What’s Missing?

Liam sent me an e-mail Saturday. The relevant text and links are as follows:

Andrew Sullivan this week has had a running series of threads called The Missing, which has developed into a discussion about adoption in our culture. 

I thought you might appreciate this in particular:


The initial post, and then subsequent ones  (the URLS of the subsequent ones don’t actually follow the right order ordinally, as it were – I don’t know why….):









I was initially feeling compelled to respond, but I kept at the series and read it through. People already covered what I was going to say about the “500,000 and 100,000.” There are facts involved:

– You may think you’re holding out for an ideal child, but control is an illusion. If you haven’t learned that as an adult, you will have a rude awakening at some point in your life.

– The wait-list for adoption is an illusion. If you want a match to your Caucasian genes and a day-old infant who didn’t have a mom on drugs, then maybe you will wait your whole life. You may have waited a long time to find the perfect spouse, too. But if any couple is serious about adopting, a release on even a few of your pre-conditions will mean you will have a child in your home within months of completing a home study. All told, my wife and I spent about two years from the day we decided to adopt children to the day when the young miss moved in with us.

And a few opinions:

– Planned Parenthood and the political Right-to-Life movement share a grave flaw. They ignore adoption. Asking a young woman to put her life on hold (her perspective) for nine months nears the realm of heroism for our instant-gratification society. RTL lacks a visible heart. If their political efforts against health insurance reform were steered toward adoption, they would gain a significant number of grudging allies. Both groups now exist for self-perpetuation. Neither has a need to end the disasters of unwanted pregnancies or abortions. The hate and anger have consumed them.

– That is not to say that individuals within either movement can’t or don’t do good work to make the world a better place. They do it in spite of the organization, not because of it.

– More hermeneutic of subtraction at work: make the world better by getting rid of stuff we don’t like. It’s a whole lot harder to build up than tear down. I’ll admit I make judgments about organizations based on where I see their ethics sitting on this. There are any number of reasons for taking the easy way in daily life: you’re taking the high road on the important stuff; you’ve had a long day–things like that. That’s a genuine reason for a time-out. But overall, there should be something in one’s life of heroism. Maybe that something is adopting a child from foster care.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to What’s Missing?

  1. Jimmy Mac says:

    I know 2 same-sex couples who adopted babies born of crack mothers whose race is different from the new parents. Both couples struggle with the challenges (one couple took twins!) but the look on their faces when you comment on their children is amazing. God bless them and all who adopt the difficult cases.

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