Resisting family separation

Current events are calling us to respond with compassion and/or outrage. Here are some follow-up thoughts I’ve had since my last post.

World Refugee Day was observed June 20th. (Check out Democracy Now!’s coverage here.) Its observance, along with the media spectacle of the crisis at the U.S./Mexico border, have prompted much reflection and discussion.

One thing I’m clear about: The proper response to the current tragedy is NOT swooping in to “rescue” kids, as North Americans are prone to do, for example, after disaster strikes. Adoption industry professionals should take a hands-off approach and curb their self-serving child-snatching tendencies.

Predictably, at least one cable news anchor, Mika Brezinsky, voiced the naivete of many well-meaning Americans, when she said she is thinking about fostering one of the refugee kids, as if that will solve the crisis. Keep in mind how eerily reminiscent of the Native child-snatching “maternalists” (documented by Margaret Jacobs) such a naive  response actually sounds.

Our immediate goal should be to reunite families, and keep them together. Our goal is NOT to feed the adoption, foster care, and detention industries that profit from keeping kids “in care”.

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