Imagine a glorious time in the future when all desired adoption laws are passed and all adoption arrangements are codified. Won’t it be great to be finished with the hard work of adoption reform?
While changes in adoption laws and policy are necessary, these alone will not make Adoption World all better. If laws were the endpoints, then the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments would have resulted in immediate equality and justice for free and formerly enslaved African Americans — but it didn’t. Now, even 150 years later, our society struggles with these same issues.
Reforming policy and law is one necessary step, but it’s not the last step. Not until ideas of respect, empathy, and inherent value of others also take root in people’s hearts can true and enduring change happen.
Imposed vs Embraced
As an experiment, ask yourself:
- Why don’t you speed?
- Why don’t you text while driving?
- Why don’t you lie, steal, or murder?
- Why do you pay taxes? Why do you give to charity?
Some things you do because it’s a rule, and some things you do because it seems right to you. Sometimes it’s because “somebody told me” and other times it’s because “I told myself.” What is it that makes us feel good about giving money to charity, but resentful about paying our taxes? What is it that makes us resent a speeding ticket for going 7 miles an hour over the speed limit at the bottom of a hill, but not resent a ticket for texting while driving in a school zone?
I wrote an article for the Donaldson Adoption Institute with Addison Cooper (Adoption at the Movies — now a book!). It is derived from a workshop we presented last year at the American Adoption Congress Conference. We invite you to finish reading “Reforming Adoption at the Hyperlocal Level” at the Donaldson site. We also invite you to comment if you’re so inclined (the commenting function was broken when the post debuted but is working now).
Image courtesy nonicknamephoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net