Archive for July, 2006

Another one of my few attempts at metrics. I use to play around with double dactyls just for fun. My friends and I would write them and share them for laughs. Anyone else have any handy?

House of the Humorless-
laughing at nothing till
senseless with boose.

Comic is grateful till
someone bends over and
pukes on her shoes


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The Baby Market, pt 2

I know there are some out there thinking, “Whoa, now you’ve gone way too far! How dare you put human trafficking and something as wonderful as adoption in the same sentence!” For one thing, putting the two terms in the same sentence doesn’t mean I’m equating them, either morally or otherwise. I’m not going there or in the direction you might think I’m headed so hold off on the hate mail.

Perhaps I have failed here, but I think that pointing out the extreme helps to better illustrate how grey certain aspects of adoption really are. Also, it seems to be human nature to use extremely bad things to make something else look entirely good in comparison. I think that’s always a mistake because it conveniently pushes everything into neat little packages of black and white, good and evil. Important grey areas are ignored creating cracks and gaps where, in the case of adoption, children fall through and are left to suffer.

While adoption is no where near as malevolent as human trafficking, the two do share aspects that can be exploited for monetary, social and political gain. Regardless of intention, there is a demand/supply side to adoption where money exchanges hands and children are provided. Introduce adoption agencies and you have the makings of a market whether they provide a service for placing children or provide children themselves. “So what?” some will say, “Parents need children and children need parents. Adoption is the perfect solution.” I once thought so as well but the more I learn, the more critical I become.

One of my problems is that adoption seems to center more around supplying children for parents rather than finding parents for the children who need them. When “matching” parents to children, who is the one doing the choosing? Adopted children don’t enjoy that wonderful luxury called “choice” when it comes to specifics like age, health, nationality and physical characteristics? Sure, it’s common sense that infants and children can’t be the ones making those kinds of decisions. They rely on adults to do what is in their best interest which is why we must look very critically at adoption on all levels.

It’s no secret that in the past, adoption practices have not always been on the up-and-up. An example that comes to mind is the forced removal of large numbers of American Indian children and their adoption into white families. Some still maintain that this was yet another attempt at cultural genocide as large numbers were adopted without regard for their cultural heritage. Many were removed through deceptive means or by parents being coerced under stress to give up their children.

Ironically, in earlier times, American Indians were known to kidnap the children of white settlers as compensation for the loss of a loved one. This, of course, was considered an evil beyond comprehension despite the fact that it amounted to the same thing. The difference was that the removal and adoption of American Indian children was done on a larger scale, was considered legal and *cough in the best interest of all involved. The subject of American Indians and adoption is much more complex but I think the example shows how skewed the topic of adoption can become.

Nope, still not done….

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The Baby Market

pic by sume

Jae Ran wrote this fantastic post where she expands from some of her personal experience and points out the industrial side of adoption. As I mentioned before, I’m currently reading a book entitled The Baby Business by Debora Spar. The book centers on infertility and how lucrative markets have formed around it to supply the demand for children. Adoption is discussed as an option, but from a market point of view. I’m glad to see a book like this because I think the marketing side of adoption is often overlooked. As the book mentions, no one likes to think of children as products.

The thought of buying and selling children is unthinkable and sends shivers down society’s collective moral spine. How can adoption possibly be anything comparable to the human trafficking of children? With human trafficking, children are kidnapped, sold into slavery and exploited. They are unloved and abused with no concern for their well-being whatsoever, right? No, that is a common misconception. While that is the case for many, some are taken and sold as intended brides and some are sold for adoption.

I’m speaking in global terms here as this happens in many countries. I’m pointing no fingers nor am I saying this is the norm for children adopted by Americans from other countries. I know many try to ensure their children have come to them by legitimate means. I mention this merely to point out that adoption cannot be viewed in the wholly benign, completely beneficial solution as it’s often portrayed. Society comforts itself by placing the subject of human trafficking in one evil corner while portraying adoption in a wholly benign, beneficial way.

I see it as just another example of how we try to obliterate any concept of “buying and selling children” from our minds. We can forget that there is a business side to adoption thus relieving ourselves of the need to look at it with the critical eye that is so badly needed. We can sit back and bask in our benevolence while forgetting that beneath the surface, adoption can create problems as well as solve them. It’s a double edged sword that cuts both ways and the victims are often those, who are the most vulnerable among us.

To be continued….

Comments will be closed until the concluding post.

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Sony pulls brainfart ad

Via CN Le

I first read about this on Made in Korea. Yeah, we’ve seen this done before. Throw a controversial ad to the wind, stir up trouble and reap the benefits of “bad” publicity. I find it very hard to believe that a company as HUGE as Sony, who has an international customer base would NOT “take due account of the increasingly global reach of such local adverts, and their potential impact in other countries“.

Hello! Not buying it.

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Amy Anderson

Bryan posted a heads-up that Korean adoptee, Amy Anderson will be at the Illusion Theater in Minneapolis. I hope some of you out there get a chance to see her perform. As for the rest of us sorry suckers, we’ll just have to content ourselves with the clip on YouTube.

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Jared Rehberg

Vietnamese adoptee, Jared Rehberg has two shows in Washington, DC. July 21 at the Jin Lounge and July 22 at St. Patricks Episcopal Church. For more information, check out his Myspace where you can also hear some of his songs.

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Bad Linkage

Just coming off of blog break to say to stupid people who somehow linked me to nasty website, “I hope you die.”

Periodically, I check who’s linking me and this has happened to me a few times with my other blog and seemingly because the word “Asian” appears in my posts. They do eventually “age off”, but it’s annoying and offensive. Is this happening to anyone else and what do you do about it? Complain to higher power? Ignore it? Send emails of death?

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