Maybe I’m just sensitive but….
This story is doing the social media rounds and it’s driving me crazy! I need to get this out of my system.
I’m not calling total “B.S.” on the story. I’m not questioning its authenticity, maybe just it’s up-to-datedness. I do think it’s spreading a false message about how adoption and children’s aid societies really work.
For the last 48 hours my Facebook page has been riddled with links to this article connected to comments like, “Oooh so cute!”, “I like babies, I want to find a baby too!”
It’s just not that easy! I have read the story a few times now and I still find the circumstances so bizarre. I understand this happened in Manhattan; maybe the rules are different there. I understand this happened twelve years ago, maybe things have changed that much in just a short time.
Here’s how this story would have gone down here (in Ontario) and now. I assume this would be the same for many other places.
A baby is found and someone calls 9-1-1. The child would then be placed immediately into foster care. To become a foster parent, one has to do home studies, trainings (in many places, P.R.I.D.E training) and be approved by the ministry. Once the child is placed in foster care, an extensive search for the parents would take place. Assuming the parents are found, charged and classified as unfit to parent, or signed away their rights, the child would become “ward of the crown”. The child (probably no longer an infant) would then be put on an “adoptable” list. Waiting parents who have gone through the same home studies and trainings, as the foster parents are now eligible to apply to adopt the child. Children’s Aid in Ontario would make and effort to match a child of “light brown skin” with a couple of the same race, this is their policy.
A perfect parallel to this story is the story of baby Angelica-Leslie, found in a North Toronto stairwell on a cold day.
I’m happy that the couple in the NYT story have their happy ending. It really is a dream come true. I just don’t like the way the story has contributed to adoption myth and fantasy. I don’t like the way it trivializes the long, painful wait and process. Yes, I’m just sensitive. I like babies. I want to find a baby too.