Thursday, November 16, 2006

Eugenics

Eugenics-Pronunciation Key - [yoo-jen-iks]

Noun (used with a singular verb)
-the study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, esp. by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics).


And what, you may wonder, is this word doing on an adoption blog? Perhaps it might help if we look at the eugenics experiments of the Third Reich during WWII. Among these experiments was the practice of taking desirable babies from the so-called "undesirables" and giving them, in adoption, to good, Aryan, Nazi German families to raise "as if born to." This was supposed to boost the population of the "Master Race" while curtailing the rearing of children by those that might not see Hitler's grand vision in quite the same exalted light. His dream was his own view of a perfect and "pure" society.

Lest you think that those days are gone, let me assure you that the good, old US of A has its own eugenicists, alive, kicking, writing and influencing policy where they can. And boy, do they love adoption! Among these people are newspaper columnist and self-proclaimed child-rearing "expert," John Rosemond and Paul Popenoe who wrote the marriage articles in Better Homes and Gardens for many years. Sound familiar? Nice men who write helpful articles, right? But they both espouse a view for a society that is "improved" through a very narrow vision of what is correct and who should be parents.

The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, aka, the Mormons, are truly gung-ho, along with other denominations, for seeing that children are raised by "the right kind" of people with the "right kind" of homes, incomes, beliefs and voting histories. There are quite a few religions on this earth that seem to want to see society made over into the image of their doctines. Some kill to get it done...others push adoption. There's that eugenics word again.

In the name of their God and in the name of Good Government and in the name of Noble Vision, then, we have people in places of power and influence that want to make sure that the poor, the less well educated, the disenfranchised are relieved of their children as soon as possible. If some of these Big Thinkers had their way, some young women would be sterilized at puberty or, at least, right after they produce a healthy, preferably white infant for some "deserving couple." Those of us from the Baby Scoop Era were designated delinquent and psychologically disturbed and, therefore, unfit. It makes you wonder how long other people have been making our decisions about what is fit and unfit, doesn't it?

The two men I mentioned above are just two among many, but I mentioned them because of their access to the media. Many Americans tend to believe what they read or see on TV without ever questioning it or the motivations behind the message. We're a trusting lot that tends to see the word "expert" and we're ready and willing to absorb the words of the elite.

I remember parroting a lot of pro-adoption propaganda in the early days of my reunions with my two adult, surrendered children. I cited this "expert" and that "expert" until a friend of mine stopped me and insisted that I start thinking outside the lines. "After all," she said, "Just what IS an expert, after all? An 'ex' is a has-been and a 'spurt' is a flying drop of fluid. No one has all the answers and if they make is sound simple and easy to believe, then watch out!" Thanks, Liz. I have found I like thinking for myself.

1 comment:

iamanobuddy said...

Thank you for this - as one of those surrendered children, I've often wondered why, if these religious organizations claim such faith a God, they can't accept that God doesn't want them breeding.

Maybe He's seen enough greedy, gluttonous, entitled idiots polluting the gene pool with their selfish ideals that He's decided on His own brand of eugenics.

That's the central hypocrisy of the "faith-based" adoption agencies. If they have faith, why don't they have faith that God WANTS the meek inheriting the earth?