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A child should be valued, not priced

 

When I read things like this I totally understand why some people find the idea of adoption a step too far. It is a fact that when you adopt you have to pay money – to your council, your government, various lawyers and that’s even before you factor in the kind of expenses you incur travelling to find your child and taking time off work in order to be able to do so.

By its nature, adoption discriminates against those potential loving parents who do not earn high salaries, favouring the well-off middle classes. People who come to adoption also may come to it after spending thousands of dollars on other methods of having a family, like IVF. I have personally seen couples shut out of adoption for purely financial reasons.

So yes, the process itself is not ideal. But this article hints at something more insidious: the worth of a child. In a world where multiple third world deaths are lucky to make page five while a handful of deaths in Europe or the US invite front page news, this should not be surprising. But there is something patently shocking about putting a price on a child and suggesting that a white child is more valuable than a black child. There are various explanations in this article that attempt to rationalize this in pure economic terms but they fail miserably: A life is a life. A child is a child whether it is black, white or yellow. The fact that a child cannot, for a long time, understand monetary concepts, makes this even more poignant.

Placing monetary value on a child, commoditising it like everything else in our society is not a modern function of a market economy but an immoral practice that harks back to slavery. As Cindy Friedmutter points out, the argument that charging higher fees for healthy white babies due to supposed demand can help subsidise black babies who are not in such demand is fatuous.  She also makes a very good point about the expectation created. Parents who spend more money on an adoption may well think this is a guarantee.

The thing that is scary to me is that children aren’t perfect. People who are willing to pay high fees for healthy kids don’t always get perfect children. If you pay $50,000, it doesn’t mean that child is going to be healthy, gorgeous and smart.”

I’m with her when she says charging people according to what they can afford is a way for agencies to make adoption a viable choice for more families, and still let them balance the books. There is nothing simple or even fair about adoption. That children should be unloved is itself immoral. Putting a price on ethnicity, gender or physical state is getting close to something too terrible to contemplate. That is not what adoption is about.

 


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  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px A child should be valued, not priced
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px A child should be valued, not priced
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px A child should be valued, not priced
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px A child should be valued, not priced
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px A child should be valued, not priced
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px A child should be valued, not priced
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px A child should be valued, not priced
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