Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Baby, baby

About this Madonna/Child thing. I'm against it. Anti. Not for. In fact, I'm against the whole-celebrity-adopts-poor-baby-from-poor-country-to-shine-light-on-the-horrific-conditions-extant- in-said-poor-country phenomenon. I'm also not in favor of the matching activity of celebrity-giving-birth-to-her-own-baby-in-poor-country-to-either-avoid-press-or-shine-light-on-the-horrific-conditions-extant-in-said-country.

Don't assume I'm a baby hater. Far from it. I love babies. They're my best friends. I even had two of them. I gave foster care to dozens of them.

And don't assume I'm against adoption. Not me. Think it's peachy keen. I know many fine people who were unable to become biological parents (or chose not to) who instead became wonderful adoptive parents to fine children who needed a home and parents.

Nope. It's the celebrity other country thing I'm not supporting.

The Madonna Adoption? That's easy to not support. She spends a week in a country, spends a little bit of money (for her), picks out a baby, and gets to take it home. Even though the law of Malawi clearly states no foreign adoptions. Even though baby David has a father. Living.

As at least one observer observed, "(w)hy not support the father to take care of his son in his own community?"

But my objection is a more global one--or perhaps more parochial. I want celebrities to stop shining the light on exotic, far away spots of horror like Ethiopia or Malawi, and start lighting their little candles closer to home. If black is in, why not adopt a little black boy from the West Side of Chicago? Detroit? LA?

We have thousands upon thousands of black children languishing in the foster care system right here in America. Children who desperately need loving parents and stable homes.
And boys of color are far less adoptable than girls. We have a whole generation of little boys who are growing up unwanted, uncared for. Doesn't any celebrity hear their cries for help?

Are African-American babies intrinsically less worthy of celebrity attention? Are they not suffering enough? Clearly, African babies are suffering more than those tots in Cleveland or Detroit. Live in more squalid conditions. Don't they?

I'm not inclined to think celebrities are adopting simply because they are moved by African suffering. I'm inclined to think celebrities are adopting out country mainly because the locale creates interest which begets publicity which is priceless for those in the pay attention to me business. Fascinating commentary on this here.

I challenge one celebrity would be mommy or daddy to look closer to home for his/her next victim, er, child. I challenge someone famous to adopt a black baby boy from LA. Better yet, how about a 9 yr old boy? Put your money and attention someplace a little less exotic yet infinitely rewarding.



Blogger Lisa said...

As a former foster child and current child advocate, I agree with you.

In Columbus, Ohio, the local chapter of the NAACP has filed a grievance against Franklin County Children's Services due to the high percentage of African American children in foster care.

In Kentucky, their efforts to beef up adoption statistics have focused primarily on infants and toddlers -- often removing these children prematurely and unnecessarily.

In the meantime, older youth continue to age out of foster care across the nation without first making a permanent connection with a caring and dependable adult.

This needs to change. Later on this month, I will be attending the Casey "It's My Life" conference. It focuses on helping teens in foster care as they prepare to enter the adult world.


2:33 PM  

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