I recently read an interesting post on the Lilith site. For those of you who are not familiar with Lilith, it’s a magazine with a demographic of Jewish feminists. I’m not sure I exactly fit, but I am Jewish and I am an adoptive mom, so I figure I’m close enough.
The piece, Are Adoptive Families Culturally Persecuted?, by Tara Bognar, covers Bognar’s experience at a daylong symposium about adoption. Specifically, Bognar reflects on the keynote speech given by Dr. Debora Spar, President of Barnard College.
Bognar’s reaction to Spar’s remarks about adoptive families feeling “culturally persecuted” was to be “floored.” Bognar writes, “My primary cultural narrative about adoption had always been more along the lines of praising the altruism of adoptive parents ‘saving’ children from misery and poverty. Although different from adoption in the current American model, where the child’s natural parentage is wiped out from the record and replaced by their adoptive parentage, traditional Jewish texts laud adoptive parents, and of course those who care for orphans. According to the 2000 National Jewish Population Study, about 5% of Jewish households included an adopted child.”
It’s definitely worth your time to read this post. Once you have, please come back and join our discussion.
Adoption: Culturally Trivialized