Monday, April 12, 2010

What if you adopt a kid... and they're quasi-homicidal?

This CNN story is pretty interesting.
In summation:
  • US families adopts Russian 7-year old boy.
  • When they bring him to the U.S., they find he is violent, possibly a pyromaniac, and talks common about killing his foster family.
  • They decide he's a liability, and buy him a one-way plane ticket home to Russia and send him home alone.
So there are two issues here.
One, what do you do if your adopted child is violently crazy, and you weren't told (as they allege).

And two, can you return a child like they are a plastic knick-knack from Wal-Mart?

For issue number one, I feel their pain. Adoption certainly is a very complex and heart-wrenching issue, especially when the child has grown up in a series of foster homes. Some degree of mental trauma is to be expected. But what about if you feel you've been duped by the adoption agency? They have a responsibly to tell the truth about their wards, and, on some base level, it is an agreement between two parties. Yes, the agreement involves a human life, but many of our important issues involve human lives - Do we keep a loved one on life-support? Do we donate a kidney and decrease our quality of life to improve someone elses'? Or, on a more mundane level, do we continue drinking / smoking if it affects our health or the health of those around us?

There are many unanswered questions here - Did the family seek mental health assistance for the child? Did they try? This may matter, or it might not, but it would be good to know. Certainly when you adopt a child (or have one biologically) you are expected to put up with some shit. But can there be a limit? You hear stories about parents throwing a kid out of their house for being really bad. If the child is adopted or not shouldn't really matter when you are talking about VERY bad things, right? So is there a line or a limit somewhere for how much crap / danger you need to take as a parent, or should love be unconditional, even if you are at risk?

Then we have the second issue, which is sending the kid on a plane essentially with a note saying, "Hi. This kid sucks. I am returning and waive my right to a refund. Thx." A radio report I heard this morning said that they paid some unknown person in Russia $200 to pick the kid up at the airport and take him back to the orphanage. This seems pretty heartless, even though I'm sure the family just wanted this kid out of their lives, period. But they still agreed to be his guardian, and they should look over him until he's been resettled elsewhere. Leaving him to the care of the airline stewardesses seems raw, B.


shesthesheriff said...

I think there's broad agreement that the situation was unfair for both the parent's and the child.

As for the plane ride issue, put yourself in their shoes, you don't always think about the ramifications of everything you do when you feel your life is in danger. So I can understand the hasty and not so thoughtful travel arrangements.

On the bright side, the Russian mob is always looking for promising young arsonists :>

David Rivelli said...

If they gave out a Pulitzer for a blog might when it for this piece brilliant