Friday, October 20, 2006

MADONNA ADOPTION FLAP

First, let's get the snarkies out of the way: Madonna Dearest: What were you thinking? You are soooo copying Angelina it's not funny. She could get away with it because she is, after all, an excellent actress and one of the first Hollywood celebs (Mia too far back to count) to hit third world countries in cargo pants and black baby Tees. Being the second to do so, even in a soft white cotton shirt is, well, being second and somehow less authentic.

Now having exorcised the evil snarkies, on to more important issues like: the best interests of the child. There's a whole lot of talk about amazing opportunities and saving him from a life of poverty, etc., etc., but is all that really necessary? No. The child..and the millions of others like him...need a good family...not necessarily a rich one. But more than anything, he will need - besides a warm bed and healthy food - TIME, LOVE, ATTENTION AND ABOVE ALL: ATTUNEMENT. Even if a home study was conducted surely no one expected the home of a megadiva such as Madonna not to pass.

But what of the diva herself? Has she read the literature on adoption issues? Why isn't she talking about how she has uniquely prepared herself to become a loving, educated adoptive parent instead of all this talk about saving a poor child from a life of poverty which is thinly veiled martryr speak??? Why isn't she grabbing hold of this issue and giving it a good shake? She could change the dialogue. She can't, I suspect, because she does not understand the impact of adoption and its life long consequences....to all parties: the child, her biological children and her marriage. If she truly understood the issue at hand, she'd be speaking less defensively...more positively...on what she can do emotionally for the baby.

"It is not an easy task to change an unwanted child into a wanted child. This challenge is, however, exactly the task faced by adoptive parents. They must convey to their adopted child that, although he was born to other parents who did not want him, he is now their beloved child and shall always remain so." (Adoption from the Inside Out: A Psychoanalytic Perspective by Paul Brinich)

People who exhibit narcisstic tendencies strike me as less than ideal candidates to become adoptive parents. Empathy is required. And how will Madonna later explain to David that he was not unwanted. Indeed, that his father was living at the time of his placement and had been regularly visiting him? I suspect the boy will have a hard time of it either now, later or both. Does Madonna realize that while the event may be a happy one for her, the child - over a year - will be distressed and grieving?

The boy doesn't have all his teeth yet and ignorant people around the world are weighing in and saying how lucky he is...strong predictors that he'll be the recipient of other idiotic remarks like how grateful he should be and if you go back to Africa to search for your roots, how disloyal that will be to the Madonna who saved you. Most of us adoptees hear those kinds of messages even when our parents are regular folk. Imagine how big the societal burden of gratitude will be placed on poor David?

1 Comments:

Blogger Dan said...

Here's my satirical take on all of these celebrity adoptions: Stiff Penalties To Protect Malawi's Childlife.

12:44 PM  

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