In the public imagination, the practice of adoption is often thought of as children in need of a loving home being matched with couples who get to fulfill deferred dreams of becoming parents. And as a bonus, society lifts one more child out of poverty. It’s a win-win, right? Minna Scherlinder Morse, a writer and editor as well as an adoptive parent, says the reality and the history is far more nuanced. In this episode, timed for National Adoption Month, Morse examines adoption from a Jewish ethical lens and raises many questions. Are birth parents pressured to give up children by adoption agents? Could social policy make it possible for more birth families to raise children? Why does the flow of children seem to move from poorer families of color to wealthier, white families, or from impoverished nations to the developed ones? “Adoption isn’t a bad thing, it’s a tricky thing,” Morse says, noting that transracial adoptions can increase the complexities for all involved. She also offers particular advice for families exploring adoption and outlines some steps Jewish communities can take to right historical wrongs.
Theme song, “Ilu Finu” by Rabbi Miriam Margles. Her album This is the Day is available for purchase at CDBaby: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/miriammarglesandthehadarensemb
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- Read Minna's Evolve essay, "Questioning Easy Narratives: Exploring Adoption"
- The Atlantic: The New Question Haunting Adoption — At a glance, America’s shortage of adoptable babies may seem like a problem. But is adoption meant to provide babies for families, or families for babies?
- The New Yorker: How an Adoption Broker Cashed In on Prospective Parents’ Dreams — In just a few years, a Michigan woman took in millions of dollars, faking adoptions and ruining families’ lives along the way.
- The Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly’s ruling on adoption
- Forward: The Cruel History of an Adoption Agency that Separated Siblings
- NPR: Netflix's 'Colin in Black and White' shows a star athlete reaching toward Blackness