyche, it won't. This is a human in training, not a fabrege egg. Oh, and always hire a baby sitter, no one wants to hear your kid screaming in the resteraunt or movie theatre while they try to eat.

Kintanon

This child is not of mixed race (3.13 / 15) (#81)
by brunes69 on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 05:08:27 PM EST

This child is not of mixed race. nor is he black, white, Chinese, or Vietenamese.. he is a HUMAN BEING. Raising your child "as a black" or "as a white" should not even be an issue. You should raise him as a person, by loving parents. If when he wants to he wants to learn more about his black culture, then all power to him. Until then, you raising him any differently than you would your own biological child does nothing more than encouraging these subconscious racist attitudes prevelant everywhere in society. Repeat after me.. there is nothing different about this child.. if you see something different, the problem is yors, not his.



---There is no Spoon---
Get Real (4.55 / 9) (#83)
by n8f8 on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 05:44:19 PM EST

This child will have many societal pressures that someone from another race likely has no clue about nor any idea how to handle. Pretending somthing doesn't exist doesn't make it cease to exist.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Quite! (4.00 / 1) (#94)
by christianlavoie on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 07:26:42 PM EST

There'll be an amazing social pressure for this baby, when he's not a baby anymore, to know that he's different.

He's half-black, in America. He'll be rejected, ridiculized, hated, pissed on and otherwise denied humanity by every single fucker who feels like being racist.

Let me say this: THE CHILD IS A HUMAN BEING. Repeat after me: THE CHILD IS A HUMAN BEING.

If his parents impose on him black culture, while making it obvious that they aren't part of that culture, the parents are crap. Pure, raw crap. The kid will feel rejected by HIS OWN PARENTS.

If the parents have interest in the culture because they want to answer any questions the child may ever have, or just want to know how other blacks live in the American hellhole, all power to them. Looks pretty early to me to be looking at this, but hey! They're parents! =)

It's amazingly important for the kid to be able to feel at home when he's at home! Raise him as your child, NOT as, "this black kid we adopted".

Trust me. Being ridiculized for a childhood is a major disrupter. (I'm white, in a white place, but somehow, I really wasn't on the popular list. That kid will grow with much worse than I did, and I can but cry for what he'll have to go thru, most likely.) A kid *NEEDS* a home to be comfortable in, to be part of, when everyone else spits on him.


Maybe Computer Science ought to be taught in the school of Philosophy
   -- Christian Lavoie [modified from RS Barton]
[ Parent ]

Depends where you are in America (4.00 / 2) (#105)
by skim123 on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 09:42:35 PM EST

He's half-black, in America. He'll be rejected, ridiculized, hated, pissed on and otherwise denied humanity by every single fucker who feels like being racist

Having lived in the Midwest for 20-some years and now, for the past few in SoCal, I'd say that racism is a very location-dependent trait. Is mid-Missouri, where it was 99% white hick, there was a lot of open jokes, outright racist comments to the few Hispanics/Blacks, etc. Here in SoCal, though, no one seems to notice. I have seen many couples who are black/white, Asian/black, Hispanic/Asians, white/Hispanic, black/Hispanic, white/Asian, etc., and many children who are mixes of various races. No one seems to mind or care here.

So, to the parents who fear that they can only move into "specific neighborhoods," they should consider moving to California, the only state, IIRC, where non-whites outnumber whites.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Hawaii (none / 0) (#111)
by forii on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 11:10:10 PM EST


Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.
[ Parent ]
You recall incorrectly (none / 0) (#115)
by br284 on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 11:41:17 PM EST

Whites are outnumbered by other races in New Mexico. 44.7% of the NM popuation are white alone. (Meaning not of Hispanic or Latino descent.)

-Chris

[ Parent ]

Whoops. Wrong reply [nt] (none / 0) (#116)
by br284 on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 11:42:00 PM EST

-Chris

[ Parent ]
Not yet (none / 0) (#144)
by ucblockhead on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 12:20:47 PM EST

This is not yet the case, though it probably will be in 10-20 years. However, the San Francisco Bay Area has few whites than nonwhites today.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
The point is (3.00 / 1) (#147)
by skim123 on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 01:34:57 PM EST

is that where I live having biracial relationships or racially mixed children is "not a big thing." The point being that there are places in America where you can go and not have to worry about this race issue.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Um... (none / 0) (#152)
by ucblockhead on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 02:21:41 PM EST

I wasn't disputing anything...just providing the facts...
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
2000 Census: No majority in California (4.00 / 1) (#161)
by forii on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 07:01:16 PM EST

According to the 2000 census, only 47% of California's population is "White".
Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.
[ Parent ]
Like I said (4.00 / 2) (#162)
by n8f8 on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 07:14:35 PM EST

Ever seen the movie "The Jerk"? Aside from being a decent comedy back in the days when Steve Martin was a comedian, it was also a social commentary. The premise of the movie was essentially a white guy adopted and raised by a black family and never told he isn't black. So off into the world he goes, trying to interact with a world of people expecting certain things from him because of his outward appearance.

And that is the crux of the problem. Sure he is a human being, but also remember that other human beings base a lot of their expectations from other human beings on outward appearance. So i pitty the child not given the oppotunity or option of fitting in or at least understanding. Or not raised with how to deal with these expectations. Pity the day he comes home rejected by his peers because he doesn't understand the cultural behaviors his peers expected him to understand. Pity the day he decides to adopt a group of culturalisms the parents don't know how to deal with or disagree with. Especially in the teen years when kids like to grab ahold of anything that pisses off their parents. Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with another set of culturalisms, but the are wrong reasons why to adopt them (and their universally bad aspects).

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]

Incorrect (3.50 / 2) (#87)
by Wotan on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 06:16:07 PM EST

"Repeat after me.. there is nothing different about this child.. if you see something different, the problem is yors, not his. "

On the contrary, the differences resulting from the childs genetic heritage will be immediately apparent to anyone at first sight.  This will in all likelihood present challenges and "problems" for the child to overcome that would not be faced by a white adoptee. The skin and hair of a black child will also require different care from that of a white child.

Excellent article and I enjoyed reading it.

[ Parent ]

This calls for pragmatism. (3.00 / 1) (#126)
by Apuleius on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 01:29:07 AM EST

The kid is black. He will be treated as black by the world at large. He will be introduced to the word 'nigger' sooner or later. Better he be introduced to it by his parents.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
nope (none / 0) (#166)
by mami on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 09:15:13 PM EST

I would suggest though to introduce him to a Chameleon, the most suitable pet for the youngster of racial-sensitive parents.

This article mentions the most interesting features:

The chameleon's ability to change color is its most dramatic line of defense. It changes color simply by moving the pigments in its skin, which has many separate layers full of complex color cells. The chameleon changes color by expanding or shrinking the pigment cells and by covering or revealing the reflective cells; a calm chameleon arranges its yellow cells over blue reflecting cells, resulting in a green body color, the color of its habitat.
Above mentioned capabilities should help him out to master the political chameleons he will have to deal with sooner or later too. He couldn't ask for more from his parents, could he?

[ Parent ]
Ironic (4.50 / 2) (#194)
by Obvious Pseudonym on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 05:31:34 AM EST

This child is not of mixed race. nor is he black, white, Chinese, or Vietenamese.. he is a HUMAN BEING.

If when he wants to he wants to learn more about his black culture[...]

Does anyone else see the irony in the juxtaposition of these two statements?

Obvious Pseudonym

I am obviously right, and as you disagree with me, then logically you must be wrong.
[ Parent ]

It's not a black-white issue to me... (4.50 / 4) (#100)
by Bora Horza Gobuchol on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 09:01:16 PM EST

First, congratulations. Deciding to "have" a child - whether naturally or by adoption - is the greatest responsibility in the world. Best of luck.

However, I have a query regarding something you said:

...my wife and I rejected the idea of adopting from Vietnam since her father had fought there.
Forgive the lighthearted nature of what follows, but - what the hell does your father-in-law's experience have to do with anything? Were you afraid that you'd accidentally adopt your father-in-law's secret grandson, descended from a tryst in Saigon? That he'd suddenly flip out when he saw a Vietnamese child and start gibbering about how Charlie was creeping under the wire? That a Vietnamese Adam would, in discovering his heritage, have a sudden inkling to buy an AK-47 and frag his grandpa?

I'm honestly interested in your reasoning. A lot of posts have discussed how you're raising your son - which is really your business. I don't see any overt racism in anything you're doing, and commend you on doing the research that you've undertaken. But I can't understand the "no Vietnamese" decision.

All that said - a great story, and much appreciated.
-- "Don't criticise. Create a better alternative."

Genetic screening. (1.83 / 6) (#102)
by forii on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 09:09:31 PM EST

It's pretty obvious that the ethnic background of the child's genes has a lot of importance for the parents.
Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.
[ Parent ]
Avoiding trauma. (4.00 / 1) (#134)
by haflinger on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 09:18:14 AM EST

Think about it.

War crimes were committed in Vietnam. Even if her father wasn't involved in any of them, and/or feels guilty about them and wishes they hadn't happened, it would still make life uncomfortable. You don't want a situation where you grandfather wandered around the countryside killing your people. That's no way to grow up.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

"Your" people? (1.60 / 5) (#177)
by Josh A on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 03:53:57 PM EST

What is the meaning on this phrase? Does it contain any meaning at all? Is it as racist as I suspect?

---
Thank God for Canada, if only because they annoy the Republicans so much. – Blarney


[ Parent ]
Look. (5.00 / 2) (#195)
by haflinger on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 08:26:42 AM EST

We're talking about states. When President Bush complains that large numbers of his people were killed in the World Trade Center attacks, do we accuse him of racism, or simply stating facts?

Vietnam's a country. The people who live there are a people.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

Acceptance of the child (5.00 / 1) (#197)
by edremy on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 10:21:01 AM EST

No, we knew that my father-in-law wasn't suddenly going to flashback to Nam and start taking ears.

But he did spend two years there getting shot at by people that would have looked like his grandson. He lost most of a leg to a VC mine and spent a year in a hospital learning to walk again. Those aren't things you just gloss over.

Adoptive families have issues that biological ones don't: some people don't accept adopted children well. (As in, "That's not their real child") When you start thinking transracial, those problems begin to creep up even more. We took a risk with a biracial child: we were not at all certain that portions of our (extended) families would accept Adam as being part of the family. We wanted to avoid the possibility of bringing that risk even closer and alienating people we needed for support.

Note to the many, many people claiming race isn't an issue in this discussion: look *closely* at your family and tell me honestly that *none* of them would look askance if you dated/married/raised a child of another race. We've heard negative/warning comments from people that I never would have expected. We've also gotten positive comments from the most unlikely sources. Race *shouldn't* be an issue. But please note that the 15% of the article devoted to race has generated >50% of the comments.

As it happened, we found out he was terminally ill the same day our first birthmother backed out: talk about a sucky day. He never got to see Adam.

[ Parent ]

There is something in your comments .... (none / 0) (#238)
by mami on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 05:47:54 PM EST

May be the situation in the US is different, but I believe that many adoptive parents (in Germany) adopt on purpose and with intention a child that has another ethnicity than their own, be it from overseas or from within Germany.

You have mentioned and others as well, that white potential adoptive parents tend to go overseas to adopt from Asia or Latin America.

So, they must have a specific reason to do that. My guess is that their motivations are simply a sign of their good will to help a child out of poverty (aside that they honestly fall in love with the child, because to them it's especially cute).

So, if the US has a large population of black babies, that need desperately to be adopted, are you now saying that those are not adopted (as compared to babies from overseas), because the same adoptive parents, who choose a baby of another racial make-up than their own, when the baby comes from overseas, wouldn't do it when the baby comes from the US?

In other words, is there a pattern that adoptive parents adopt little Johnny from Malawi but not from the poorer afro-american neighborhoods of the US? Why?

Why do I have the feeling that I don't get a clear picture about that from you? Don't you have some statistics about it? Do you have statistics that show that Afro-Americans are against adoptions of black American babies by white US adoptive parents? Is that really true? I have a hard time to believe that.

[ Parent ]

I don't know why (none / 0) (#241)
by edremy on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 09:21:31 PM EST

In other words, is there a pattern that adoptive parents adopt little Johnny from Malawi but not from the poorer afro-american neighborhoods of the US? Why?

Actually, *very* few people adopt from Africa. The majority go to Russia, China, the Ukraine, Korea and a handful of other countries.

Why don't they adopt here if they're going to get a child of a different race anyway? A couple of reasons

  • Historical opposition to transracial adoption in the US. (See below)
  • Desire for an infant. Most social services adoptions aren't infants.
  • Race perceptions. The stereotype of Asians is the geeky guy who gets all A's and talks funny. The stereotype of blacks is a mindless thug who talks in expletives. (Before anyone says anything, I'm talking stereotypes, not reality.)

Personally, I think it's a shame.

Do you have statistics that show that Afro-Americans are against adoptions of black American babies by white US adoptive parents? Is that really true? I have a hard time to believe that.

Believe it. The National Association of Black Social Workers calls the practice of transracial adoption "Cultural genocide" and has lobbied since 1972 to end the practice, although they are nowhere near as militant about it as they used to be. They believe that white parents are fundamentally unable to prepare black children for life in the real world, and that various methods (price, paperwork, criminal background checks) are used to exclude potential black adoptive parents.

For more details, see this article

[ Parent ]

well thanks for the link (none / 0) (#242)
by mami on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 10:19:27 PM EST

It's a crazy world out there, sickening.

[ Parent ]
My biological child is half-Vietnamese (none / 0) (#246)
by mlepage on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 01:34:04 PM EST

Or will be in three months when it is born. You see, my wife is Vietnamese, from Vietnam 10 years ago. Her entire family had a hard refuge life. Many are here (Canada, not US) now, but some are still back in Vietnam. We worry about the price of gas for our SUVs and when the next Lord of the Rings movie will come out. Ever had an AK-47 against the back of your head while detained in Cambodia? And remember I'm not talking about soldiers here, I'm talking about civilians. At the time, children. As children, her brother lost part of his hand to a mine. Here we say to our children "Watch before you cross the street," maybe "Don't pick up needles" if you aren't in suburbia, but we don't have to worry about teaching children how to identify one of many types of land mines. Anyways, I'm not making specific comments here, just injecting more data into the discussion.

[ Parent ]
Feeding... (1.80 / 5) (#104)
by forii on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 09:27:27 PM EST

We now read "black" magazines, learn African/Afro-American culture and history and study how to style black hair

Are you planning to feed him Fried Chicken and Collard Greens too? :p

Good intentioned racism is just as insidious as any other kind.


Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.

Dude.. (4.00 / 1) (#118)
by bjwest on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 11:56:53 PM EST

These are southern, not black, dishes. I'm a white southerner, and, like 99% of all sotherners black or white, have been eating fried chicken and collard greens (as well as mustard greens) since forever.. Spinach - that weed northerners consider greens - sucks..

[ Parent ]
Sorry... (none / 0) (#119)
by forii on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 12:32:08 AM EST

I was just quoting Fuzzy, you can bring it up with him.

Besides, I'm from California. To me, "Southern Food" means Fish Tacos...Mmmmmmm....


Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.
[ Parent ]

Ditto (none / 0) (#237)
by ringlord on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 05:18:42 PM EST

I never really understood why and how eating fried chicken, collards, watermellon, etc were considered insults to blacks. I grew up eating all this and more, and I'm white! Personally, I'm partial to fried okra. Hmmm.

[ Parent ]
Watermelon and Okra (none / 0) (#258)
by epepke on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 05:50:33 PM EST

I don't know about collards, but watermelon and okra are indigenous to Africa (and India, where they do the best fried okra on the planet). The seeds were probably brought over by African slaves. So, perhaps there is a historical connection. Furthermore, watermelon-eating was a common theme depicted on "gollywog" postcards of the early 20th Century, which had rather nasty caricatures of people of African descent.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
yes and no (none / 0) (#127)
by Gumpzilla on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 01:39:35 AM EST

I agree that efforts to teach their son black culture based on reading Jet and Ebony and trying to relay the message is an ill-advised idea. What do you present to him? How do you present it, and, based on what you're presenting, how do you reconcile it with the differences in your own behavior? Seems too iffy to me.

That said, some of the things edremy expressed interest in learning about seem useful and productive given their situation. As has been pointed out elsewhere, black people have hair which, in general, physically behaves differently from the hair of white people. It makes sense to read a bit about styling it because this is a real difference that must be faced.

Likewise, I think it's hard to escape that the child is half black and half white. I think it's pretty damn likely - though obviously not definite - that there will come a time where for one reason or another it will become apparent to the child that he is in some respects different from "white folks." At that time, if he asks his parents and they tell him that he is half black, I see it as very plausible that he might take an interest in black history. If the parents know enough to point him in the right direction at that time, I don't see how that can be a bad thing. The main thing here is that I think unless other circumstances warrant it, the impetus for this should come from the child. Let him establish his own identity instead of feeling like he has one pushed on him, if at all possible.

[ Parent ]
Well, perhaps not Jet and Ebony. (none / 0) (#165)
by haflinger on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 08:55:05 PM EST

No. I think they should start reading Boondocks every day.

For one thing, it's a great comic. :)

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

Boondocks is awesome (4.00 / 1) (#205)
by edremy on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 01:11:20 PM EST

It's the only strip to appear in the last 5 years that's worth reading.

Of course, when our local paper added it they received a storm of mail demanding its removal. Too black, too in-your-face, you know. Can't have something challenging on the comics page. We canceled our subscription for other reasons (no time with a baby!) so I don't know if it's still there.

[ Parent ]

It's on my My Yahoo! homepage. (none / 0) (#209)
by haflinger on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 02:21:40 PM EST

I love it.

However, it's not the only good strip of the past five years. Foxtrot is the other one. :)

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

I don't think that's racism, it's realism (5.00 / 1) (#132)
by the original jht on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 08:47:11 AM EST

I think he's just being realistic.  You have two white parents bringing up a biracial child, and that has the potential to cause confusion and problems down the road, if it's not handled right.  Obviously reading "black" magazines isn't the only answer, but it's a start at understanding things a little better.  Someday Adam will probably want to know more about where he came from (after it's obvious to him that he does not look anything like his parents), and edremy is taking the first steps towards being prepared for it.

I'd expect their child will probably be brought up as race-neutral as possible, and that'll render it less of an issue, hopefully.  But you never know for sure.  Of course, there is the opportunity to have "good intentioned racism" come to play, but I don't think that's the likeliest outcome.

- -Josh Turiel
"Someday we'll all look back at this and laugh..."

[ Parent ]

Different outlook (5.00 / 1) (#158)
by Betcour on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 05:40:07 PM EST

You have two white parents bringing up a biracial child, and that has the potential to cause confusion and problems down the road, if it's not handled right.
<BT> How's that ? It's only a shade of skin difference. Some "white" people can get darker skinned than "black" people if they get tanned enough. Do they need to read "Afro-American weekly" because of that ? I think fighting racism by putting people in boxes ("Afro-American", "Italo-Afro-American" etc.) is really the wrong way to put it. As long as you put people in boxes because of how pale or dark their skin is, you remain a racist, even with the best intentions in the world. Racism will go away when you'll see some with a dark skin and you won't think "this guy is black" but "this guy is dark skinned". I think people who make such a big deal about "black heritage" are really as racist as the guys from the KKK, minus the hatred.

Obviously the adoptive parents here have decided to label their son as "black", and I find it pretty sad. I would have just raised the kid as my own, without even giving a though to how pale or dark skinned he is (because if there's someone you should be able to see beyond this, it's really your parents).

[ Parent ]
It's acutally a problem (none / 0) (#137)
by Quila on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 09:31:36 AM EST

In Germany I see lots of white mothers of mixed white/black children, and they often don't know how to properly care for their hair. It looks pretty nasty. edremy is doing the right thing.

[ Parent ]
breast feeding? (4.00 / 1) (#107)
by turmeric on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 10:26:13 PM EST

is it harder to breast feed an adopted baby? PS. i dont see the 'weirdness' , for millenia children have been raised by extended families, (and non-related people who were like family)...only in the past 100-200 years has it been the whole 'island in the suburbs with 4 people' insanity

It's possible, but not easy (4.00 / 2) (#108)
by edremy on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 10:40:29 PM EST

Since the adoptive mother hasn't been pregnant, she won't lactate. Sucking on the nipples can possibly start the process, but it's not quick or a lot of guys would get surprised during odd moments. There are synthetic hormones that you can take that will induce lactation and some adoptive mothers do use them.

We didn't: we just buy formula. My wife did not have good reactions to the hormones she took during infertility treatment: they made her sleepy (as in ~20 hours/day sleepy, unable to function normally) or gave her serious mood swings. She simply didn't want to take any more drugs, especially since she wouldn't have been able to care for Adam if she'd had similar reactions to the lactation hormones.

[ Parent ]

wow (none / 0) (#109)
by turmeric on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 10:45:07 PM EST

so how did they have all those 'wet nurses' back in the middle ages or whatever?

[ Parent ]
Wet nurses (none / 0) (#123)
by fencepost on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 01:07:13 AM EST

Lactation will continue until the baby stops breastfeeding, so a wetnurse would mostly need to do things to ensure she kept producing milk.  Expressing it might do it, nursing almost certainly would.  While the "mix" might not be quite right for the age of the baby, I think most of the changes in breast milk happen during the first month or so of nursing so after that there'd be less difference.  
--
"nothing really says "don't hire me, I'm an idiot" quite as well as misspelling "pom-pom" on your resume." -- former Grinnellian
[ Parent ]
and another thing (none / 0) (#110)
by turmeric on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 10:45:57 PM EST

what about all the African American women who breastfed the likes of General Lee and the southern forefathers of bill clinton

[ Parent ]
wet nurses (4.00 / 1) (#113)
by avani on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 11:32:10 PM EST

These were women who had recently been pregnant and either their child had died, been sold, or was still there.

If they were there, they were usually fed *sfter* the white baby, leading to nutritional deficit.

[ Parent ]
Thank you for this story edremy. (4.00 / 1) (#114)
by bjwest on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 11:39:09 PM EST

I'm a single male in my early 40's (42, actually), and will soon be starting the process to adopt a son. For the past few years, I've been working quite a lot with kids. I coach youth soccer and baseball, and for the past two years, I've been a volunteer for the Drug Education For Youth program. Soon after I started working with children, I felt like there was something missing, but I couldn't figure out what it was. While I was driving cross country during my transfer from my previous command, where I first started working with kids, I realized exactly what it was. The work I'd been doing had filled a void that was now empty again. The thought of not seeing some of the kids again was quite painfull.

Marrage is not something I see in my future, so that leaves me with adoption as the only option. Unlike your wife and you, I'm not looking for an infant, so I hope the process will go somewhat quickly. I'd like a boy between 2 and 5. One, since I'll be a single parent in the military, who is old to not be totally dependant on me, but still young enough where I will be a major influence on his moral and ethical values.

In the poll (3.50 / 2) (#131)
by rasactive on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 08:46:29 AM EST

I'd like to know who chose "No" and why.

Missing option. (none / 0) (#138)
by General Wesc on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 10:09:42 AM EST

There should be an option for "No, because I don't want kids" or "I would if I wanted kids, but I don't."



--
General Wesc
[ Parent ]
I chose no (none / 0) (#168)
by techwolf on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 10:28:30 PM EST

and the reason is because IF I ever had kids (and I am planning on never having them) I want a bioloogical link to them, A.K.A. to carry on the famiily line.


"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

No kids of any kind. (none / 0) (#169)
by mahlen on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 10:32:44 PM EST

My wife and i decided very early (like when we'd been dating for all of a month) that neither of us wanted to raise children. Since I had a vasectomy nine years ago, this is a pretty easy to decision to stick with.

mahlen


[ Parent ]

Whoot! (none / 0) (#208)
by Kintanon on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 01:57:47 PM EST

Props to you for thinking about the decision and making a good choice! I had my V when I turned 21, My wife and I are also firmly against having any children.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Deciding to snip. (none / 0) (#248)
by mahlen on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 09:28:43 PM EST

When I was a teenager, my parents had asked me to not do anything so permanent to myself until i turned 35, as that was the age that my dad was when he got married (and presumably decided that he wanted children). But when I was 29, I decided that being fertile just wasn't worth the hassle, and that I had a say in the matter, no matter what some future spouse might desire.

As it turned out, my (now) wife was pretty relieved to find out that i wasn't all that keen on having children, and after 4 years of marriage, we KNOW we made the right decision. No way would we enjoy our lives as much if we had kids. I admire people who can raise kids properly, but it just doesn't interest me in the slightest.

Not to mention the bald reality that sex was just a lot less nerve-wracking afterwards.

mahlen

[ Parent ]

Two words (none / 0) (#188)
by blakdogg on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 12:16:15 AM EST

David Berkowitz
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]
Good Luck! (none / 0) (#139)
by mami on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 11:05:38 AM EST

So, first of all, I congratulate you to your decision and wish that you stick with your child as long as biological parents do, that is forever. I would like you to remember this, especially if you raise your son and he turns out differently than you intended or wanted or hoped him to be.

I always fear that non biological parents can distance themselves from their adopted children as soon as the going gets tough. After all, it's not your genes and if something goes wrong this thought which will be in the back of your mind, and a thought which never can't be in the mind of biological parents.

I could comment a lot to your article, but something tells me I shouldn't. So, again, much happiness and success with your child.


Adoptive parents don't see it that way (4.00 / 1) (#143)
by edremy on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 12:00:24 PM EST

I always fear that non biological parents can distance themselves from their adopted children as soon as the going gets tough. After all, it's not your genes and if something goes wrong this thought which will be in the back of your mind, and a thought which never can't be in the mind of biological parents.

Trust me: this thought is never in our minds. Adam is our child. The only times the genetic thing crosses my mind is when I'm wondering about his future health and appearance.

I watch people going through physical and emotional agony and emptying their bank accounts for one more round of infertility treatments and then look at Adam and shake my head. I know some people simply can't accept the idea that someone who has no genetic relationship to you can be your child. Yet a huge number of parents divorce and remarry and the stepparents help raise the children. Do people think stepparents love the child less? I'd hope not.

[ Parent ]

Interesting that you think you can speak (2.00 / 1) (#154)
by mami on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 02:35:46 PM EST

for all adoptive parents and that you know in advance (I understand you just got your baby in the household?) the upcoming twenty years or more.

I know some people simply can't accept the idea that someone who has no genetic relationship to you can be your child. Yet a huge number of parents divorce and remarry and the stepparents help raise the children. Do people think stepparents love the child less? I'd hope not.

I can very easily accept and support non genetic parent child relationships as I do genetic ones.

I am pretty sure that you have statistically as many bad and abusive step- and foster parents, as you have abusive biological parents. Though that's hard to prove statistically in either direction and usually both sides try to use those statistics to prove their own believes to be the right ones. Why would parents who love their children care?

Why you want to link the quality of parenting to the genetics, I don't understand. I don't believe that there are many women who could judge in advance, if they would bond to a baby differently dependent on it being her own child or an adopted baby. Especially a woman, who can't have babies, can't.

How should she know what giving birth to her biological child would do to her? So, for a woman, who never had given birth to her own child, the whole issue is not a problem at all. She will be as good a mother as her mind and body will allow her to be. She can't compare to a biological bondage and that's the good thing about it.

Considering that biological mothers don't bond to their babies at times and that most foster- or step mothers have so much "bonding love" available that they have the courage to adopt and raise children other than their own biological ones, you simply can't answer the question if there are differences in the quality of parenting between biological and non biological parents at all.

You might have overlooked that I didn't make any comment on the quality of parenting of biological parents vs. non biological ones, if you care to read my comments carefully.

I barely mentioned the fact that non biological parents CAN get out of the contract of being parents, whereas biological never can and I do believe that has a bearing on the parents in certain situations.

Just imagine your child would turn out a murderer. Don't you think your reaction to such a situation would be different, if the child weren't your biological child compared to the child being your own child?

My comment was just caused by reports you hear about foster parents "giving back their children", because they can't or don't want to handle them anymore. It would be biased to overlook that. And I do think that "giving back a child" is not what one usually has in mind when one plans to have one.

[ Parent ]

you're not getting it (5.00 / 1) (#180)
by gregholmes on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 08:23:10 PM EST

I barely mentioned the fact that non biological parents CAN get out of the contract of being parents, whereas biological never can and I do believe that has a bearing on the parents in certain situations.

No they can't, not if they are adoptive parents. I work with a child support system that will spit out Income Withholding Orders, Bench Warrants, and whatever else it takes at you if you believe that.

Just imagine your child would turn out a murderer. Don't you think your reaction to such a situation would be different, if the child weren't your biological child compared to the child being your own child?

The child is "your own" child. That's the part you aren't understanding. Maybe you do have to be an adoptive parent to understand this.



[ Parent ]
No, I do get it - May be I mix something up though (none / 0) (#183)
by mami on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 10:56:30 PM EST

If you have to spit out those orders to parents of a child, I guess, that child has not much parenting going on for him to begin with. You spit out those orders, after child neglect has been detected. The next step is that the child "is given back" into custody of some other state services, or not? You are talking about cases where the parents neglect their responsibilities, I assume. I was thinking about parents not being capable to handle "problem kids".

May be there is a legal difference between foster parents and adoptive parents that I am not aware of. I may mix up children being shuffled around from one foster parent to the next, because the parents feel they can't handle the child. May be that's different, if you are an adoptive parent.

[ Parent ]

There is a vast difference (none / 0) (#196)
by edremy on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 08:45:25 AM EST

between foster and adoptive parents.

Foster parents are caretakers. The arrangement to keep the child is supposed to be temporary, although many foster parents do end up adopting the children. Foster parents are often paid for keeping the child: family changes are quite frequent for foster children. Foster parents have very few rights when it comes to keeping the child

Adoption is *not* temporary. By law, Adam is our child: he cannot be taken from us for any reason short of what it would take to remove a biological child. We are not paid for keeping him. (As a side note, this is one major problem with adoption: the system *promotes* keeping kids in foster care since you can get paid quite a bit to keep them around but every dime of it stops when you get the adoption papers. For poorer people this is a big deal.)

[ Parent ]

Well, not many. (none / 0) (#210)
by haflinger on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 02:27:25 PM EST

Most foster parents do not become adoptive parents. Some do, but most don't. Quite a few foster homes are run with a lot of children at a time: like ten or more, all in foster care.

Some people treat it as being a form of employment, because of the stipends. I'm not sure this is a good thing.

However, other foster parents are good, responsible people. One of my closest friends has done it. But she would never adopt, I don't think.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

I don't understand this (none / 0) (#228)
by mami on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 01:41:44 AM EST

You say the system *promotes* keeping children in foster care status. How does that make sense, if the state has to pay foster parents for their
"services", whereas they wouldn't have to pay, if they would allow adoption. Why would a system promote something which costs the state governments more vs. something which would shift the costs to the adoptive parents?  

The only reason I can see why the state would end up promoting foster parents and paying the stipends to the foster parents, would be because they can't find enough any sort of parents for the "left-over" children.

Do you mean, because the government pays foster parents, that this inhibits many potential adoptive parents to become adoptive ones and rather stay foster parents?

I just wonder, if not so well off people take children in as foster children just to get the stipend, if that would be a desirable home for the child to begin with. Doesn't this say, hey, I am interested in taking care of the child only if you pay me.

Doesn't that mean then that biological parents should get a stipend too for raising their kids?

[ Parent ]

Foster care issues (4.00 / 1) (#240)
by edremy on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 09:08:48 PM EST

Why would a system promote something which costs the state governments more vs. something which would shift the costs to the adoptive parents?

Simple: it doesn't "cost" social services anything! Social services in most states is funded based on the number of kids in foster care. More kids=more money for the agency, more workers (so more prestige) etc.

Stupid? Totally. It provides a disincentive for adoption for the agency.

Do you mean, because the government pays foster parents, that this inhibits many potential adoptive parents to become adoptive ones and rather stay foster parents?

That too. You can get quite a bit of money for taking in multiple kids in a foster care: there are people who make it their job. Newsweek recently had a letter from one of these women who was making (IIRC) ~$40k/year taking care of these kids. That money stops if you adopt.

Yet another disincentive. Foster parents do wonderful work for the most part, but kids should have a "forever home".

[ Parent ]

BTW, I reread your article and (none / 0) (#229)
by mami on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 01:54:00 AM EST

I think you didn't express yourself very clearly. I had to read two times or more to understand why you thought there is a shortage of healthy, white babies, but not a shortage of "other" babies. In hindsight, I think I misunderstood what you meant to say.

[ Parent ]
Really sad. (5.00 / 3) (#140)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 11:37:48 AM EST

I am very happy that there are people that are willing to brake the stereotypes related to the so called "race" issues.

What is very lamentable is that it is an issue at all.

And what is even more deplorable is that people with the excuse that reality is different from idealisms, propugnate for mentalities that keep a completely undesirable status quo.

Reality is there to confront it and make it look more like the ideal in our heads. I refuss to be clasified according to the colour of my skin, the language I speak or the religion I profess, because the stereotypes and prejudices associated to such broad generalizations are bound to be incorrect and unfair when applied to each individual.

The amazing thing is that subconsciously most posters I have read with less melanine in their skin find somehow a challenge to integrate a family with more than one shade of skin colour. I bang my head in the wall, it is begining to hurt, and I simply can't understand what the problem is.

I have to recognize that my family tree is quite diverse, and diversity makes this "issue" go away I guess.

Perhaps the most important point is this: the real world is diverse enough, skin colour is one of many things that diferentiate people. Making an effort to fit ( or not to fit) with people of the same (or different) skin colour is an excercise of futility, there will be people with different ideas, beliefs, intelligence, etc. So what is the point to concentrate so much on skin?

Sorry for the rant, I just don't understand.
---
"Every duck should aspire to be crispy and aromatic." sleepyhel

Interesting (4.00 / 1) (#170)
by skim123 on Sat Jul 20, 2002 at 10:33:35 PM EST

Check out http://www.sundayherald.com/26441, it is short, but has some choice quotes from a couple who are planning on having a clone made of the wife so that they can have a child. They are using the (in)famous Dr. Zavos, who has often claimed that he was planning/working on cloning a human being.

What is interesting about this short article is the rational the parents espouse for cloning a child. The father argues: "I have a huge family with brothers and sisters and they all have children. It is very important for us to have our own genetically-related children." The mother chimes in: "My father was a very brilliant man, as were my uncles on my mother's side of the family. I have strong genes in my background, as does my husband. I come from a very warm, loving family and I hope that we can bring a child into this world that has that warmth and intelligence."

So why is it so important that the child be from their own genetic mixture? I think adoption is a more noble pursuit, since it (theoretically) helps improve the life of an existing child, without creating a new one. Personally, I would like to father my own child(ren), but if it came down to adopting vs. cloning? I dunno, I don't know how comfortable I'd feel with a genetically-identical second "me" running around.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


Duh (none / 0) (#176)
by Betcour on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 01:05:47 PM EST

If they want kids that are genetically related to them it is a lot easier to do in-vitro fertilization than a plain clone. If you can make a viable clone, everything else is a piece of cake (including mixing the genes you want from both parents and whatnot)

[ Parent ]
Sometimes it's better if a genetic line ends (none / 0) (#191)
by sowellfan on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 12:42:08 AM EST

Those folks that are trying to clone the wife claim to have terrific genetics. Unfortunately, Darwins principles tend to disagree. Maybe the fertility problem isn't genetic, but if they're having that much trouble having a child, even with all of the IVF and such, I wonder whether they will have trouble getting grandchildren.

Regarding genetics and adoption in general, my wife and I are considering adoption. She has some back and neck problems that could make carrying a child quite difficult if she can't get them fixed. Also, I must frankly say that my wife's genetics suck. She's a beautiful woman, and very intelligent, but her whole family has bad eyes, teeth problems (small mouths), and a history of cancer. I'm also starting to go bald, so that isn't so terrific on the genetic front, either. Hmmmm...I'm starting to sound like a eugenics fan to myself, I'm not sure if that's good.

[ Parent ]

What do... (3.00 / 2) (#172)
by Tatarigami on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 12:27:13 AM EST

...advice on child-rearing, offers of herbal viagra and AOL CDs have in common?

A: they all come unsolicited.

What may seem important to you... (5.00 / 1) (#174)
by cione on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 06:53:45 AM EST

Reading through the comments shows how far we have to go.

A person goes out of the way to write about adoption. The pro's and cons are listed. The process is explained with some myths explained and yet we still focus on the race card.

I say this to Edremy and his family. Good Luck on building your family. Take this as a first lesson, Ignore those who cant see that you building just that, A family.

___________________________________________

The crazy people really have it all together

playing the race card (4.50 / 2) (#175)
by mami on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 12:27:07 PM EST

If you read carefully the author's article you can't deny the fact that he himself introduced the race card in his story and continues to ravel in it.

If the story is about adoption and he would have been serious, he could have left out anything that relates to the ethnicity his child. It has no meaning to anything that relates to the issue of the adoption process. He didn't do that.

He should ask himself, why he wrote his article in the way he did in the first place (and you too), before blaming anybody else. There is something I call the "cuteness-discrimination" and it's not something I would advise to dwell in.

[ Parent ]

It is part of the process (5.00 / 1) (#182)
by gregholmes on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 08:57:30 PM EST

If the story is about adoption and he would have been serious, he could have left out anything that relates to the ethnicity his child. It has no meaning to anything that relates to the issue of the adoption process.

Ethnicity is part of the adoption decision making process, whether we want it to be or not. I'm guessing that is why it is included in the story.

Adoptive parents have to make choices that bio parents don't (and - how lucky - they get to hear clueless opinions about their choices). Nobody asks you before you conceive if it would be okay if you give birth to a 1, 3, or 8 year old, are disabilities OK or not, and how about race? As bio parents (and non-parents as well) aren't faced with these choices, they aren't in much of a position to judge them. But judge they do ...

Actually, the biggest factor about race may be whether you want idiots coming up to you in the mall all the time asking how much your child "cost". This is certainly something to prepare oneself for! Blissfully assuming that race does not matter is not a very good preparation.



[ Parent ]
in this case (2.00 / 1) (#184)
by mami on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 11:05:49 PM EST

the article's title should have been: "Why we adopted a mixed-race child" and discuss the race issue upfront, if there was one for the parents.

The author indicated that he "tries to save half of the missing heritage" for his child and therefore prepares himself to "teach the child that heritage". I think the heritage of that child will be "what the adoptive parents live with him during the years they raise him". I simply don't believe you can create a "black" heritage and the fact that they might believe they could was a bit surprising to me.



[ Parent ]

Comments not the story (5.00 / 1) (#185)
by cione on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 11:06:03 PM EST

The point I am making is that most of the comments are focusing on the race card. The writer brought it up as part of topic in the whole. The comments afterwards almost focus on that as a whole. It is not a matter of saying read carefully or placing blame. We can give it many names or try to sub-categorize but the fact remains that racism is alive and well. Ignoring the issue doesn't make it go away.

I know at times that some of the things I do and act upon are racist. I have friends that are of all races but I still no matter how small I have what would be considered "Racist" habits. Every person I have ever met could be put in the same boat at one time or another. That is not an attack on everyone. That is the truth. Truth be told when we have to look "racist" up in the dictionary then we are starting to get somewhere. This article points us in that direction but taking a look around we have a long way to go.

___________________________________________

The crazy people really have it all together
[ Parent ]

Ethnicity is a major player in adoption (5.00 / 2) (#203)
by edremy on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 12:55:35 PM EST

If you read carefully the author's article you can't deny the fact that he himself introduced the race card in his story and continues to ravel in it.

Of course I introduced it. Ethnicity is a major factor in adoption.

The very first decision you have to make once you decide to adopt is the color of that child's skin. Foreign? Pick a country and take what's there. Domestic? Are you on the white baby list or the non-white baby list? Yes, there *are* seperate lists. I wish those lists were the same length, but they aren't: the non-white list at our agency is very short. I'm sorry you find it offensive. I do too. But it's a fact, and no wishing for a perfect world will change that.

[ Parent ]

That's interesting (none / 0) (#221)
by mami on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 06:42:13 PM EST

How come there are less non white babies free for adoption? I would have imagined the opposite. Oh well, I guess, I am an idiot then. Or does that mean all the white babies are rejected from potential adoptive parents?

I don't find anything particularly offensive, I find the whole issue weird and couldn't imagine a reason why you wanted to discuss it.

I guess you just have fallen in love with your baby then. Which parents don't and all think their baby is "the cutest one".

So, where is the baby picture? Now I want to see little Adam and congratulate you about having a "Boris Becker and Michael Jordan" all in one package, or is it more a mixture of Robert Redford and Sidney Poitier? May be half an Albert Einstein and half a Thurgood Marshall? :-)

Can we let this thread rest in peace now?

[ Parent ]

I think you misunderstood. (none / 0) (#256)
by vectro on Thu Jul 25, 2002 at 11:16:05 PM EST

Either that, or I did. I think edremy is saying there are fewer parents who wish to adopt non-white children. I would expect that there are, however, more non-white children available for adoption. Thus the statistics work out against non-white children on both sides of the equation.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Thanks, and very minor nitpicks (3.00 / 1) (#181)
by gregholmes on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 08:35:00 PM EST

Thanks for posting such a personal, informative article. Talking about adoption brings out some of the strangest comments (some of which can be seen below your story ...). Very brave to post it on a discussion site ;)

And now, the very minor nitpicks.

Countries have wildly different fee schedules for adoption, ranging from virtually nothing to well over $20k for the placement alone, exclusive of a myriad of other expenses. Look at the prices and there's a clear trend: the lighter the skin, the more expensive the child.

I'm not seeing this trend. For example, Guatemala is more expensive then China and Russia (hint, the Russians are white, Guatemalans are not). There are many variables, but I just don't see this trend that you see.

For international adoptions, you can often have a good idea exactly when everything is going to happen.

Or not. China is a bit of an exception. With most other countries, you get told a range (like 3-8 months). Also depends on how you measure. Do you include the wait for the referral? Just the time from referral to completion? It can be a very uncertain process.

Even China has had longer, more uncertain waits for the referral lately. With China, the wait is front-loaded; you wait forever for the referral, then everything else is fast (and much more predictable).

Again, very minor nitpicks. Great story!



Guatemala is that high? Wow. (none / 0) (#204)
by edremy on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 01:06:12 PM EST

For example, Guatemala is more expensive then China and Russia (hint, the Russians are white, Guatemalans are not).

It's been awhile for us: is Guatemala really over $35k now? (That's the current figure for the total cost of a Russian baby from our agency, overheard at our adoption picnic this weekend) If so, they've really jacked up the fees: IIRC they were below $20k when we checked, although we didn't look too hard at international in general.

Or not. China is a bit of an exception. With most other countries, you get told a range (like 3-8 months). Also depends on how you measure. Do you include the wait for the referral? Just the time from referral to completion? It can be a very uncertain process.

Absolutely: I didn't mean to imply it was a set timetable. I actually debated eliminating the stuff about international adoptions since we obviously didn't do one and what I know is a little out of date, but it's such a fixture of modern adoption that I felt I couldn't.

Still, for most countries, it's a bit more set than domestic though: I don't know anyone who got a baby in a month or who has waited more than five years for international. (Although I know some people who are going to hit that sad limit soon.) You do get some warning too: no 48-hour pregnancies like we had :^)

[ Parent ]

Racism of Point of view? (4.33 / 3) (#189)
by thatto on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 12:39:03 AM EST

reading the story, one can assume a few things about the author-- 1. He and his wife are white. 2. They wanted a child. 3. They wanted a child that reflected thier own ethnicity. 4. They have enough patience and money to get through the process. 5. They were open-minded enough to accept a baby as thier own, that was not of thier race . I'm sure that had the author been Purple, he would have wanted a Purple baby. I am guessing, that the shortage of white infants are due to one of two things, either the majority of prospective parents are white, or there are less unwanted white births. Racism pollutes everything, even this noble act. (If you've found this comment inflamitory, read it again. just my $.02)

Not just racism (4.66 / 3) (#192)
by blaaf on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 01:13:22 AM EST

Of course racism taints adoption. But the number one overriding reason for this is the excess of "illegitimate" births among minorities--not only are especially teen pregnancies more common among minorities, but also abortions are less available to them. Also, adoption is more common among the rich and middle class, which is ill-proportionately represented by whites. One reason for this is the fact that they are more likely to wait until it's "too late" to conceive--a woman's fertility declines starting around age 27, and failure to conceive at 30 as with this couple is not very unusual. Minorities are hence more likely have already had their own children by this age.

So unfortunately, as is often the case, we have a self-propelling source of inequities. White people are better off--and want to adopt white babies. Minorities are worse off, and have more unwanted babies, who don't get placed because there aren't enough people, like the author here, willing to adopt them. So these unwanted children too often grow up underprivileged and have unwanted children of their own whom they cannot provide for. And the few open-minded people, like the author here, have to deal with all sorts of racist shit--not to mention the cultural schizophrenia that this situation too often entails, if for no other reason than cultural norms and expectations.

[ Parent ]

Not purely racism - but it's there. (4.00 / 1) (#199)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 10:40:34 AM EST

People tend want their kids to look like them - to "feel" like their biological children.

But even people who adopt outside their own group - I know two white couples who adopted asian children, I know a couple who adopted a baby from SA. I don't know any white couples who adopted a black child.

OTOH - I've heard complaints from would-be adopters that US social services agencies actually make it hard for a white couple to adopt a black child - they want the child to grow up in her own culture, you see.


--
The gift that lasts a lifetime: Give your child "mental blocks" this christmas!


[ Parent ]
"How could anyone possibly give up their chil (3.00 / 1) (#193)
by der on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 02:50:49 AM EST

... "What kind of horrible person are they?"

Are there people out there that actually think like this?

I am adopted.

I'd much rather be living the life I am right now than have NEVER LIVED AT ALL.



Sadly, yes. (4.00 / 1) (#211)
by edremy on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 02:42:49 PM EST

One of the major issues that our agency deals with in counseling birthmothers is the tremendous stigma attached to placing a child. "Well, she must not have loved him/her very much", "What do you expect from some stupid kid. Probably wanted to spend her nights getting drunk and screwing any guy she finds in a bar. Any real person would have kept the child"

Pathetic, but there's hope. There used to be a terrible social stigma attached to being infertile. "Clearly God doesn't want you to have a child". This has mostly[1] passed, so perhaps someday we can accept birthmothers as well.

[1] "Mostly" being the key. My wife was actually told this by a nurse in an infertility clinic!

[ Parent ]

Strange (4.00 / 1) (#227)
by der on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 11:23:05 PM EST

The way I see it, it's usually a decision between abortion and adoption, not adoption and keeping the child and living the perfect white-picket-fence lifestyle some seem to think everyone should/can live. The people who do both, I think, are people who just can't handle a child at this point in their life.

If these people considered adoption as an alternative to abortion, I bet their views would be quite different.



[ Parent ]
Thanks. (5.00 / 3) (#198)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 10:22:10 AM EST

I tried to make a dummy account to post this, but K5 seems to be having problems creating accounts today, so screw it.

16 years ago, my girlfriend gave our daughter up for adoption. I knew it was the right thing to do but it was still the most gut wrenching and painful thing I have ever done.

Even now, I think about it - and I appreciate being reminded that it was the right decision for us, our daughter and her new parents.


--
The gift that lasts a lifetime: Give your child "mental blocks" this christmas!


From all adoptive parents everywhere: thanks (4.00 / 1) (#201)
by edremy on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 12:46:04 PM EST

16 years ago, my girlfriend gave our daughter up for adoption. I knew it was the right thing to do but it was still the most gut wrenching and painful thing I have ever done.

I can't imagine how hard this decision would be. We can see it with our birthmother who came to his birthday party yesterday and dissolved into (happy/sad) tears several times, but we'll never know it first hand.

Thank you. You gave a gift that it's simply not possible to express the feelings for.

[ Parent ]

We Chose to Adopt from China (3.50 / 2) (#202)
by Ruidh on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 12:48:49 PM EST

First of all, congratulations to the new parents.  I wish all three of you many happy years together.

My wife and I faced much the same process and chose International adoption.  Right now, our paperwork has been logged in with the Chinese authorities for 8 months and we probably have 6 more months to wait before getting referred a child.  (See some of my old diary entries for more information.)

We chose international, and China in particular, because of some of the uncertainties of US adoptions which had us scared.  Basically, you're competing with other parents for a birth mother to choose you from a pile of files.

I felt comfortable with an Asian adoption because I'd done it before.  My step-daughter from my first marriage had been adopted from Korea in the 70's.  I helped raise her from age 8-19 so I think I have a little insight into some of the potential problems.

The expense of the adoption really isn't much of an issue.  There is the US tax credit for adoption (note, it's a credit, not a deduction) with offsets up to $10,000 of expenses.  My employer matches another $5,000 (also tax free), so most of my expenses are covered.  I do have to front the money, but cost wasn't really an issue.

"Laissez-faire is a French term commonly interpreted by Conservatives to mean 'lazy fairy,' which is the belief that if governments are lazy enough, the Good Fairy will come down from heaven and do all their work for them."

Congrats+ good luck! (3.00 / 1) (#206)
by edremy on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 01:17:33 PM EST

The neighbors behind us have a child from China. She wasn't able to roll over or crawl when they got her at 14 months.

She's 4 now, and a beautiful, wonderful, normal kid: she learned all of that stuff in about 3 months once she had enough playtime and a better diet. The mother and her oldest daughter are going back sometime soon to volunteer in the orphanage: I think the dad is worried about getting kid #5 from the trip :^)

[ Parent ]

I've heard that a lot (4.00 / 1) (#223)
by Ruidh on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 06:56:52 PM EST

Compared to what we expect in America for physical development in the first year, Chinese adoptees, at least, have less well developed motor skills.  Perhaps it's related to neglect, perhaps to Chinese childrearing.  In any event, the kids I've know eat voraciously from adoption on and rapidly catch up physically with American kids.

My biggest worry is language development.  My step-daughter was adopted at 18 months and always had middling language skills even though I always used lots of new vocabulary around her.
 
"Laissez-faire is a French term commonly interpreted by Conservatives to mean 'lazy fairy,' which is the belief that if governments are lazy enough, the Good Fairy will come down from heaven and do all their work for them."
[ Parent ]

July 2003 DTC (4.00 / 1) (#207)
by Samrobb on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 01:53:48 PM EST

Got the dossier out for our second daughter last month :-/ One thing I will recommend: take the time, now, to do as much reading as you can about attachment disorders, particularly reactive attachment disorder (RAD). Our daughter's a smart, happy, healthy little girl, but after two years we're still working through attachment issues... and probably will be, one way or another, for a good while to come. I wouldn't give it up for anything in this world, though :-)

Your agency may tell you about how "their" girls don't have these problems, but the truth is, it's the PRC administrators who are matching up you and your daughter. Sometimes, families end up dealing with orphanages that their agency is not familiar with... at that point, all best are off, and you may end up with a 9-month-old who has lived her whole life in a crib and has only been touched when she was fed or changed. Overcoming that sort of start in life takes an awful lot of time, effort, and dedication (on top of everything else you need to do to raise a child!)



"Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment." Job 32:9
[ Parent ]
You Mean July '02 DTC? (4.00 / 1) (#222)
by Ruidh on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 06:51:31 PM EST

I have a good book on attachment issues in adoption on my "to read" shelf.  I get the impression that there are two complementary problems.  Children who have been in foster care seem to have a difficult initial adjustment to make but seem more well adjusted over the long term.  Children who have been institutionalized for their first year seem to make the initial transition smoothly because they are starved for attention, but have stronger abandonment issues over the ling run.

Taking any bets on how long your wait might be this time?

"Laissez-faire is a French term commonly interpreted by Conservatives to mean 'lazy fairy,' which is the belief that if governments are lazy enough, the Good Fairy will come down from heaven and do all their work for them."
[ Parent ]

Guess I'm over eager (5.00 / 1) (#243)
by Samrobb on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 11:19:56 PM EST

Yah, April 02 DTC... July 03 is our expected travel date :-) From what we're hearing, there's a 12-13 months wait at this point; who knows what will happen over that time? We're both praying that nothing major will happen, and we'll be able to travel more or less when we expect, without any additional delays.

From what I know, you're correct in your assesment about the difference between foster care and institutionalized children... in the first case, the difficult initial adjustment is a Good Thing, as it's part of a natual process: grieving over the loss of a close attachment their previous caregiver, and then bonding with their new family.

With our daughter, we were very worried for a bit that she wasn't bonding with us; she was willing to go to anyone for affection. I think we both almost cried the first time she shied away from a stanger and wanted mama instead. That's the other thing I want to point out about attachment: from what I understand, the mother-child bond [1] is critical. It's a hard thing to deal with, but until my wife established that bond with my daughter, I really wan't as important to her, at least not in the same way as mama. It's just over the past 6 months or so that she's really started to bond with me, as well, and - quite frankly - it's like falling in love with her all over again.

[1] Caveat: it may be "primary caregiver"-child is a more suitable description, though at least one MD specializing in attachment theraphy, Martha Welch, insists that there are phsyiological reasons (oxytocin release in females) that mother-child bonds are easier to create initially.



"Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment." Job 32:9
[ Parent ]
Bookmark this site (4.00 / 1) (#245)
by Ruidh on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 01:14:14 PM EST

http://homepages.wwc.edu/staff/stirra/china/stats/index.htm

The fellow updates it every two weeks or so.  The current wait is 13-14 months from DTC (dossier to China) to referral.  As you get closer to referral, you can watch the wait times.

I am Nov '01 DTC.  China instituted quotas in Dec '01 which restrict the number of people entering the queue including drastically reducing the number of single parents who can apply.  As a result, a huge number of dossiers were received in Nov '01 from people trying to beat the quotas.  The current educated guess is that after the huge Nov '01 group gets through the pipe, that wait times will begin to drop.  I had been hoping for a Dec '02 referral, but I'm getting less optimistic with time.  Jan '03 looks more likely to me.
 
"Laissez-faire is a French term commonly interpreted by Conservatives to mean 'lazy fairy,' which is the belief that if governments are lazy enough, the Good Fairy will come down from heaven and do all their work for them."
[ Parent ]

Finding the birthmother... (4.00 / 1) (#219)
by SwampGas on Mon Jul 22, 2002 at 05:11:28 PM EST

If my parents came to me tomorrow and said "you're adopted", it wouldn't change my view of them...they're still mom and dad...but I'd definitely try to find birthmom and spermdad.

My ex-girlfriend was adopted...she and her mother brought up some interesting points when I asked if they wanted me to help search for birthmom.

First, the ex said that part of her resented her birthmom for "throwing her away". I guess that's just personal feeling...

Her mother then mentioned that the birthmom probably is married with a family of her own...her husband might not even know that she gave a child up for adoption. It could easily destroy the family.

...some food for thought :)

New Families (4.00 / 1) (#251)
by SoulSeller13 on Thu Jul 25, 2002 at 03:16:37 PM EST

(Disclaimer.. I'm not adopted, but a coworker/friend of mine's parents both are). One of this person's parents has some serious medical conditions which keep her in and out of hospital. Now, they've said that they have no desire to know their birth-parents (for the same reason of "feeling abandoned" as was previously mentioned). Their child (my coworker), however, does want to know her parents' birth parents, for her own legitimate medical concerns. That said... "Her mother then mentioned that the birthmom probably is married with a family of her own...her husband might not even know that she gave a child up for adoption. It could easily destroy the family. " I'm sorry, I just don't see this as a valid reason for someone not to see out their birth parents. In my eyes, Adoption is not giving up all responsibility for the genetic material you pass to the child. If a mother who gave a child up for adoption in the past does not divulge this information to her husband, it's her problem/responsibility, and not said adopted child's. - SoulSeller.

[ Parent ]
Jumping right in, i have some experience (4.00 / 2) (#231)
by gethane on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 12:30:30 PM EST

I'm jumping right in here with my first post at k5. (I found the site after someone made some disparaging remarks at /. and i thought "hey! that sounds like the place for me") Anyway. I'm a 33 year old mother of three children. I am white. The father, my exhusband, is black. Tada! Interracial kids, the old-fashioned way! (Currently son is 11, and two daughters 9, and 8) I live (yes, with my children) in a small (12K pop) rural Nebraska town. OH MY GOD! yes, believe it or not, my children live in the middle of a bunch of redneck white people! And they have friends, sleepovers, etc. Twice someone has called my son a nigger. Guess what? If he hadn't been half black, they woulda just called him another name. The first time it happened, I very maturely called the kid's parents. When it happened again (same kid, my son hung out with him) I said look, if you don't like him being friends with you one day, and calling you a nigger the next day, DON"T HANG OUT WITH HIM. I am remarried to a white man. So, me and my white hubby, with my 3 half-black kids going around town... DON"T MAKE A SCENE! So many people are adopting biracial babies, that people don't even bat an eye. I suppose if you looked for it, you might find it, but I'm usually way to busy screaming "Stop fighting! Stop that! Please be quiet I'm trying to drive" that I really don't have time to worry if someone might be eyeing us. Hair advice: I have none. It sucks :) I never learned to braid hair, and although many people have tried to teach me, I just can't get the hang of it. My daughters will hopefully soon be old enough to braid each other's hair. My son's head I just keep shaved almost bald. Problem solved. When they are old enough to care about doing their hair themselves, they can figure it out. My mom with fine, lank, straight hair never taught me to deal with my somewhat wiry, naturally curly hair. Why should it be any different with my kids just because they are half-black? Oh, and to the person who commented above, saying that why are they called black when they are only half-black? This used to drive me around the bend too... until I started listening to my kids. They identify themselves as black. I used to correct them "You are half-black. Remember, I was there too!" but now don't even bother. People identify themselves however, and you can't really change that. I suspect that "they are black" to themselves simply because they are not white with straight blond hair. Sorry for the somewhat rambling post. I had a ton of thoughts (and experience with biracial kids as my oldest is 11) and wanted to share. And hello to K5 :). uh... my preview does not show any paragraph breaks. what can i do to put breaks into this monstrosity? If you actually could stand reading all the way through this without your eyes bleeding.

Hmm can't edit my commment or i'm a moron (4.00 / 1) (#232)
by gethane on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 12:36:51 PM EST

BTW, my new hubby is adopted himself. And he says he has absolutely no interest in either a) locating his dna parents or b) having his own sperm children. My three are plenty :)

Plus, we get every other weekend off when they visit their dad. Ahh.. don't let anyone tell you different. The best part of divorce is every other weekend off :).

[ Parent ]

weekends off (3.00 / 1) (#247)
by jred on Wed Jul 24, 2002 at 02:07:18 PM EST

I have it even better. My exwife & I live in the same apartment complex, and we have a week on/week off schedule :)
jred
[ Parent ]
Almost adopted (4.00 / 1) (#235)
by ringlord on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 04:57:30 PM EST

Well, okay, not almost, but my wife and I had decided we would have if it was the only way for us to have children. Here's my story:

Nearly two and a half years ago, my wife and I started trying to conceive, assuming that we would have no trouble, as most people do, I suppose. We were both 26 at the time. For the entire first year, my wife's cycle was erratic, sometimes skipping 2 or 3 periods at a time. We finally arributed this to going off the pill, which she has decided is a nasty invention, and her low weight (105 lbs, 5' 5"). The only upside was that she enjoyed sex a lot (and I mean, A LOT) more off the pill!

Finally, after that year, she returned to a normal cycle and we assumed everything would be fine. Not so. A year later, and still nothing. We began worrying in ernest, began talking about adoption, began crying, began cursing those who had children they abused and didn't want, began wondering how a crack mom could have a kid and not us, began hating the universe for it's unfairness.

We finally started the dreaded testing phase and found out that the problem was with me! What? Me? The guy whose grandparents had eight kids? The guy who has 45 first cousins on one side? The guy whose parents have six kids? I always assumed I'd be fine! The topper was that after ~$500 in tests, the doc basically says that his recommendation is invitro, which summed up is $10,000 and a lot of discomfort and drugs for my wife. We couldn't believe it. In-friggin-vitro? Nothing else to be done? "Nope" is what this guy told us.

Meanwhile, my wife had been reading a bazillion books on the subject, some of which suggested that certain types of vitamins and minerals had been shown to help, maybe, kinda, with some sperm problems. Mainly selenium, zinc, and Vitamin C, among others.

So right after we get the news that it's me, I start taking those One-A-Day men's vitamins while looking into other, more potent, supplements. After a month or so, I finally settle on one of those mega multi-vitamins that has 1000%+ of the RDA of some elements, being very careful about such things as toxicity from Vitamin A, D, and copper.

So while hoping for a miracle, we talked it over a lot and basically decided that we would adopt if there was no other choice. I found it a surprisingly easy decision, perhaps because I love kids so much, and I applaud every parent with an adopted child, particularly those that adopt non-infants, which must be an even more difficult decision. And I applaud every mother who willingly bears their child, knowing she will give it up. Call me conservative, but I shudder at the thought of the many (white) aborted fetuses that could have been born and given to loving families. Maybe my persepective is rather different than someone who has does not want children or has no difficultly in conceiving.

But to wrap up my story: what happened to us? It's been about four months since I we got the bad news about my sperm, and just two days ago we found out that my wife is seven weeks pregnant. So did the vitamins do it? I tend to think so, but I really don't know. Did the doc only reccomend in-vitro because he wouldn't make money off of us taking vitamins, or did he really think there was no other alterative?

All I know is that I pray every day that our child will reach full-term and be healthy, that conception is truly a miracle, and that my appreciatation for those that make the tough decision to become adoptive parents has increased ten-fold.

I'm not sure why I felt compelled to share all of this. I think mainly to perhaps give a little hope to those that may be in a similar position. My wife and I really thought we would never conceive, and if something as small as $25/month vitamins changed that completely, then it could change it for others as well.

Virginia adoptions (none / 0) (#236)
by artsygeek on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 05:02:08 PM EST

Virginia adoptions have changed a bit over time... For example, I'm adopted, and I'm having difficulty getting information on my biological parents. I'd like to know for, at the very least, medical reasons (due to some conditions I have). But I'd also like to know about things like the circumstances...so I can integrate it into my life.

adoption rant (short) (4.50 / 2) (#239)
by bob bobbish on Tue Jul 23, 2002 at 06:50:49 PM EST

I was adopted. I don't mind the fact or worry or fret or even care at all about finding my "birthmother". What a pathetic word. There is no "mothership" in giving birth. Mothership starts afterward as far as i'm concerned. I already know who my mother is, she is the person who, along with my father, raised me and taught me and loved me from as early on as I can remember in my life. That's all I need or desire. Whatever the reason the other DNA donor(s) have for not raising me are totally irrelevant to my life now and in the future.

Firtility Rates for women (none / 0) (#257)
by thogard on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 11:19:27 AM EST

Many of my friends are getting to the point where they are deciding to have a family.  Many of the older ones are have problems while the younger ones don't seem to have any problem.

We used to hear that women can have babies past 40 with few increased risks.  We used to hear that firtility dropped over time.  What isn't clear is that firtility seems to peak at about 20 and starts dropping noticeably after 25 and then dropps rapidly after 30. This graph shows rates in Japan and introduction of better birthcontrol in 75 as well as increases in firtility treatmens in the late 70's but I think it gives a good view of natural rates.


An Adoption Commentary and Story | 260 comments (249 topical, 11 editorial, 2 hidden)
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