Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nothing New

I got nothin' to blog about, school is crazy. We are all just trying to make it to summer vacation. Ben is playing lacrosse and baseball, Hannah has soccer tryouts and well Sophie is three years old! So I thought I would post something that I had on our other blog. An oldie but goodie so to speak.

My thoughts last year on how best to reply to those statements about China and its one child policy. This post was in response to someone seeing Sophie with me at the hair salon and ranting about "how china just throws their girls away...." You know the drill. You have heard it before and if not, prepare yourself it will happen to you at the grocery store, park or even at a family picnic.

I guess what really bugs me about our fellow countrymen slamming another country, in our case our daughter's birth country, is their egocentric perspectives and need to impose American opinions, politics and culture upon other countries.

Chris and I were discussing China’s one child policy looking for a way for me to handle “those questions” better. We both agree that limiting the number of children a person can have is a major “human rights” offense. Having said that and after reading this paper and other recent articles on China’s population control policy, Chris made some interesting points. One of which is that China’s policy to limit family growth is in part born out of necessity, we do not agree with it, but there is no social structure to support those who cannot support their families. In the paper from Harvard the writer indicates that in China it “pays” not to have more than one or two children, having more than that will cost the family money in the form of a fine and payment for registration and education of the additional child. As we were discussing China’s policy, Chris pointed out that here in the U.S. the government will actually PAY people to have more children than they can afford to support. No you say?? Sure we do…..we provide subsidies for housing, medical care, mental health, dental, childcare, education, food stamps, etc. The more children you have in America that you can’t take care of the more the government will pay you to help take care of them…you don’t even need to leave the house!

People question how China “treats” their children. Really, how well do we treat our children here in the United States?? Even with “supporting” parents, children in one of the wealthiest countries in the world are neglected, unloved and die every day. Our foster care system…please... it fails children daily.

Every year I encounter children at school who require a flow map to explain who lives with them and how they are related to one another. Every year I wake up a parent of one of my students at 11:00 AM in the morning to come get their sick child, and they are not asleep because they worked second shift either. I have parents who do not have jobs, but can’t seem to make it to a meeting at school once a year. There are parents that have 5 or 6 kids and they are not even 30 years old yet. They can’t seem to figure out birth control but they certainly know how to fill out the free and reduced lunch forms.

I don’t disagree that as a society we should support those who are in REAL need. Poverty in America is a vicious cycle. But we have to be honest in saying that the system fails. It fails to instill hope for something better than a hand out, it takes away desire to succeed and care. Here in America it does pay to have more children than you can care for, it just doesn’t in many other countries.


Buckeyes & Eggrolls said...

Powerful post ! I was just talking with a patient of mine yesterday about this very same thing. We were talking about how I thought our government should require folks to have a job of some sort in order to receive assistance. For heavens sake, the government turns away folks who are willing to work but just can't make enough for medical care etc. Why not reward them for getting off their butts and help them where the help is needed rather than encourage them to stay home watching Jerry Springer.. Seriously!!! I encounter these people all freaking day long!! :0( I have poor elderly folks who are barely making it and they can't qualify for medicaid for good medical care but there are folks out there doing NOTHING that get better.. come on!!

simply t said...

Yep, couldn't agree more. Not prepared for those comments...guess I better start coming up with some smartass answers.

The Gang's Momma said...

Just encountered a big cultural bias this a.m., not totally related to this but close.

A lovely Vietnamese woman asked my why on earth I would want one more child if I was already so busy and taking care of my four "own" children. She couldn't believe, further, that I'd choose to adopt a daughter with SN after having a "healthy daughter."

I gave my standard answer but it totally was not getting through. Her take is that more than one kid is too hard, too burdensome, too busy, and she hates to cook, clean or care for her home. Too many kids, too much time, too many burdens.

I could almost see her recoil at the idea that we CHOSE a Chinese daughter, with SN at that. I stopped talking and just exited as gracefully as I could. Some people, you just can't get thru to.

I still have your quote in my heart from last year, about your daughter's sn being you and your sn being her. I borrow it when I think it might get thru and make a difference.

Susan said...

This is wonderful Maryellen!
Working in the schools we see this first-hand. I have several children who have the same daddy--he has 15 children! He takes care of NONE of them. Should this man be forced to have a vasectomy? YES! How are these little humans going to turn out...well he sure is leaving it up to luck! This is one example of child neglect.
I could give many.
I advocate a vasectomy clinic at each sheriff's station--instead of taking dead beat dads to court--take em and get em snipped (it would a lot cheaper!)
Is this a human rights violation? Well, whose rights is this man violating by procreating to no end and not taking care of his responsibility?

Special K said...

Good post.
I call this failing America "job security" for me.

And oh the stories I could tell of just how badly America is failing....