Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the upcoming presidential election dominated the media this week. I was struck by an overarching theme: equality is a basic American value, and the fight for it is essential to ensure inherent rights to all our citizens. The same theme resonates when we navigate challenging situations.
Hatred, prejudice, and discrimination are wrong. No segment of our population should be treated differently because of their race, religion, sexual orientation or family values. People are people. If we invested our energy in working together rather than in working against one another we could achieve great things.
Adoption is one of the areas where prejudice rears its ugly head. Adoptive parents are seen as inadequate because they have been unable to reproduce; birth parents are adjudged irresponsible for getting pregnant and being unable to raise their children; and adoptees deemed less worthy than birth children. What would happen if society took on the mantra – “it takes a village”? Then it would be our collective responsibility to ensure that every child was raised in a loving family who would meet all their needs. It would not matter which family raised them. This worldview would, in turn, change the perception of adoption. Children would simply be granted the relationships they need to grow and thrive. No labels. No judgments.
Skin color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or any other such category would no longer matter. Only one thing would count: the presence of an adult to meet a child’s needs and to love them for whom they were. To return to the original inspiration for these thoughts, such a society would reflect our American value of equality and realize the vision of MLK who wanted each individual judged solely by “the content of their character.”
Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. She has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled adoptive parents and parents-to-be, and has trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program from March 1992 to March 2015. She is Head Writer for Adoption.net, member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood and has a private practice in New York City. She was a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series and named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. Follow or reach her at ADOPTION MAVEN BLOG or EMAIL.