Of course, I have an opinion about this, but that's not what I'm going to write about today. What caught my eye was this one line in Rumor Queen's post:
What this sentence tells me is that there were families who requested girls and were referred boys who declined the referral. Now, it's true that I don't know the individual circumstances-- like perhaps it was that they requested a healthy girl and were matched with a boy with a repaired special need. But, taking the sentence at its face, I am . . . well . . . appalled.
Also, the families who turned down boy referrals have been given a referral
for a girl.
Here we have a situation in which a government has created a predominantly one-child-only rule (though if both parents are only children, they are permitted to have two children without paying a penalty for the second child). And that rule has led to the abandonment of thousands of girls for social and cultural reasons. The desire to have a boy is so strong in China, that people were, at one point, opting for sonograms to determine gender and then terminating the pregnancy if it was a girl. I remember reading back in 2005 that China was no longer permitting ultrasound technicians to reveal the gender of a child for that very reason.
So along come Americans, and people from other countries, too, who are interested in building their families through adoptions from China. And we all go into the process recognizing that there is an abundance of girls and thinking that we will probably be adding a girl to our families through this process. The thing is, though, that the one-child rule doesn't just apply to parents who have no children. It applies to everyone. So if a family has a boy or a girl who they decide to raise, and then discover they are pregnant again, it's quite plausible that child will end up in an orphanage regardless of the gender. That means there are boys in China's orphanages, not just girls.
And so it leaves me to wonder how we can on the one hand cluck our tongues in disapproval at the abandonment of girls, and more specifically at the cultural preference for one gender over another, only to later demonstrate the same preference. I just don't get it. It seems incredibly hypocritical; and more than that, it seems wrong.
I mean, say you were pregnant and really, really wanted a girl. And you discovered you were going to be having a boy, would you seriously decide to terminate the pregnancy? Place the child for adoption? I've never even heard of such a thing happening in the U.S. But, by analogy, isn't that what families who turn down a referral for a gender other than the one they requested are doing?
Yeah. I'm being judgmental. But boy or girl, all children need loving homes. And if you only have a heart for one gender or another, I can't help but question the motives. And yes, I realize some families opt to adopt from China because they have three boys at home and would like a little girl. But, you know what? Too bad. That's just the crap shoot you take, I say. I think it's wrong to decline a referral because of gender. And I don't think anything would convince me otherwise. Shame on those families. Shame on us for thinking it's okay to have that attitude with adoption when we would never condone it for biological children.
That said, of course I would much prefer those families decline the perfectly healthy boy to wait for a girl than adopt a child who they will never really love. But it's so sad that they don't have unconditional love to offer in the first place. . .