In Your Language

Thursday, February 26, 2015

United Nations against Baby Boxes


Why can't people be okay with things that have no guarantee of good outcomes? 

Things that have both good and bad outcomes are perceived inflated threats to our society. The deciding factor is really our role in the outcome. What is the point of an outsider's attitude when it really depends on the actions of those involved?


Why do we participate in statistics?

For instance, divorce rates are commonly accepted to be around 50%. So does this mean that you shouldn't trust marriage or that we should be careful of the people involved- notice I said "people"?

We are mentally lazy. We want things to be 100% either way 100% of the time. We want guarantees. We want to know exactly who the enemies are and who to stay away from. It's pretty clear that we are going to have to take a lot of matters in a case per case manner. We also need to accept that we will all have different opinions.

But even in the case of suicide, people being their own enemies and worst monsters; their "circumstances" are always to blame. They were bullied or they suffered loss. But it is taboo to bring it to the table that they did it to themselves, in the literal sense of "suicide." 

We have operate under the fallacy 

that we are NEVER at fault

We pass the buck. Or, we say we were coerced. And of course, at times that is truly the case. No argument. But some of the time, a lot of the time, it is our fault. And we avoid owning the responsibility of fault because we cannot endure shame. It is one of the most undesirable feelings known to man other than being isolated. Even if we know it in our deepest recesses of our selves, we still deny it.

Then, we find something to aim 

our latent anger and grief...

like the Baby Boxes around the world. And again, we cannot accept that there are times when it is the best answer to a very un-ideal world and sometimes hostile social climates. To say that having Baby Boxes influence mothers to give up their children is simply relieving the mother of her fault in the matter. I think it only influences the moms who were already contemplating giving up their babies. Blaming the boxes around the world does nothing to help those mothers in crisis to keep their babies.

If we are going by social work standards, our aim for services should be in pregnancy prevention as much or more than we do in servicing mothers during or after un-ideal pregnancy circumstances. (Three areas of servicing are prevention, intervention, and social policy.) Admittedly, the United Nations is all about policy, but do they really have intervention in mind when they denounce Baby Boxes? Are they going to improve the institutions that house the orphans? What about helping moms protect themselves from untimely pregnancy? What about absentee fathers? What about the social stigma of these pregnancies?

Baby Boxes admittedly do nothing for social policy or prevention. But it does contribute to intervention. It gives mothers an appropriate place to hand over their children to be adopted. And more over, the people who operate those baby boxes are offering intervention services. The caretakers on the other side of the boxes are not perfect people, but they see the problem and are contributing to the welfare of those precious babies.

What do Adoptees Think?

Wow, so glad you asked. I think it matters more how adoptees feel about this "development" in child relinquishment than any other population. They are the ones that are directly or historically affected by the baby boxes around the world. 

In my opinion, the Baby Box entry into the orphan system is gentle.  Many children lose entire families and culture by adoption, especially with international adoption. Those subsequent losses only compound the parental abandonment. There is no "good" way to give up your child. The only benign stance is to keep the child in the original family to be taken care of by aunts and uncles or a grandmother.

As far as my familiarity with adoptee attitudes, I think that many adoptees love their adoptive families. And still, they would have opted to endure a hard life with their birth families (outside of parental death) because adopted life is not easy either. So if we had to choose which bucket of hardships... well you know...

My Conclusion

What's the point of condemning Baby Boxes? Taking them out of the picture is not going to solve the underlying problem of child abandonment. If we do make them illegal, are we going to give a better alternative? I think the boxes are neutral. People are tempted to have the same attitude toward baby boxes as their attitude is toward child abandonment. Plain and simple. Seldom will a person separate the two. And, those same people will seldom change their minds. 

We need to stop fighting and channel our social outrage to solve these societal problems in a collaborative manner. 









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