Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Self-Centered Act of Cruelty

This (via Michelle Malkin) is a story that has nothing to do with medicine but is important enough to be publicized widely .

A dutch couple who adopted a South Korean girl at age four months has decided that at age seven, she didn't "'fit in' with their lifestyle." They apparently came to this realization after finally being able to have two biological children of their own.

One really has to marvel at the hubris, the self-absorption, not to mention the cruelty of these "parents". Maybe there's more to the story than was made public but that's hard to believe...and I'm not feeling very charitable or understanding right now.

I can't speak to the sensation of having a biological child but I will say that I can't imagine life without the wonderful daughter my wife and I adopted from China. How it's possible that a couple feeling the tug of parenthood strongly enough to adopt but weren't able to form the same connection with their child eludes me completely.

The father gave as his reason the fact that their daughter was "struggling to adapt to their culture, including food." This of course is preposterous as a moment's reflection would demonstrate. Our daughter was adopted at sixteen months and has absolutely no affinity for Chinese food or culture. She's about as American a gal as you'll ever meet. She certainly doesn't have an affinity for Chinese politics. Contrary to the wishes and knowledge of her staunch liberal mother, I've supplemented her Doctor Seuss readings with selections from Milton Friedman.

My thoughts and prayers are with this girl. I have no doubt that many couples will volunteer to adopt her into their families. My wife and I would take her in a heartbeat.

It's noteworthy that the father spoke to reporters only under conditions of anonymity. I suspect that he and his wife will be "outed" in the near future.

But I don't blame him for trying.

Update: Read this blog post by a Danish citizen who was adopted from South Korea. Also, read this press release from Global Overseas Adoptee's Link (G.O.A.'L). They raise questions about the legality of this "relinquishment". The first post makes the presumably obvious point that:
"A child is not a returnable product: Adoption is a lifelong commitment."
You'd think.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be expected; the adoptive father is a diplomat. Safe to say that HE doesn't read Milton Friedman....

December 12, 2007 12:34 PM  
Blogger Chrysalis said...

How sad. His excuses are just that, excuses. I can't imagine looking down into the face of any child and discarding them...what a world.

December 15, 2007 9:41 AM  
Blogger Toni Brayer, MD said...

This is amazing and sad. I knew someone once who adopted a baby and "gave it back" after 6 months when they found out she had a hearing impairment. That has stuck with me for 30 years...this story is even more shocking. Hopefully people like this are few and far between.

December 19, 2007 10:29 AM  

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