I search the internet for articles and essays about adoption. This one written by columnist Vicki Woods just really blew my mind. It’s not from an adoptive parent or anyone who appears to have a connection to adoption. I think this essay is supposed to be humorous and tongue-in-cheek – even so, the language used in this essay is so disrespectful. You can read the whole piece published by the Telegraph, but I’m excerpting a few choice pieces here:
This week, it covered the Indian government’s proposals to speed up the country’s adoption process and make it easier and quicker for foreigners to adopt Indian babies. Especially girl babies. The chairman of India’s Central Adoption Resource Agency had fewer than 100 would-be adopters applying from Britain last year. He hopes to shorten the wearying adoption process from more than a year to a snappy 45 days. From what I know about India, I reckon that’s some hope. But it can only be a good thing for wretched women wanting babies.
Eleven million babies are abandoned each year in India and 90 per cent of them are female. Quite staggering figures, eh? Grazia brought them to life with a double-page picture of six tiny little scraps lying on carry-cots in clean nappies and pyjama tops. . . The one at the top left was looking straight through the lens – wide-eyed, crinkle-browed – and gave me a maternal pang so intense that I had to swallow hard. That’s the one I’d pick if I were in the mood to adopt an abandoned Indian baby girl. When I showed it to my daughter, she said that’s the one she’d pick as well. The prettiest one. The one anyone would pick, actually, the one who’d look perfect in a Pampers ad. Any art director would pick her. The photographer picked her – she’s the emotional focus of his picture.
It is slightly discomfiting looking at a display of foreign babies laid out like so many hot summer shoes, though. Slightly discomfiting to find oneself idly picking a foreign baby out of a litter like picking a puppy. Still, it’s easy for me: I’ve had babies. Women who can’t have babies are desperate, filled with longing, and it’s OK by me if they pick a foreign one from pictures, or from Indian orphanages.
The adoption process is notoriously difficult in this country. People in the adoption business have views that are sometimes antipathetic to mine on foreign adoptions. Example: Indian babies should be brought up by Indian families, so as not to deprive them of their inherited "culture" blah blah. That’s a bit holier-than-thou for me. Orphaned (or abandoned) babies do need loving homes. For the woman who wants to be a mother somehow, anyhow – and for the baby, who will have a chance at childhood – I say forget culture.