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Ndaba Plus ThandiRose
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The Unfairness of Adoption

29 June 2015, 10:19

I am sick of it. Sick of reading about abuse of children by their biological parents! I used to think that the best mother and father for a child, were their biological child. Adoption was really a plan B. Until my eyes were opened to sickening cases of abuse perpetrated by mothers, father, grandmothers and uncles right here in our country of South Africa. J. Naidoo, the 8 nd 5 year old siblings, the 2 year old beaten by his father. All these and countless other examples make me sick.

My husband and I decided before we had children, to adopt one child and have one biologically. After all, why ‘make’ when there are already existing children? At the same time, when one is able to conceive, it’s normal to want to experience pregnancy. And so we decided to melt the best of both worlds. But in between we had a second biological unexpected blessing.

We went into the adoption quite naïve. I didn’t know much and certainly hadn’t known till looking online, how one needs to pay to adopt. It includes salaries, child protective services, medical tests conducted on the child…It makes sense but still hard to stomach. People react with shock, “But you’re relieving the government of a burden by taking in these children. Why would you need to pay?” they ask. But willing we were.

What we didn’t realise is the level of scrutiny prospective adoptive parents go through. We had to submit police clearance to prove we weren’t criminals. We had to apply to the Dept. of Social Development to prove we aren’t on the National Child Protection Register. We had medical assessments done. We had to submit information about our financial ability, our home…We even had a visit to our home by a social worker. We had to submit background information about our childhoods, our families, and references too! We had interviews about our marriage, about ourselves and did a psych evaluation too! And we did it willingly because we understand that no social worker ever wants to have to say, “Oh no, we put an innocent child in harm’s way,” and that is the government’s way of decreasing the chances.

Adoption is unfair because it opens up my eyes to the way biological parents have it easy. They’re able to make a child without any scrutiny. House them in whatever type of abode. Or live on the streets. Not have to answer questions about how they’ll discipline that child, nor about their diets and likes and dislikes. They aren’t followed up after having that child like we had to attend a post placement meeting. They’re free. No-one makes sure that they are able to feed that children. Instead they are free to harm and injure and kill without being assessed to see if the possibility of that happening isn’t there.

Adoption isn’t unfair. The children deserve as best a chance as possible to succeed and to be unharmed. What’s unfair is how people who don’t pay to have a child, don’t undergo such intense scrutiny don’t realise how blessed they are to have it ‘easy.’ They don’t treat their children like the blessings they are, whereas we who want to do so to a child not linked to us, are put under a magnifying glass. What is unfair is how so many people who deserve to be put under that same glass escape. And when they’ve escaped, the most vulnerable of society are put in harm’s way and pay the price for how easy it was for their parents to conceive. That’s the unfairness of adoption. Not the process-it’s necessary and best for the children. Not the money-social workers need to eat.

What’s unfair is that sometimes there are warning signs, gang membership, for example, but because no social workers are assessing the parents for suitability before they conceive, they get away with bringing children into the world only to do their best to take them out again, or do get away with taking them back out the world in painful and awful ways. We are willing to do anything to prove we are able to love their children. They could place them for adoption. But they instead kill the innocent who could have had a chance to become upstanding citizens and positive influences. That is unfair.

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