The other day I was reviewing some articles about gendercide in China, the practice of forced abortion, and child trafficking, and I was thinking how these types of events help create complex adoption issues many foreign born adoptees have to face, especially if one was adopted from a chauvinistic society like India or China. It seems there is a sad irony that exists when foreign social activists fighting for human rights come to America seeking support and assistance from American politicians. While these politicians talk the talk about offering support to the defenseless seeking basic human rights, all too often the two major party lines are found at the root end of the pre-existing plight and problems that are bringing the oppressed to American and her human-right protecting politicians.
Case in point: in the May 18, 2012 article, Why Chen fights, and why U.S. abortion rights supporters should care, readers (and members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights) were given a glimpse into the life of the working class couple living in China. According to activist Mei Shunping:
... she and all other female employees in the textile factory where she worked were subjected to humiliating physical exams to document that they weren’t pregnant; otherwise, under China’s one-child policy, they weren’t paid. And when any woman not approved for childbearing was even suspected of missing a period, co-workers were quick to inform on her, because when one became illegally pregnant, all were punished.
On the worst day of Mei’s life, not only was she physically dragged to the hospital, she said, but she collapsed in pain after complications following the procedure. She had no one to lean on, either, since her husband had been thrown in jail for arguing with the doctors
Typically, in America, the politically correct pro-life stance to an unwanted pregnancy is simple: Abortion is wrong. Choosing life; choosing adoption is the right thing to do. [Forget measures that ensure Family Preservation; such efforts are too costly, and there's no money or big profit in Family Preservation, like there is in adoption.]
In China, each pregnancy is not equal or the same. In China, only certain types of pregnancies are wanted, making the rest unworthy and unwanted.
Enter the cost versus the value of an orphanage built in China. [Read: http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/27751 ]
Enter the amount of money each American adopter gives to China each time an eager and desperate adult with an adoption plan decides it's time to have a child. [Hint: it costs more to adopt a child, than to buy a sex slave.]
Enter the role elected US politicians have in congress, and in ICA. [Voter support matters, especially if one is up for re-election.]
Activists seeking US congressional support and protection, like Mei Shungping, need to be aware: through natural consequence itself, America's anti-abortion/pro-life movement supports and condones China's One Child Policy.
In fact, America's orphan crusade relies very much on such foreign polices and reproductive restrictions, because American PAPs on a religious-based mission need as many foreign orphans as they can find, collect and take home. It's this large gathered collection that makes the religious movement work so well for those seeking Higher Approval. Sadly, the reality is, more orphans equals bigger profits for those working within the adoption industry. This fact gives good reason to question China's need for ICA when it's as wealthy and as resourceful as it is, and it gives good reason to question USA's self-interest when it comes to involving itself in China's Rid the Female Child Campaign. Remember, China does not have the economic problems other sending-countries have, like Ethiopia or Nepal have... so does China really need foreign financial aid to help care for it's forced-orphan population?
Statistically speaking, since the turn of the century, (meaning, since 2000), 62,524 children have been sold to Americans via adoption services. Based on known adoption service fees and known forced orphanage donation costs, one can estimate the profit made by China from the American adoption system alone reaches the 5-10 billion USD mark. But this amount is a low rough guestimate, because much of the profit-making found in adoption "services" is often done via underground networks where unmarked cash is the only acceptable way to reach an objective. In terms of total export numbers, since 2000, approximately 40,000 additional children have been adopted through foreign adoption programs elsewhere. It's important to note about 91% of the export population is female.
Where does all that money for females go?
Not to forced orphan care, that's certainly clear.
As Americans spend millions of dollars each year to help China get rid of it's burden of unwanted female children, these same Americans are showing just how harmful and offensive the pro-life (pro-adoption) movement really is for so many women and children outside the United States.
With each child sold through international adoption services and Chinese orphanages, an enormous amount of money is being made... money that would not be seen or coming in if the government decided to close down the adoption option and continued with it's plan with forced abortions on the poor. After all, who wants to buy an aborted fetus?
Making matter worse for those susceptible to forced adoption, there is the American adopter on a religious crusade. It's as if these radical missionaries believe there are extra God-points if they participate in ICA. Sure, on paper, it can read as if the American on a mission to remove little girls from China is heavily involved in stopping the slaughtering of the unborn... a bigger humanitarian effort than helping one's neighbor. But emotionally speaking, isn't assisting the breaking of the bond between mother and child, (a bond created by God), similar to terminating a pregnancy?
When looking at the facts behind corrupt ICA practices, Americans willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars in China for a young child are sending social activists tired of China's regime the following three messages, all at once:
- American adopters support the oppression of the poor by maintaining a demand for more "adoptable" orphans.
- American adopters show a measure of agreement with misogynists by providing a profit-making route that enables the people of China to get rid of thousands of unwanted female babies. In other words, American adopters are providing a reward-system for those who maintain females are inferior and women do not deserve the same rights as men.
- American adopters, through their actions, say yes to the belief that only those with relative wealth deserve to have children; the more money one has, the more children that person deserves.
In my book, this collection of mixed messaging, coming from "socially conscious and sensitive" Americans, no less, illustrates just how embarrassingly myopic, incredibly self-serving and terribly ill-informed and misguided the modern-day American adopter-on-a-mission to save a child in China really is.
With all the excitement that goes with getting what is wanted, I doubt any of these child-seeking Americans find themselves thinking about the ways in which their decision to adopt from an oppressive society affects a specific group of people, like the working class or the poor. At the eleventh hour of a foreign adoption plan, how many excited parents-to-be are thinking about world history, what it means to be an American and what fleeing to America really means to and for so many people? Adopters fail to see how their freedom in choice - their Americanism - has put a profound burden and risk to those who fit among the poor and the working class -- the people who economically speaking, will never own a slice of the American Dream.
One of the biggest arguments made to defend the pro-life pro-adoption movement is the belief that forced abortion is cruel and brings with it health risks and dangers to the mother. The same applies to those forced to relinquish so a child can be sold through adoption.
Advocates for ICA need to recognize forced adoption damages the lives of the mother and child, and anyone else in the family that is given very limited choices and options, due to poverty. Forced adoption not only hurts the parents, forced adoption also hurts and harms the child, putting that child at high risk for illness and injury. Forced placement for adoption requires all obtained children must be living in an orphanage for X amount of time. How many very young children are put in dangerous over-crowded institutions, all so foreigners can feel good about saving a child's life through ICA? How many healthy children become sick because orphan-care is so poor and foreign adoption is such a lucrative business? How many children living in an orphanage have been raped, or rented out to pedophiles? As I see it, there is more extensive and prolonged suffering and damage done to an entire family after a forced adoption plan than a forced abortion plan. Whether the loss of a child and family is done via kidnapping or abduction, or through forced labor and delivery, the pain mother, father and child experience is very real and the effects of that associated stress brings it's own list of future health risks and dangers.
With this perspective in mind, I find myself cringing in discomfort when I see "proud" American adopters celebrating China and Chinese traditions with their China-born daughters... girls who were taken or left, and put away in an orphanage for future sale. I shrink in phantom pain as the happy transracial family celebrates various Chinese traditions, complete with authentic appearing decorative dress. I find myself wondering... does Operation Happy Chinese Heritage include factual information about the force used by Chinese officials? Does educating the adoptee include teaching the way in which females are seen and treated in that given society? How knowledgeable are American adopters when it comes to knowing and understanding the ever-lasting effects forced child placement has on the original parents, and the adoptee, as well?
I wonder if the truth about man playing the role of God, and the practice of making money through the misery of others, is too upsetting for the American adopter who wants to believe their actions are in the best interest of a child.
APs of foreign born adoptees have to remember, the modern-day adoptee doing his or her own personal adoption research is not limited like the researching adoptee was 30 years ago. When the modern-day adoptee wants to learn more about a country and it's social history, that person will turn to the internet and not be limited to the information found in the books that get distributed to schools and public libraries, or supplied by family of friends. Adoptees have all sorts of private support groups and networks filled with cyber-friends and they are privy to an enormous amount of information adoptees from the era of closed adoption never had, or dreamed about. I would not be surprised if today's foreign born adoptee knows much more about their country of origin and the adoption process itself than the adoptive parents who claim they did exhaustive research about their sending country. With this in mind, American adoptees born in China may not like the way in which America got involved in, and benefited from China's One Child Policy.
Speaking of not liking what I see, an uneasiness felt by an adoptee leads me to something else adoptees can find on the internet: adoptive parent blogs.
Today's proud American APs blogging and bragging about their little ICA angels have to realize their little girls from China are going to be the older daughters and women who one day will be asking questions like, "Didn't you, (the AP), do some research about China's adoption program before you participated in it? Didn't you, (the second-parent who paid enormous fees for a child), read about the way so many children were kidnapped and stolen from first parents, all for the demanding adoption market? Didn't you, (the driven and determined parent-wanna-be), think there was something wrong about the way in which the poor in China were treated, all so the Chinese government could get rid of a large percentage of it's female population - and make a lot of money for doing so? Wasn't there any other way to send financial aid to poor parents, so those parents would not be forced to lose any or all of their children?"
Or do APs have a difficult time finding information about that sort of stuff?
<adoptee waits for AP response....>
Here's what the adoptee will know, and not always share with the adoptive parent(s): When paying so much for an unwanted girl in China, APs are making the threat of forced abortions even more confusing because not every adoptive home is loving, safe, and nurturing. [See: cases of child abuse in American adoptive homes]. In addition, to make matters worse, nothing makes the torturing of women more insulting than knowing people are getting paid and praised to do this torturing. THIS is how some are earning their living. There is rampant reproductive exploitation in one of America's biggest adoption exporting resources, and American women who are adopting from China are saying nothing about this crime against humanity. How and what is an adoptee to think or feel?
I find world history very interesting because in the whole big scheme of things, human behavior really doesn't change all that much. If it did, we wouldn't see history repeat itself over and over again. Whether we are in the 17th or the 21st century, bullies will bully; thieves and hostage takers will make threats; and the oppressed will either die and go away, or they will fight, and become heroes and leaders for the next generation.
As far as I'm concerned, the relationship between China and the USA is both logical and insane, and ICA only makes that relationship all the more complex. I think it will be interesting to see what, if anything, will happen to China's One Child Policy and ICA child export program once the oppressed finally decide they have had enough, and they are ready to fight a good fight. I think such a battle will be scary to see, as well. After all, if women are tortured for carrying an unwanted child, what sort of harmful threats will be made to those who want to put and end to the era of amoral adoption?
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