Monday, November 27, 2006

Sacrifice to Adopt?

The peculiar language of adoption strikes again, this time in Parade Magazine.

A reader writes in asking Personality Parade's Walter Scott to weigh in on Madonna's controversial attempt to adopt non-orphan David from Malawi.

Scott's reply? "We agree with the reader who wrote us: "It sounds like Angelina Jolie and Madonna are genuinely caring people to make the sacrifice needed to adopt a child, but why go to Africa when so many children right here in America deserve to be adopted?""

Ah. Sacrifice. There it is. The language of saints, martyrs and angelic souls. Those with no needs of their own who surrender something for the sake of something or someone else. The adoptive parent described in the most generous of terms, elevated from ordinary parent to extraordinary because she has taken the courageous leap of faith that is required to raise someone else's child. And what, exactly, is the adoptive parent sacrificing? Time? Love? Money? All of the above? Isn't that what a biological parent does? Yes. But still, the adoptive parent is held apart as especially beneficent.

The selective language of adoption continues to favor the adoptor...to reward her for her Good Deed. Is an adopted child ever described in such lofty terms...as, say, a sacrificial lamb so a woman may know the joys of mothering? Of course not. It's as if the adopted child has nothing to offer except its relentless demands that require sacrifice of its rescuers.

What DOES motivate some people to adopt? For some it is the need to parent. To love and raise a child. And then there are the motivations of others which seem a little suspicious....who themselves, perhaps unconsciously, use the language of martrys, a little to quick to say all they wanted to do was rescue a poor child from certain death and poverty...people who need the admiration of the public.

3 Comments:

Blogger suz said...

yeah, huh?

9:33 AM  
Blogger Joy said...

I left this really amazing comment here and it disappeared, oh well, too late.

Good post, especially nauseating in context of madonna, I mean the woman hired a nanny she paid to look after the child, and my money says that she neither interviewed nor actually wrote the check for the nanny that staff did that as well.

1:40 PM  
Blogger LeRoy Dissing said...

Joy...I agree with you on Madonna. I would question just how much she is invested with the child or if this was all for "show".

9:09 PM  

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