Nobody Asked Me….

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but that never stopped me before. Here is the comment I posted as a response to the “Celebrity Adoptions and the Real World” piece in the Times on May 10. I tried not to post, I really did. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. People who have no idea what adoption is about or what it entails sure seem to have a lot of opinions, so I thought I’d weigh in with mine…

Anyone who thinks that international adoption is a trendy choice popularized by publicity-hungry celebrities, has clearly never been anywhere near the adoption process. It would take the most dedicated fashionista on earth to brave the monolithic towers of paperwork, the emotional roller coaster, the eternal waiting lists and the social worker who basically moves in with you for six months.

And anyone who thinks a child is better off in an orphanage in the developing country in which they were born than in a loving home somewhere else has never visited such an orphanage.

There are four million orphans in Ethiopia- the country where my beautiful son was born. Four million. There are ethical and legal avenues to both international and domestic adoption and there are, unfortunately, unethical and illegal ways to accomplish the same. But the answer isn?t to deny homes to children in need of them. The answer is to apply the Hague standards with uncompromising rigor.

As another adoptive mother pointed out, there is an erroneous assumption being bandied about in many of these posts regarding the altruistic intentions of adoptive families. Adoption isn?t a humanitarian act; it is simply one of many valid ways to create a family. Adoption is in no way a solution to the problems that have created an orphan crisis, but it is a solution for my husband and myself and it is a solution for our son.

There are pros and cons to both domestic and international adoption, and families make decisions based on a large number of factors that are not the business of anyone else but that particular family. The ?why don?t you give some needy American kid a home?? argument is simplistic at best and demonstrates real ignorance of the choices involved.

Celebrities are people with the right to create their families in any lawful way they choose. Why should anyone who is not their social worker or their adoption agency make assumptions about their intentions ?

2 Responses to 'Nobody Asked Me….'

  1. Karin Calde says:

    Thanks for posting your comment, Jillian. Very well-said.

  2. halina says:

    thank you for your voice! i am a friend of brandy and susan’s and a contributor to thenextfamily.com – I hope you don’t mind but i shared a link on my blog to this page – i think you said perfectly what a lot of people need to hear.

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