Monday, September 21, 2009

Adoption on the mind...

So, many of you may not be aware that I have a brother. Khalo Bean lives near MemeBean in the US. MemeBean adopted him when he was 6 months old and I have rarely thought much about the fact that he is adopted. He is just my brother.

Recently, adoption's been coming up a bit and I've been thinking about it quite alot. The first thing I saw was this article in the Jordan Times. Apparently two couples came from the US and adopted babies from an orphanage. They were arrested and convicted on charges of human trafficking and forgery. At least one of the couples was clearly Christian and the orphanage was also Christian. While reading the articles, I was very saddened by it. Clearly, I don't know enough of the circumstances to know anything about the couples. But, when I see a story like this, it makes me sad for the small Christian populations in countries with these sorts of laws. While I understand that there are laws in place to enforce Islamic law, it seems to me that there ought to be some process for non-Muslims to do the things that are right for them.

Again, I come from a family with an adopted child. His parents were both living, but chose to give him up for adoption. My parents, who were having trouble giving birth to a healthy child, pursued adoption and were selected as his parents. I shudder to think what life could have been like for my brother in an orphanage. I know that most are run by wonderful people, but few have the ability to give the love and individual attention to these most needy of children. And, I give thanks that the Christian organization decided to give him to a Christian family who wanted him and loved him. And I feel sad for those Christian children here who have no resources, no family, and are left in orphanages. They are impacted by the rules and regulations side of of the law but I'm not sure they're covered under the aid and assistance side. Are Christians eligible for zakat? Is there a safety net in place for them? If not, would it not be better off to find, screen, and allow appropriate Christian couples from abroad to adopt them and provide a better life?

Since living here in Jordan, I've met a lovely American couple who pursued and were successful with international adoption. I see the love that they give to a child who would not be getting this in his home country. And, it makes me sad for the children in Middle Eastern orphanages who are prohibited from this lifeline. It also makes me wonder about this legal system that defines laws for the majority as laws for everyone. Perhaps herein lies the challenge of moving from the US, where laws are created to protect the minority (and the sadness I feel at the subversion of those laws is greater even)... The shift in perspective required can be difficult to come by. Once again, as with inheritance, I think perhaps two legal systems would be more appropriate. But then again, I don't write the laws... in either place.

Happy Loving Families!


At 12:11 PM , Anonymous kinzi said...

I'm so glad you wrote about this one, as I looked for the article and couldn't find it.

When I see how harshly and arbitrarily Egyptian law is applied to the Christian minority on many fronts, it makes me angry (and thankful for Jordan). Churches are not allowed to be repaired, much less built, girls are kidnapped, raped and forced to convert, there is no place to raise their voice to complain without repercussions and riots.

The way the book was thrown at these two couples is especially sad, as it seems they were made an example of. This kind of adoption happens under the table in Syria and Lebanon.

I wonder if Muslims understand how deeply imbedded, and even central to our faith, adoption is. I agree with you here especially: "While I understand that there are laws in place to enforce Islamic law, it seems to me that there ought to be some process for non-Muslims to do the things that are right for them."

I weep over the children stuck in orphanages when we have room for more in our families. Especially when they might be from our faith yet are kept from being raised in it due to the laws of another faith.

If these couples were practicing human trafficking,than the Egyptian government practices child imprisonment.


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