I know you probably haven’t heard much about this but apparently Madonna is adopting a baby from Malawi. The result has been an interesting maelstrom of criticism.
The first group includes the anti-Madonna. You’ll note them by the fad argument. All the celebrities are adopting foreign babies. Madonna is copying Angelina Jolie. It’s the newest thing in Hollywood. Eh. If you hate Madonna you’re still going to hate Madonna. It doesn’t matter how many millions she might donate to the children, all that matters is that the hater’s street cred is in tact. Oh yes the Ramones are terribly cool and isn’t it sad that CBGB’s is closing. Madonna is a total wanker.
The second group believes it is an abuse of power. Celebrities shouldn’t be above the law. She’s taking advantage of poor people. Well yes, this is all a bit true. Celebrities have long had access to power that we as commonfolk shall never have. Even the great and powerful Oprah threw down when a certain shop closed its doors on her face. When faced with a long line in front of San Francisco’s City Hall Rosie O’Donnell and her partner were whisked ahead for star treatment and a quickie marriage. So, the use and/or abuse of power is contingent upon the goal. In some cases the end result (Madonna, Rosie) has a net positive while in others (Oprah) it is merely to shop in private.
Lastly, there is a school of thought that only families of that country should raise their native children and all international placements should be stopped. Organizations such as UNICEF work against Western families from adopting abroad. Charges of baby buying enter into the debate. To me this is one of the most egregious and most difficult to fight. It assumes that by default that a family from the US or UK could not provide a better life for a child. To outlaw all such adoptions in the end hurts the children. Some of the poorest countries in the world ban outside adoption. To deny these children access to better nutrition, education, and resources is a national horror.