Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Global Family

I quite like what Cheri Register says in the last chapter of her book "Are Those Kids Yours?". She beautifully articulates the sense of "global responsibility" that I've been experiencing lately.

"Adoption can make a meaningful difference for us parents, if we take time to ponder the questions, "Why did this happen to me? What does it mean for my life?" The more our children's lives have been changed, the more potential they have for changing ours. Rather than let parental love settle into a proprietary fondness for our own children, we can let the wonder we feel at watching them grow nourish a broader, loving concern for children who are not our own, children who still face the risks from which our children have been spared. I believe very firmly that being entrusted with the love and care of children born to someone else in another part of the world carries an obligation of stewardship. In becoming an internationally adoptive family, we claim a place in the global family. Membership in the global family, like membership in our immediate families, obligates us to share in family responsibilities. There are many ways to approach this new role...First, we can make our voices heard in the continuing public discussion of adoption, whether we share our views on the propriety of transracial and intercountry adoption, or respond to media coverage of adoption, which often stereotypes adoptive families as either heroic or troubled. Second, we can work to improve the welfare of children world-wide, with special attention to family security. Third, we can seek and promote greater awareness of the global socioeconomic causes for family dissolution and abandonment of children, and help find just and equitable solution.

...In the long run, we ought to be changing those [inequitable socioeconomic] circumstances. Adoption is paradoxical through and through, a mix of grievous losses and joyous gains, tragic separation and firm belonging. We who live with the paradox day by day can manage yet another one: To be advocates for international adoption while simultaneously working to make it unnecessary. ...We can perhaps foster the change by choosing to adopt only in socially responsible and ethically sound ways that underscore the need for other solutions.

...Only when we become advocates for all children will the future of each child be justly assured."

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