Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Nausea Anew?

Caution: This post is bitter!

Certain highly-publicized celebrity foreign adoptions just aren't sitting well with me.

Case in point.

With all the desperate, orphaned children in the world who have no one and nothing, is it really necessary for Madonna to adopt a child with a living father? This isn't the small-designer-dog craze of 2004, where a celebrity picks a desirable puppy from a litter once it's weaned from its mother; we're talking about HUMAN CHILDREN. Children being taken away from the country of their parents. I'm not Madonna's bookkeeper, but I'll bet that in lieu of whisking his son away, writing a check to that boy's dad for about 50 grand or so would be hardly-felt on her end, and life-altering on his. Alternatively, how about simply funding local schools, hospitals, or community centers, and leaving it at that? How about spearheading clean water efforts or vaccination programs? Helping local residents build or buy houses or establish businesses? Helping other parents avoid the unimaginable heartbreak of ever having to be separated from their children due to poverty? Would we really rather whisk away to the West than help a child bloom where his family is planted? Are we that arrogant? Or that lazy? Or that cheap? Or that selfish? Edited to add: To be fair, Madonna has created a Kabbalah-based charity, Raising Malawi, whose website states that it plans to do many of the things I have listed. Certain human rights groups have raised concerns about Madonna getting special treatment during the adoption process by virtue of her having been financially generous to Malawi. I guess that time will tell how this plays out. I don't think that implementing these suggestions entitles anyone to receive special treatment while adopting a child, nor does it excuse said "whisking away."

To use the parlance of her adopted land, permitting Madonna to skip the normal adoption channels and "jump the queue," in my opinion, is shameful. Non-celebrity parents go through rigorous screening processes and wait YEARS for their adoptions to come through. This process is designed to protect the adopted children. Throwing it out the window for someone with clout and deep pockets is inexcusable.

There are excellent alternatives, even for us "regular folk."


Blogger mamalujo1 said...

Absolutley correct. I heard this morning that the father may be changing his mind, and/or that the Malawi authorities are putting some brakes on in this matter. But those news items are nothing more than twists on an already disgusting situation. We need more indignation like yours. More telling these emperors they have no clothes.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Liberty Belle said...

Agreed! Money can't buy happiness, but apparently, it can buy a child from a different country. The whole situation is absolutely ridiculous. And why does it always have to be infants? What about the thousands and thousands of older children in foster care in the US, awaiting adoption...awaiting a family to love them. Makes me sick to even think about Madonna/Brangelina/etc. True, it does make a difference for that one child that is adopted, but taking them from one extreme (poverty) to another (Hollywood) can't be that good for the child either...

10:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

Not bitter - truthful.

This really is a disgrace. I can't imagine what that father is going through. His wife died not too long ago, and now he's giving up his child (with good intentions) so that a fading celebrity can get her name in the gossip pages again.

The whole thing smacks of Madonna wanting to garner some of the admiration that's been bestowed on Angelina for adopting in Africa. If I remember rightly, there was some talk of baby Zahara having a living mother, also, but it was squelched.

Anytime there is this much press on a celebrity adoption, it can't be being done for the right reasons.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

I saw this on the Today show, and they said that the baby left Malawi in the care of Madonna's "bodyguard and personal assistant".

She sent her personal assistant to fetch her baby, like it was a nonfat soy latte. Oh, and she left autographed copies of her book "The English Roses" with the village school. Gee.

I can't begin to understand why that baby's father made that decision. Maybe he is unable to care for the baby without a wife, I don't know. I'm just shaking my head over this one.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

I'm in complete agreement with your analysis of the ugly situation Madonna is in (Ha! "like it was a nonfat soy latte" that's hilarious!), but I'm a little torn about the idea of high profile individuals adopting from third world countries. As we all know, where the pretty people go, so the rest follow. I'm hopeful that Angelina and Madonna's actions are inspiring others to pursue adoption overseas as an alternative to what's available here. Again, hopefully children that don't already have living, grieving parents.

Also, as much as we hate it, money buys privelege. Asking people with money to lump themselves with common-folk, especially in instances like this frought with primal urges is asking a hell of a lot. I know of at least 4 couples that adopted, and if they had been financially able to spread a little cash to get their children faster they wouldn't have thought twice. And they're all very good, very deserving people. But here, it's all about Madonna and that big jackass gap in her teeth. If it were Kate Winslett it'd probably be a different story. Or no story at all.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never having lived in a country where I was desperate to find a scrap of something to feed my child, or had to watch my child starve as this man might have (as I read he put the child in the orphanage because it was the only place the child could be fed),,,I can't say what I might do in his place. I think I would do almost anything short of hurting my child in some way, to ensure my child did not starve to death. Maybe he felt blessed that his child would know some basic human comforts and health care? I don't know what such desperation feels like thank God. However Madonna? could have helped that family STAY TOGETHER. She could have helped the father to feed the child, to have a home. She didn't have to take the child away. Totally correct, why not a child without a parent at all. Is she trying to make another rainbow family like Angelina? A trend? a new fad? Awful, awful stuff. I feel so confused. If she wrote a big fat check to the orphanage, did it help to vaccinate or feed the other kids? Isn't that like selling one child, to feed the rest though? If the child she did adopt grows up and becomes an advocate for his country, does that help? I guess I try to find the good, and it's not so easy to admit to myself how selfish, spoiled, and downright wrong, SHE is.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

Yeah...what you said. I'm extremely cynical about her motives.

7:00 PM  
Blogger V-Grrrl said...

Hmmm, I read some interesting editorials in London on this, one written by a British woman who had adopted a girl from China.

I have mixed feelings.

I don't think Madonna is jumping on a bandwagon. She has NEVER been one to follow, she's always been a leader. As a PR person, I can tell you that what she's doing is NOT enhancing her rock goddess status or advancing her career. Everyone is critical, there's an enormous backlash. She's a smart woman and extremely media savvy--I'm sure she saw it coming.

Which is why I believe her motives may be genuine. She has two children--she knows they're not an accessory, she knows what's involved in parenting, even with a nanny and a staff. She knows there are no short cuts when it comes to raising kids.

By letting her jump the queue, Malawi exploited her celebrity and put the conditions of its children and its country on the map, in the spotlight. Doing so may benefit countless children if it draws funding, aid, and adoptive parents to the orphanages and schools.

And while it's nice to think Madonna could have "sponsored" this child and allowed him to grow up with his father, the child would not necessarily be better off. My father-in-law devoted his entire career to aid programs in African nations, and the sad thing is that after 30 some years of pouring money into Africa, he saw little improvements in the lives of the people there. Very complicated situations--cultural and political in place.

So, in the end I applaud Madonna's efforts, regardless of her motivations.

6:02 AM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

I can't stand Madonna and don't think she is doing this child a favor by becoming his mother. She is horribly selfish and just doesn't come across as a truly nice person.

She does everything just for the publicity value and look! She is in the paper, t.v. and everyone is talking about her!

7:28 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

On the other hand, and along the lines of what Mignon said, Malawi is now in the spotlight. If only it didn't take so long for normal (non wealthy celebrities) to adopt because the situation in Malawi is dire and children who could be adopted to families who are more than able to care for them are dying by the hundreds every day and thousands more are suffering in poverty, hunger, disease.
I don't think Madonna deserves special treatment or that she's a saint for adopting that child when really she could have done 100 times more for the children who are dying in Africa. But I am glad that that little boy will never again know hunger and thirst and deprivation.

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely disagree. I'm certainly not a Madonna fan and am not one who even follows "celebrity news", but I am surprised at how suspicious everyone is about a woman's motive in adopting a child just because she is famous. Is it fair to assume this is all a publicity stunt just because she is a celebrity? According to the article linked above, the father willingly allowed the adoption. I'm sure if he changes his mind before the adoption is legal, then it will be stopped. Madonna may not come across as "nice" or "giving", but all we see are publicity interviews and tabloid garbage. None of us know how she truly is as a person, or how she feels about her children.
I don't mean to sound like some sort of Madonna advocate because I personally don't like her either, but I find everyone's cynicism disheartening.

11:47 AM  

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