Taking a child from adoptive parents was an injustice
I know that sometimes it takes work, but most days I attempt to wake up and survive at least the first hour of my day without becoming enraged about one thing or another. (These are, after all, my doctor’s orders.) But on Monday morning, before I had even had a chance to sip from my first cup of coffee – the coffeemaker was still sputtering out the initial drips – I was blindsided when I turned on the Today Show to witness what I believe is one of the greatest injustices against a child I have ever seen.The minute I flicked on the television, I heard the hysterical cries of a bereft mother and the terrified screams of a little boy, and I thought that maybe I was watching more tsunami footage. Then I realized, to my horror, these two people live in the United States. I stood there gaping as the small child on the screen was robbed of everything he had ever known by a court system so cruel and mindless that it would take a toddler away from his rightful parents to give him to a stranger. And for no better reason than the stranger wanted him. The 3-year-old boy had been adopted at the age of 2 days old by a loving family. But after three years, the biological mother and father decided to fight with each other and the adoptive parents over the custody of the child.
The birth mother, not wanting the birth father to have custody, went to court. In a move that no rational person could ever understand, a judge, without regard for the fact the only parents the kid had ever known were his adoptive parents, summarily dismissed them and gave the kid back to his biological mother. This country’s ideas about adoption are moronic, and its archaic laws need changed. Now.Many people make the same mistake when viewing adoption. A child who is adopted is no different than a biological child to the adoptive parents. The degree of love is exactly the same, and in many cases stronger. My daughters, both adopted from China, are simply my daughters. There is no discussion. I am their father, and anyone that wants to argue with me will get a sock in the eye.I believe our adoption laws should be changed to read that the minute a child, put up for adoption, touches his new mother and father, then the adopting parents are his parents. Period. Biology be damned.
Being a parent takes a lot more than just mixing some sperm and an egg together. It means protecting and feeding the child. It means taking care of the child when he or she is up all night with a fever or when they’re scared, hurt or tired. It means you give all the love you have to give and then you find some more and pour that out too.It never means, however, that you strut into their lives and jerk them around just so you can feel better about your worthless self like so many, so-called “parents” do with the vain idea that they can do better for the child they put up for adoption.The truly sad part of watching the Today Show, however, besides listening to the cries of a mother forced to give up her child, is that thousands, if not millions, of viewers out there were watching the same thing. And I’m sure many of them were thinking about adopting in the future. But after they witnessed the fiasco in Florida, I seriously doubt any of them would want to take the risk that the same thing could happen to them. It was almost too much pain for anyone to bear.
Which means that thousands of children searching for a home will never find one.When my wife and I first thought of adopting, we knew immediately that we would never adopt in the United States because of the many times we’d witnessed this same tragedy before, and it was one of the reasons we decided to adopt from China.As for the young boy on the news, I guess he’ll just end up in the pile of messed-up kids America seems to be amassing daily.And personally, I don’t believe that I’ve ever seen more likely candidates for Hell then those biological parents and the judge that did that to a defenseless kid. I hope some day that little boy grows up strong and mean enough to pay them all back for his childhood.Andrew Gmerek writesa Friday column. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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