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Picasso

Picasso

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من إيميلي إلى طفل مفقود في شارع الحمراء... التبنّي في عيون القانون

إذا تصفّحت الموقع الإلكتروني لجمعية "بدائل"، وهي جمعية مدنية تعمل على الحق بالجذور، تلاحظ على صفحتها الرئيسية إطاراً لبعض معلومات من الذاكرة في محاولة لرصد أي تفصيل إضافي عن "عائلة تبحث عن طفلها المفقود منذ العام 1976، وهو كان في العاشرة من عمره، يوم الخميس 8 نيسان من منطقة كاراكاس في بيروت".

البحث ما زال قائماً إلى اليوم. لا يحتاج أحد أن يذكر أنها الحالة الوحيدة، بل تتراكم الحالات، التي تشبه ذلك الفتى الصغير الوسيم، الذي لم يُكتب له أن يعيش في كنف عائلته.

إذاً، متابعة هذه الحالات من الجمعية أو حتى من أصحاب الشأن، تحتاج إلى مثابرة، وصبر وأمل بمعرفة "شيء ما" أو "خيط من الحقيقة"، أو الحقيقة بكاملها، أي بخاتمة سعيدة كما الحال مع إيميلي اللبنانية الجذور والفرنسية الجنسية بعد التبني، التي تعرفت على والدتها البيولوجية اللبنانية الأصل بعد إجراء فحص الحمض النووي، الذي جاء مطابقاً بينهما، وفقاً لماء جاء على الصفحة الرئيسية للموقع الإلكتروني لجمعية "بدائل".

نقارب التبني من زاوية قانونية محلية مع ما يترتب معرفته عن صعوبة تقصي المعلومات، رغم صدور قانون "غير ساري المفعول" يكرس من خلاله هذا الحق.

التبني المفتوح ونقيضه

بداية، عرّفت المحامية والباحثة القانونية ماري روز زلزل في حديث لـ "النهار" عن أنواع التبني، وأولها يُعرف بالتبني المفتوح، ومعناه "أن الطفل يعلم بأنه متبنٍّ، ويتم إبلاغه بالأمر عندما يصبح بعمر يسمح له باستيعاب الموضوع". وفي هذه الحال، أكدت زلزل أن "المتبنين يبقون على تواصل مع الأم البيولوجية، أو على الأقل على معرفة بها". أما النوع الثاني، فركزت على ما هو مضاد لمفهوم التبني المفتوح، أي "عندما يخفى كلياً اسم الأم البيولوجية، أو الأهل بشكل عام، أو تحجب عن الطفل صفته كطفل متبن".

وتقف عند نظرتها التقويمية كمحامية لتعتبر أن ما يسمى التبني "في الحالات التي يسجل الطفل المولود مباشرة على اسم والدة أخرى غير أمه البيولوجية ويغفل كلياً عن معرفة الحقيقة، هو سرقة، وهو أقرب بالاتجار بالأطفال ...".

وشددت أيضاً على أنها " تؤيد التبني المفتوح في حال كانت استحالة إبقاء الطفل مع العائلة الممتدة، أي عندما لا يكون لدى الطفل خال أو خالة، عمّ أو عمة أو أحد الأقارب المستعد لرعايته".

الآلية غائبة

واعتبرت أن "الخلفية المؤسساتية والقانونية غير متوفرة اليوم لتأمين رعاية حقيقية وفقاً لاتفاقية حقوق الطفل لإعطائه التبني، وتالياً حتى في حالات التبني لا تجري الدراسة الكافية المسبقة لتحديد آلية الاسرة الحاضنة لرعاية الطفل، إضافة إلى عدم وجود أي متابعة للطفل للتثبت من أن التبني يؤمّن مصلحته الفضلى".

في القانون اللبناني، أشارت الى أنه "لا يوجد أي تشريع لبناني للتبني، وهو موضوع يرتبط محلياً بالأحوال الشخصية، أي من صلاحية الطوائف". وكما هو معروف "التبني عند المسلمين غير مقبول، ويستعاد عنه بالتكفل، أي تأمين رعاية الطفل دون القضاء على هويته ودون إنكار أهله البيولوجيين.أما عند المسيحيين، فالقانون الصادر في 2 نيسان 1951، وفقاً لزلزل، "يحدد في المادة الرابعة منه في عبارة وحيدة أن التبني من صلاحية المحاكم الطائفية المذهبية"، مشيرة الى أن "لدى الطوائف قوانين ترعى موضوع التبني وتختلف مضامينه وفقاً لكل طائفة".

دور مؤسسات الرعاية


وأشارت زلزل الى أن "مؤسسات الرعاية والمياتم لا تستطيع أن تكون بديلاً من الأهل البيولوجيين، موضحة أن "هذه المؤسسات غلب عليها اليوم الطابع التجاري، وهي تستضيف فضلاً عن أقلية من الايتام عدداً كبيراً من الحالات الاجتماعية التي لم تؤسَّس هذه الدور لأجلها". وتوقفت عند مثلٍ يوضح ما ذكرته مشيرة الى أنه "يوضع في مياتم الأطفال الفقراء أو الأشخاص الذين تركهم والدهم...، الأمر الذي يشير الى غياب سياسة رعائية في لبنان". قالت: "لو تم تأمين الإمكانيات للأهل أو للعائلة ككل، أو حتى للعائلة الممتدة، لتمكّنت هذه الأموال التي تصرف في مساعدة الأسر من الخروج من الفقر، ولاحتضان الأطفال أكانوا أيتاماً أو حالات اجتماعية".

تجربة فرنسا... ولبنان

ماذا عن قانون حق الحصول على المعلومات في حالات التبني مثلاً؟ ذكرت زلزل أنه "لم تصدر أي مراسيم تطبيقية لهذا القانون، إضافة الى أنه لم يطبق، وعدم تفعيله يعكس رغبة المسؤولين في الإبقاء على الفساد وعدم تسيير الشفافية". واعتبرت أنه "في ما يخص القضايا الخاصة والشخصية فهي محمية بحق سرية المعلومات وحرمة الحياة الشخصية والخاصة".

وتوقفت عند النموذج التشريعي الفرنسي "الذي يستلهم المشرع اللبناني تشريعاته، إضافة الى الحق بسرية المعلومات الخاصة، وهو حق مكرس دستورياً". ولفتت الى أن "القانون الفرنسي يقرّ الحق بالحصول على المعلومات خاصة عندما تتعلق بحق الطفل بالحصول على معلومات عن أهله"، مشيرة الى أن "القانون الفرنسي لحظ وجود مؤسسات تودع فيها المعلومات التي يجب أن تبقى سرية في هذه الحالات، ولا سيما هوية الأم". قالت: "يعطى الطفل الحق للجوء الى هذه المؤسسات لمعرفة اسم والدته. وتكفل هذه المؤسسة سرية التعامل، فتسأل الأم عما إذا كانت تريد ان تكشف هويتها، وإذا وافقت تضمن هذه المؤسسة اللقاء بين الأم والمتبني. أما إذا رفضت، فيصبح من المستحيل كشف هويتها".

المصلحة الفضلى

وأسفت زلزل لغياب هذا النموذج من المؤسسات في لبنان، مشيرة الى أننا "نفتقر الى مؤسسة تحفظ اسم الأم، او حق الأم بسرية المعلومات المتعلقة بولادتها، وحملها وطفلها". عن دور وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي في كشف هوية المتبني، قالت: "أصبح اليوم الحفاظ على السرية أكثر صعوبة مما سبق بسبب ظاهرة التواصل الاجتماعي والتطور العلمي ولا سيما فحص الحمض النووي".

وتمنت زلزل أن تكون رعاية الأطفال من الاهتمامات الرئيسية للدولة، بحيث تضع سياسة عامة مبنية على مصلحة الطفل الفضلى، التي تتمثل في حصر حالات التبني الى درجتها الدونية وضمان المتبنين رعاية الطفل وتأمين الرقابة المستدامة...".

النهار
 
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  • loubnaniTO

    loubnaniTO

    Legendary Member
    Staff member
    Super Penguin
    من إيميلي إلى طفل مفقود في شارع الحمراء... التبنّي في عيون القانون

    إذا تصفّحت الموقع الإلكتروني لجمعية "بدائل"، وهي جمعية مدنية تعمل على الحق بالجذور، تلاحظ على صفحتها الرئيسية إطاراً لبعض معلومات من الذاكرة في محاولة لرصد أي تفصيل إضافي عن "عائلة تبحث عن طفلها المفقود منذ العام 1976، وهو كان في العاشرة من عمره، يوم الخميس 8 نيسان من منطقة كاراكاس في بيروت".

    البحث ما زال قائماً إلى اليوم. لا يحتاج أحد أن يذكر أنها الحالة الوحيدة، بل تتراكم الحالات، التي تشبه ذلك الفتى الصغير الوسيم، الذي لم يُكتب له أن يعيش في كنف عائلته.

    إذاً، متابعة هذه الحالات من الجمعية أو حتى من أصحاب الشأن، تحتاج إلى مثابرة، وصبر وأمل بمعرفة "شيء ما" أو "خيط من الحقيقة"، أو الحقيقة بكاملها، أي بخاتمة سعيدة كما الحال مع إيميلي اللبنانية الجذور والفرنسية الجنسية بعد التبني، التي تعرفت على والدتها البيولوجية اللبنانية الأصل بعد إجراء فحص الحمض النووي، الذي جاء مطابقاً بينهما، وفقاً لماء جاء على الصفحة الرئيسية للموقع الإلكتروني لجمعية "بدائل".

    نقارب التبني من زاوية قانونية محلية مع ما يترتب معرفته عن صعوبة تقصي المعلومات، رغم صدور قانون "غير ساري المفعول" يكرس من خلاله هذا الحق.

    التبني المفتوح ونقيضه

    بداية، عرّفت المحامية والباحثة القانونية ماري روز زلزل في حديث لـ "النهار" عن أنواع التبني، وأولها يُعرف بالتبني المفتوح، ومعناه "أن الطفل يعلم بأنه متبنٍّ، ويتم إبلاغه بالأمر عندما يصبح بعمر يسمح له باستيعاب الموضوع". وفي هذه الحال، أكدت زلزل أن "المتبنين يبقون على تواصل مع الأم البيولوجية، أو على الأقل على معرفة بها". أما النوع الثاني، فركزت على ما هو مضاد لمفهوم التبني المفتوح، أي "عندما يخفى كلياً اسم الأم البيولوجية، أو الأهل بشكل عام، أو تحجب عن الطفل صفته كطفل متبن".

    وتقف عند نظرتها التقويمية كمحامية لتعتبر أن ما يسمى التبني "في الحالات التي يسجل الطفل المولود مباشرة على اسم والدة أخرى غير أمه البيولوجية ويغفل كلياً عن معرفة الحقيقة، هو سرقة، وهو أقرب بالاتجار بالأطفال ...".

    وشددت أيضاً على أنها " تؤيد التبني المفتوح في حال كانت استحالة إبقاء الطفل مع العائلة الممتدة، أي عندما لا يكون لدى الطفل خال أو خالة، عمّ أو عمة أو أحد الأقارب المستعد لرعايته".

    الآلية غائبة

    واعتبرت أن "الخلفية المؤسساتية والقانونية غير متوفرة اليوم لتأمين رعاية حقيقية وفقاً لاتفاقية حقوق الطفل لإعطائه التبني، وتالياً حتى في حالات التبني لا تجري الدراسة الكافية المسبقة لتحديد آلية الاسرة الحاضنة لرعاية الطفل، إضافة إلى عدم وجود أي متابعة للطفل للتثبت من أن التبني يؤمّن مصلحته الفضلى".

    في القانون اللبناني، أشارت الى أنه "لا يوجد أي تشريع لبناني للتبني، وهو موضوع يرتبط محلياً بالأحوال الشخصية، أي من صلاحية الطوائف". وكما هو معروف "التبني عند المسلمين غير مقبول، ويستعاد عنه بالتكفل، أي تأمين رعاية الطفل دون القضاء على هويته ودون إنكار أهله البيولوجيين.أما عند المسيحيين، فالقانون الصادر في 2 نيسان 1951، وفقاً لزلزل، "يحدد في المادة الرابعة منه في عبارة وحيدة أن التبني من صلاحية المحاكم الطائفية المذهبية"، مشيرة الى أن "لدى الطوائف قوانين ترعى موضوع التبني وتختلف مضامينه وفقاً لكل طائفة".

    دور مؤسسات الرعاية


    وأشارت زلزل الى أن "مؤسسات الرعاية والمياتم لا تستطيع أن تكون بديلاً من الأهل البيولوجيين، موضحة أن "هذه المؤسسات غلب عليها اليوم الطابع التجاري، وهي تستضيف فضلاً عن أقلية من الايتام عدداً كبيراً من الحالات الاجتماعية التي لم تؤسَّس هذه الدور لأجلها". وتوقفت عند مثلٍ يوضح ما ذكرته مشيرة الى أنه "يوضع في مياتم الأطفال الفقراء أو الأشخاص الذين تركهم والدهم...، الأمر الذي يشير الى غياب سياسة رعائية في لبنان". قالت: "لو تم تأمين الإمكانيات للأهل أو للعائلة ككل، أو حتى للعائلة الممتدة، لتمكّنت هذه الأموال التي تصرف في مساعدة الأسر من الخروج من الفقر، ولاحتضان الأطفال أكانوا أيتاماً أو حالات اجتماعية".

    تجربة فرنسا... ولبنان

    ماذا عن قانون حق الحصول على المعلومات في حالات التبني مثلاً؟ ذكرت زلزل أنه "لم تصدر أي مراسيم تطبيقية لهذا القانون، إضافة الى أنه لم يطبق، وعدم تفعيله يعكس رغبة المسؤولين في الإبقاء على الفساد وعدم تسيير الشفافية". واعتبرت أنه "في ما يخص القضايا الخاصة والشخصية فهي محمية بحق سرية المعلومات وحرمة الحياة الشخصية والخاصة".

    وتوقفت عند النموذج التشريعي الفرنسي "الذي يستلهم المشرع اللبناني تشريعاته، إضافة الى الحق بسرية المعلومات الخاصة، وهو حق مكرس دستورياً". ولفتت الى أن "القانون الفرنسي يقرّ الحق بالحصول على المعلومات خاصة عندما تتعلق بحق الطفل بالحصول على معلومات عن أهله"، مشيرة الى أن "القانون الفرنسي لحظ وجود مؤسسات تودع فيها المعلومات التي يجب أن تبقى سرية في هذه الحالات، ولا سيما هوية الأم". قالت: "يعطى الطفل الحق للجوء الى هذه المؤسسات لمعرفة اسم والدته. وتكفل هذه المؤسسة سرية التعامل، فتسأل الأم عما إذا كانت تريد ان تكشف هويتها، وإذا وافقت تضمن هذه المؤسسة اللقاء بين الأم والمتبني. أما إذا رفضت، فيصبح من المستحيل كشف هويتها".

    المصلحة الفضلى

    وأسفت زلزل لغياب هذا النموذج من المؤسسات في لبنان، مشيرة الى أننا "نفتقر الى مؤسسة تحفظ اسم الأم، او حق الأم بسرية المعلومات المتعلقة بولادتها، وحملها وطفلها". عن دور وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي في كشف هوية المتبني، قالت: "أصبح اليوم الحفاظ على السرية أكثر صعوبة مما سبق بسبب ظاهرة التواصل الاجتماعي والتطور العلمي ولا سيما فحص الحمض النووي".

    وتمنت زلزل أن تكون رعاية الأطفال من الاهتمامات الرئيسية للدولة، بحيث تضع سياسة عامة مبنية على مصلحة الطفل الفضلى، التي تتمثل في حصر حالات التبني الى درجتها الدونية وضمان المتبنين رعاية الطفل وتأمين الرقابة المستدامة...".


    النهار
    1- it's strange that there is no activity in this thread at all.
    2- it is VERY sad that adoption is not regulated and encouraged in Lebanon, especially that we have so many orphans that need forever homes. It rarely happens, and when it happens it is done illegally, and money is exchanged.. which is very sad!
    3- orphanages in Lebanon are the SADDEST place for a child to be placed .. even though staff might be genuinely good and caring, there are horror stories that i heard... even unintentionally, things said and done to kids in orphanages can leave a long lasting impact on these kids, who are already traumatized.
    4- the article above is interesting, though i disagree with some of the view... for example, open adoptions are not "favourable" as she said. It depends on each situation, in some cases open adoptions are encouraged, and in others, they are not.
    5- it is not true that in only in open adoptions is the adoptee told they are adopted.... ADOPTEES SHOULD ALWAYS BE TOLD THEY ARE ADOPTED... as early as possible!!! and regardless of whether it is an open adoption or not.
     
    Orangina

    Orangina

    Well-Known Member
    موضوع فعلا مثير للاهتمام
    التبني في مجتمعنا اللبناني ما زال وللاسف يعتبر "تابو" في مكان معين.. والمؤسف ايضا ان القوانين التي تهتم بهذا الموضوع هي ليست قوانين الاحوال الشخصية بل قوانين منصوصة من كل طائفة... فنجد ان بعض الطوائف تسمح بالتبني باطر معينة وغيرها تعتبر ان هذا الامر مرفوض كليا
    الكثير من العمل مطلوب من المؤسسات التي تهتم بهذا الموضوع من اجل خلق حالة من الوعي قي المجتمع اللبناني ومن اجل تشريع قوانين تعنى باحوال الاطفال المتبنون
     
    loubnaniTO

    loubnaniTO

    Legendary Member
    Staff member
    Super Penguin
    موضوع فعلا مثير للاهتمام
    التبني في مجتمعنا اللبناني ما زال وللاسف يعتبر "تابو" في مكان معين.. والمؤسف ايضا ان القوانين التي تهتم بهذا الموضوع هي ليست قوانين الاحوال الشخصية بل قوانين منصوصة من كل طائفة... فنجد ان بعض الطوائف تسمح بالتبني باطر معينة وغيرها تعتبر ان هذا الامر مرفوض كليا
    الكثير من العمل مطلوب من المؤسسات التي تهتم بهذا الموضوع من اجل خلق حالة من الوعي قي المجتمع اللبناني ومن اجل تشريع قوانين تعنى باحوال الاطفال المتبنون
    What's needed is new laws (1) protecting children, (2) facilitating adoptions (banning payment for adoption), and (3) funding and regulating child services (orphanages, foster homes, etc)
    WHat's also needed is EDUCATION.. be it by government agencies (ministries promoting child care and adoption), or by the MEDIA. The lebanese are addicted to media, which could have a significant impact on their mentality. I've seen TV shows breaking the taboo and discussing adoptions

    In addition, WE (the lebanese) have a lot of work to do on ourselves, how we speak, what we say and how hurtful it could be. Comments such "gheir shi lamma el walad bikoun men lahmak wdammak", or "min emmo el MAZBOUTA", or "bas mesh ebnak elmazbout balke ma toli3 mni7 be7a22ak!" should be eliminated... we need to think a bit before we talk!
     
    Orangina

    Orangina

    Well-Known Member
    What's needed is new laws (1) protecting children, (2) facilitating adoptions (banning payment for adoption), and (3) funding and regulating child services (orphanages, foster homes, etc)
    WHat's also needed is EDUCATION.. be it by government agencies (ministries promoting child care and adoption), or by the MEDIA. The lebanese are addicted to media, which could have a significant impact on their mentality. I've seen TV shows breaking the taboo and discussing adoptions

    In addition, WE (the lebanese) have a lot of work to do on ourselves, how we speak, what we say and how hurtful it could be. Comments such "gheir shi lamma el walad bikoun men lahmak wdammak", or "min emmo el MAZBOUTA", or "bas mesh ebnak elmazbout balke ma toli3 mni7 be7a22ak!" should be eliminated... we need to think a bit before we talk!
    yes this is true
    the Lebanese mentality should change towards the adoption subject... indeed we r a very emotional nation... everything we do or think is dictated by our emotions and sometimes it cannot be but harmful to the major decisions we make in our lives

    I would go beyond this and say that we should reach a point where some people having their own children can choose to adopt as well... why not?
     
    loubnaniTO

    loubnaniTO

    Legendary Member
    Staff member
    Super Penguin
    yes this is true
    the Lebanese mentality should change towards the adoption subject... indeed we r a very emotional nation... everything we do or think is dictated by our emotions and sometimes it cannot be but harmful to the major decisions we make in our lives

    I would go beyond this and say that we should reach a point where some people having their own children can choose to adopt as well... why not?
    absolutely! but ... one step at a time.. if adoption becomes a non-taboo, it will be a major milestone! we have so many kids in SOS and other orphanages, no one knows about them or cares about them, and on the other side you have couples paying thousands and thousands trying to conceive
     
    Nonan

    Nonan

    Well-Known Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    I’ve had first hand experience with adoption. My first cousin was adopted. We all knew it from the get go, partly also because he was métisse and both my uncle and his wife are white. My uncle ended up having three more the first one arriving ... 8 months after they adopted.
    Although now we’re quite distant (they left Lebanon in the early 80s), I believe growing up with an adopted cousin gave me a valuable perspective, especially given his race and growing up in a less than tolerant Lebanon.
    But this is something that requires careful controls as you do hear horror stories also as it relates to human trafficking, etc
     
    Orangina

    Orangina

    Well-Known Member
    I’ve had first hand experience with adoption. My first cousin was adopted. We all knew it from the get go, partly also because he was métisse and both my uncle and his wife are white. My uncle ended up having three more the first one arriving ... 8 months after they adopted.
    Although now we’re quite distant (they left Lebanon in the early 80s), I believe growing up with an adopted cousin gave me a valuable perspective, especially given his race and growing up in a less than tolerant Lebanon.
    But this is something that requires careful controls as you do hear horror stories also as it relates to human trafficking, etc
    the subject of race is another story...
    Tolerance is rly what we need... open minded people
     
    loubnaniTO

    loubnaniTO

    Legendary Member
    Staff member
    Super Penguin
    I’ve had first hand experience with adoption. My first cousin was adopted. We all knew it from the get go, partly also because he was métisse and both my uncle and his wife are white. My uncle ended up having three more the first one arriving ... 8 months after they adopted.
    Although now we’re quite distant (they left Lebanon in the early 80s), I believe growing up with an adopted cousin gave me a valuable perspective, especially given his race and growing up in a less than tolerant Lebanon.
    But this is something that requires careful controls as you do hear horror stories also as it relates to human trafficking, etc
    ABSOLUTELY.. that's why i said "child protection laws".
    And yes, i know of a few instances of adoptions in lebanon, but not always done properly. Because of it being a taboo, in most cases children are not told they are adopted, and that has a potential in ending up in drama! Children need to be aware, and not be shocked at a later age.
     
    Picasso

    Picasso

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    A different kind of love

    Does a mother love a child she has adopted in the same way as she might love a birth child? And why is it such a taboo to ask? Kate Hilpern investigates

    'If something tragic happened to my adopted daughter I'd be devastated, but I wouldn't die. If something happened to either of my two boys who I gave birth to, I feel I would die," says Tina Pattie. "I don't love my daughter any less, but it's a different kind of love. With my sons, my love is set in stone. It's that 'die for you love' that would never change, no matter what. With Cheri, it's a love that develops and grows. It's more of a process than an absolute."

    Ask most adopters whether they think their love for their children is any different than it would be if they had their own offspring, and you can generally expect a resounding no. Very likely, they'll be offended it even crossed your mind. But in families such as Tina Pattie's - where there are both biological and non-biological children - it's a question that is put to the test. It's a question that gets to the very heart of what it means to be a parent.

    "I don't care how close you are to your adopted son or beloved stepdaughter, the love you have for your non-biological child isn't the same as the love you have for your own flesh and blood," wrote Rebecca Walker in her recent book, Baby Love. "Yes, I would do anything for my first [non-biological] son, within reason. But I would do anything at all for my second [biological] child without reason, without a doubt," added the estranged daughter of the renowned author Alice Walker.

    Her comment has attracted much controversy, but Tina relates to it. She had always wanted three children, so when she was told it could jeopardise her health to have a third baby naturally, she persuaded her husband to adopt. Her preference was for a baby, but there were none available and they were offered a little girl five weeks off her fourth birthday. "I was totally and absolutely shocked to find that in the early years, I felt no love at all for her," recalls Tina. "It didn't even feel right to say she was my daughter. The word 'daughter' describes a relationship, a connection - things we didn't have."

    There was no one point at which Tina began to love Cheri, now 17. "It was a drip, drip, drip kind of process. Now, I love her a lot. I'm really proud of her and close to her, but it has taken time," she says.

    Tina has spent a lot of time "unpacking" the disparity in her feelings for her children. "I think there are several things going on. First, she wasn't a newborn baby, like my sons had been. There's nothing quite like a newborn baby. Second, when you get a stranger in your house, you're not going to love it straight away, you're just not. Then there was the fact that Cheri was a hugely damaged and difficult child. Even now, I wonder that if she'd been sweet and easy instead of angry and violent whether it would have been different. Instead, I turned from a calm, patient mother into a monster. I'd never felt rage like that, ever. But even in the blackest moments, when there was no connection between us at all, there was never a question that I would give up."

    Mary Cooper did adopt a newborn baby, but she too found it difficult to use the word "daughter" in the early days. "This was 37 years ago, when I was a psychiatric social worker and had my own three-year-old son. It was assumed I'd know it all, but I was not prepared for the difference between giving birth and adopting," she says. "You don't have nine months to prepare, you don't go through the birth and you don't breastfeed. I was completely a nurture not a nature person - I didn't think nature mattered - but I've changed my mind. I wasn't aware of the differences that I would feel or that Louise would feel as a result of us not sharing any genes. With my son, there was an instant bond. With Louise, there wasn't and every way you turned, it seemed she was different to us. If we had brown sugar, she wanted white. If I cooked something, she wanted a Pot Noodle. Even now, if my son comes to stay, the three of us have plenty to talk about. It's natural and easy. With Louise, we have much less in common. I don't love either of my children more than the other, but the nature of the relationship is poles apart."

    Unfortunately, Louise did not interpret it in this way as she was growing up. "I felt like my brother was the golden boy and that I was the black sheep and I felt less loved than him because of it," she says. "In fact, it wasn't until I was 27 that I told anyone I was adopted. I was ashamed of it before then. But then I started thinking about finding my real mother, which I did, and somehow that journey made me realise that my parents didn't love me less, just differently. Now I speak to my mum every day on the phone. We're so different, it's unbelievable, but we both accept those differences now and we're very close."

    With the benefit of hindsight, Louise realises she didn't make it easy for her parents to love her. "Having decided I was the black sheep, I wound up ostracising myself," she says.

    Nancy Verrier, author of The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child, believes that all children who are separated from their mother suffer a trauma that will affect their bond with their new parents, regardless of the age at which they enter that new family. "I wouldn't say that I love my adopted daughter or my biological daughter differently - I would do just about anything for either of them - but I would definitely say the bond is different and I know now that is inevitable," she says. "An adopted child has had their bond with their mother broken once, so they're not going to let it happen again."

    For many children, this manifests itself in testing-out behaviour, she says. Even if this kind of child is adopted as a baby, they tend to keep a psychological distance. Because they never quite fold into the new mother when she cuddles them, the phenomenon has become known as the stiff-arm baby. At the other end of the spectrum is what's known as the Velcro baby. These children react to the fear of their new mother leaving by being very clingy.

    If anyone had told Nancy when she brought home her three-day-old daughter that rearing an adopted child would be different from rearing a biological child, she says she would have laughed at them. "I thought, 'Of course it won't be different! What can a tiny baby know?' Now I know it's nonsense for anyone to suggest the bond can be the same. We are tuned in hormonally to what our natural children want. Psychologically, the mother and child are still at one for some time even when the umbilical cord is cut. Genes continue to play a major part in the relationship throughout life. The way you cock an eyebrow, how you stand or walk, gestures you make - all these are things that make children feel as if they belong. But because a lot of people don't expect adoption to be different, they can feel shock, hurt and resentment when their adopted child doesn't react to them in the way they'd like them to."

    Some parents try to compensate for this loss. Bill Aldridge, who has three adopted and two natural children in their 20s and 30s, says, "There was always a sense for us that our adopted children required additional love to make up for the extra challenges they'd faced. I wouldn't say we loved them more, but our feelings for them were combined with an overriding desire to make everything all right. I think we were more overt with our love for them than we were with our own kids, certainly while they were growing up."

    Bella Ibik, who grew up in a family of five birth children and four adopted children, says her parents also went out of their way to make the adopted ones feel special. "We were made to feel chosen, as opposed to the others who just came along - to the point that one of their biological children grew up with a bit of a chip on her shoulder," she says.

    Bella, now 41, says she still feels surprised by how much her mother loves her, and still has a need from time to time to examine the differences in her mother's feelings for all her children. "Yesterday we commemorated the 23rd anniversary of my brother's death. He was one of her blood children and I often wondered whether she'd have preferred it had it not been one of her birth children. We talk about everything, so I asked her and she answered as honestly and diplomatically as she could. She said that no mother would ever wish death on any of her children, but that when I saw her cradling his head and talking to him when he was in his coffin - a childhood image I will never forget - she was thinking of it having grown inside her and she was thinking of giving birth to him."

    Bella isn't convinced that whether her siblings were adopted or not is the be-all-and-end-all in the nature of their relationship with their mother, however: "Evie, her youngest, is her absolute golden child who can do no wrong. I'm sure that's because she came along just after my mother had been very ill and she sees her as her anchor in the storm. My point is that sometimes I think it's impossible to pull out adoption as being the only reason for a parent feeling differently towards her children. There are so many other variables."

    Because today's adoptions often involve older children who come from backgrounds of neglect or abuse, they require what Jonathan Pearce, the director of Adoption UK, calls therapeutic parenting. "Of course, this is different to raising a biological child, just as it is different to raising an adopted child 30 or 40 years ago. It's a parenting that I think should include ongoing training - just as you have with any other demanding job," he says. "Does that mean the feelings are any different? Yes, they are. Is the love any different? I just don't know. It will vary from one family to the next."

    Carol Burniston, a consultant clinical child psychologist, believes that the requirement for adopters to parent therapeutically gives a tiny minority of them a psychological get-out clause, which again affects the nature of their relationship with their children. "I worked with one adoptive mother who was suffering from a problematic home life who said, 'If it comes to it, I'll keep my children and let my marriage go.' You would expect a parent of a biological child to say that, but for an adopter there was something very powerful about it. With a small number of adopters, there is something going on in the back of their minds that if they can't bear it any longer, they will give these children up."

    Indeed, an estimated one in five adoptions in the UK breaks down before the adoption order is granted. Conversely, of course, that means that 80% last the distance - at least until after then - and for Lisa Bentley, who adopted a troubled 14-year-old when she already had four birth children, there was never a moment when she thought about giving up. "In fact, I'd say that the love I have for her is strong and powerful - more so in a way than for my birth children - because there's nothing taken-for-granted about it," she says. "It's come from getting through enormous battles and from an undying commitment," she says. Her bond with her natural children is fluid and easy; her relationship with her non-biological daughter is more intense and tested.

    Angela Maddox believes that the relationship between parents and non-biological children has more chance of being positive if any birth children arrive later. "We adopted three boys, now aged 22, 20 and 19, and when we later had two birth children unexpectedly - now aged 16 and 11 - the feeling of almost knowing your child before it's born took me by surprise. But I think the fact that the boys were already in our family helped them feel more secure than if it was the other way round. They had us first."

    Angela says that while her husband relates to Rebecca Walker's philosophy, she doesn't. "My love is endless for all my children. You can love any child as your own. There was the different feeling around the birth, but that's all."

    A few parents even believe that giving birth is irrelevant in the bonding process. Unusually, Molly Morris - who has given birth to five children and adopted two - says, "I've never been able to make a distinction between children born to us and those we adopted. It's the nursing and handling, not the giving birth, that has given me the bond with my children. I'm not sure I really understand people that don't share that view."

    Pam Hall disagrees. "There's something almost beyond words about the attachment you feel for your own baby. That's not to say you can't love another baby or child, but it's quite a different quality of love. I think parents who have given birth already are usually - although not always - better placed to work at a relationship with a non-biological child because they've been through that. They don't go through life longing for it," says Pam, who has two birth children and an adopted child in their late 30s.

    Pam, who has worked with adoptive families as a psychiatric social worker and an analytical psychotherapist, explains that parents who have had birth children tend to have a different motivation for adopting than those who haven't. "They generally aren't starting the process of adoption from a position of infertility, looking for a substitute for their own baby."

    That's not to say it's always an easy ride. "I've worked with adopters who have been racked with guilt that they didn't have the same feelings for their adopted child. But that's all the more reason that we should stop this pretence that adopting is the same as having your own children. I'm not suggesting anyone should outline every detail of that difference to their children. That would be dire. But they do need to own the feeling and be OK with it."

    Lucy Hoole, a 25-year-old adoptee, agrees. "There is something quite taboo about suggesting that parents feel differently to non-biological children. But I'm OK with that difference, and see it as part of my life story that's made me who I am. I wish it would be talked about more openly."

    Some names have been changed


    The Guardian
     
    Orangina

    Orangina

    Well-Known Member
    A different kind of love

    Does a mother love a child she has adopted in the same way as she might love a birth child? And why is it such a taboo to ask? Kate Hilpern investigates

    'If something tragic happened to my adopted daughter I'd be devastated, but I wouldn't die. If something happened to either of my two boys who I gave birth to, I feel I would die," says Tina Pattie. "I don't love my daughter any less, but it's a different kind of love. With my sons, my love is set in stone. It's that 'die for you love' that would never change, no matter what. With Cheri, it's a love that develops and grows. It's more of a process than an absolute."

    Ask most adopters whether they think their love for their children is any different than it would be if they had their own offspring, and you can generally expect a resounding no. Very likely, they'll be offended it even crossed your mind. But in families such as Tina Pattie's - where there are both biological and non-biological children - it's a question that is put to the test. It's a question that gets to the very heart of what it means to be a parent.

    "I don't care how close you are to your adopted son or beloved stepdaughter, the love you have for your non-biological child isn't the same as the love you have for your own flesh and blood," wrote Rebecca Walker in her recent book, Baby Love. "Yes, I would do anything for my first [non-biological] son, within reason. But I would do anything at all for my second [biological] child without reason, without a doubt," added the estranged daughter of the renowned author Alice Walker.

    Her comment has attracted much controversy, but Tina relates to it. She had always wanted three children, so when she was told it could jeopardise her health to have a third baby naturally, she persuaded her husband to adopt. Her preference was for a baby, but there were none available and they were offered a little girl five weeks off her fourth birthday. "I was totally and absolutely shocked to find that in the early years, I felt no love at all for her," recalls Tina. "It didn't even feel right to say she was my daughter. The word 'daughter' describes a relationship, a connection - things we didn't have."

    There was no one point at which Tina began to love Cheri, now 17. "It was a drip, drip, drip kind of process. Now, I love her a lot. I'm really proud of her and close to her, but it has taken time," she says.

    Tina has spent a lot of time "unpacking" the disparity in her feelings for her children. "I think there are several things going on. First, she wasn't a newborn baby, like my sons had been. There's nothing quite like a newborn baby. Second, when you get a stranger in your house, you're not going to love it straight away, you're just not. Then there was the fact that Cheri was a hugely damaged and difficult child. Even now, I wonder that if she'd been sweet and easy instead of angry and violent whether it would have been different. Instead, I turned from a calm, patient mother into a monster. I'd never felt rage like that, ever. But even in the blackest moments, when there was no connection between us at all, there was never a question that I would give up."

    Mary Cooper did adopt a newborn baby, but she too found it difficult to use the word "daughter" in the early days. "This was 37 years ago, when I was a psychiatric social worker and had my own three-year-old son. It was assumed I'd know it all, but I was not prepared for the difference between giving birth and adopting," she says. "You don't have nine months to prepare, you don't go through the birth and you don't breastfeed. I was completely a nurture not a nature person - I didn't think nature mattered - but I've changed my mind. I wasn't aware of the differences that I would feel or that Louise would feel as a result of us not sharing any genes. With my son, there was an instant bond. With Louise, there wasn't and every way you turned, it seemed she was different to us. If we had brown sugar, she wanted white. If I cooked something, she wanted a Pot Noodle. Even now, if my son comes to stay, the three of us have plenty to talk about. It's natural and easy. With Louise, we have much less in common. I don't love either of my children more than the other, but the nature of the relationship is poles apart."

    Unfortunately, Louise did not interpret it in this way as she was growing up. "I felt like my brother was the golden boy and that I was the black sheep and I felt less loved than him because of it," she says. "In fact, it wasn't until I was 27 that I told anyone I was adopted. I was ashamed of it before then. But then I started thinking about finding my real mother, which I did, and somehow that journey made me realise that my parents didn't love me less, just differently. Now I speak to my mum every day on the phone. We're so different, it's unbelievable, but we both accept those differences now and we're very close."

    With the benefit of hindsight, Louise realises she didn't make it easy for her parents to love her. "Having decided I was the black sheep, I wound up ostracising myself," she says.

    Nancy Verrier, author of The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child, believes that all children who are separated from their mother suffer a trauma that will affect their bond with their new parents, regardless of the age at which they enter that new family. "I wouldn't say that I love my adopted daughter or my biological daughter differently - I would do just about anything for either of them - but I would definitely say the bond is different and I know now that is inevitable," she says. "An adopted child has had their bond with their mother broken once, so they're not going to let it happen again."

    For many children, this manifests itself in testing-out behaviour, she says. Even if this kind of child is adopted as a baby, they tend to keep a psychological distance. Because they never quite fold into the new mother when she cuddles them, the phenomenon has become known as the stiff-arm baby. At the other end of the spectrum is what's known as the Velcro baby. These children react to the fear of their new mother leaving by being very clingy.

    If anyone had told Nancy when she brought home her three-day-old daughter that rearing an adopted child would be different from rearing a biological child, she says she would have laughed at them. "I thought, 'Of course it won't be different! What can a tiny baby know?' Now I know it's nonsense for anyone to suggest the bond can be the same. We are tuned in hormonally to what our natural children want. Psychologically, the mother and child are still at one for some time even when the umbilical cord is cut. Genes continue to play a major part in the relationship throughout life. The way you cock an eyebrow, how you stand or walk, gestures you make - all these are things that make children feel as if they belong. But because a lot of people don't expect adoption to be different, they can feel shock, hurt and resentment when their adopted child doesn't react to them in the way they'd like them to."

    Some parents try to compensate for this loss. Bill Aldridge, who has three adopted and two natural children in their 20s and 30s, says, "There was always a sense for us that our adopted children required additional love to make up for the extra challenges they'd faced. I wouldn't say we loved them more, but our feelings for them were combined with an overriding desire to make everything all right. I think we were more overt with our love for them than we were with our own kids, certainly while they were growing up."

    Bella Ibik, who grew up in a family of five birth children and four adopted children, says her parents also went out of their way to make the adopted ones feel special. "We were made to feel chosen, as opposed to the others who just came along - to the point that one of their biological children grew up with a bit of a chip on her shoulder," she says.

    Bella, now 41, says she still feels surprised by how much her mother loves her, and still has a need from time to time to examine the differences in her mother's feelings for all her children. "Yesterday we commemorated the 23rd anniversary of my brother's death. He was one of her blood children and I often wondered whether she'd have preferred it had it not been one of her birth children. We talk about everything, so I asked her and she answered as honestly and diplomatically as she could. She said that no mother would ever wish death on any of her children, but that when I saw her cradling his head and talking to him when he was in his coffin - a childhood image I will never forget - she was thinking of it having grown inside her and she was thinking of giving birth to him."

    Bella isn't convinced that whether her siblings were adopted or not is the be-all-and-end-all in the nature of their relationship with their mother, however: "Evie, her youngest, is her absolute golden child who can do no wrong. I'm sure that's because she came along just after my mother had been very ill and she sees her as her anchor in the storm. My point is that sometimes I think it's impossible to pull out adoption as being the only reason for a parent feeling differently towards her children. There are so many other variables."

    Because today's adoptions often involve older children who come from backgrounds of neglect or abuse, they require what Jonathan Pearce, the director of Adoption UK, calls therapeutic parenting. "Of course, this is different to raising a biological child, just as it is different to raising an adopted child 30 or 40 years ago. It's a parenting that I think should include ongoing training - just as you have with any other demanding job," he says. "Does that mean the feelings are any different? Yes, they are. Is the love any different? I just don't know. It will vary from one family to the next."

    Carol Burniston, a consultant clinical child psychologist, believes that the requirement for adopters to parent therapeutically gives a tiny minority of them a psychological get-out clause, which again affects the nature of their relationship with their children. "I worked with one adoptive mother who was suffering from a problematic home life who said, 'If it comes to it, I'll keep my children and let my marriage go.' You would expect a parent of a biological child to say that, but for an adopter there was something very powerful about it. With a small number of adopters, there is something going on in the back of their minds that if they can't bear it any longer, they will give these children up."

    Indeed, an estimated one in five adoptions in the UK breaks down before the adoption order is granted. Conversely, of course, that means that 80% last the distance - at least until after then - and for Lisa Bentley, who adopted a troubled 14-year-old when she already had four birth children, there was never a moment when she thought about giving up. "In fact, I'd say that the love I have for her is strong and powerful - more so in a way than for my birth children - because there's nothing taken-for-granted about it," she says. "It's come from getting through enormous battles and from an undying commitment," she says. Her bond with her natural children is fluid and easy; her relationship with her non-biological daughter is more intense and tested.

    Angela Maddox believes that the relationship between parents and non-biological children has more chance of being positive if any birth children arrive later. "We adopted three boys, now aged 22, 20 and 19, and when we later had two birth children unexpectedly - now aged 16 and 11 - the feeling of almost knowing your child before it's born took me by surprise. But I think the fact that the boys were already in our family helped them feel more secure than if it was the other way round. They had us first."

    Angela says that while her husband relates to Rebecca Walker's philosophy, she doesn't. "My love is endless for all my children. You can love any child as your own. There was the different feeling around the birth, but that's all."

    A few parents even believe that giving birth is irrelevant in the bonding process. Unusually, Molly Morris - who has given birth to five children and adopted two - says, "I've never been able to make a distinction between children born to us and those we adopted. It's the nursing and handling, not the giving birth, that has given me the bond with my children. I'm not sure I really understand people that don't share that view."

    Pam Hall disagrees. "There's something almost beyond words about the attachment you feel for your own baby. That's not to say you can't love another baby or child, but it's quite a different quality of love. I think parents who have given birth already are usually - although not always - better placed to work at a relationship with a non-biological child because they've been through that. They don't go through life longing for it," says Pam, who has two birth children and an adopted child in their late 30s.

    Pam, who has worked with adoptive families as a psychiatric social worker and an analytical psychotherapist, explains that parents who have had birth children tend to have a different motivation for adopting than those who haven't. "They generally aren't starting the process of adoption from a position of infertility, looking for a substitute for their own baby."

    That's not to say it's always an easy ride. "I've worked with adopters who have been racked with guilt that they didn't have the same feelings for their adopted child. But that's all the more reason that we should stop this pretence that adopting is the same as having your own children. I'm not suggesting anyone should outline every detail of that difference to their children. That would be dire. But they do need to own the feeling and be OK with it."

    Lucy Hoole, a 25-year-old adoptee, agrees. "There is something quite taboo about suggesting that parents feel differently to non-biological children. But I'm OK with that difference, and see it as part of my life story that's made me who I am. I wish it would be talked about more openly."

    Some names have been changed


    The Guardian
    very nice article
     
    H

    HalaMadrid

    Active Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Years ago, an acquaintance tried to represent a Lebanese-American couple (both Lebanese, different sects) in adopting a child from Lebanon. Because it's not a party to the relevant international conventions that make this kind of thing easier and each sect runs the process like a mini fiefdom, they found it "self-defeating" and "exhausting" to navigate even though the mom was willing to go and stay for months at a time to see it through. They eventually gave up. I can't imagine how many kids have been denied safe and secure forever homes under similar circumstances.
     
    Aoune32!

    Aoune32!

    Well-Known Member
    Years ago, an acquaintance tried to represent a Lebanese-American couple (both Lebanese, different sects) in adopting a child from Lebanon. Because it's not a party to the relevant international conventions that make this kind of thing easier and each sect runs the process like a mini fiefdom, they found it "self-defeating" and "exhausting" to navigate even though the mom was willing to go and stay for months at a time to see it through. They eventually gave up. I can't imagine how many kids have been denied safe and secure forever homes under similar circumstances.
    Lebanon’s rules are backwards. is it better for the child to be on the streets or not have a carer taking care of him?
     
    Aoune32!

    Aoune32!

    Well-Known Member
    There is no general civil adoption authority. Since adoption is overseen by religious institutions in Lebanon, they must be supervised by religious authorities and must be approved by these authorities and relevant religious courts. As a result, Lebanese governmental agencies do not get involved in registering the adoption changing the child’s name, and issuing a Lebanese passport until after the religious body has approved the adoption
     
    loubnaniTO

    loubnaniTO

    Legendary Member
    Staff member
    Super Penguin
    A different kind of love

    Does a mother love a child she has adopted in the same way as she might love a birth child? And why is it such a taboo to ask? Kate Hilpern investigates

    'If something tragic happened to my adopted daughter I'd be devastated, but I wouldn't die. If something happened to either of my two boys who I gave birth to, I feel I would die," says Tina Pattie. "I don't love my daughter any less, but it's a different kind of love. With my sons, my love is set in stone. It's that 'die for you love' that would never change, no matter what. With Cheri, it's a love that develops and grows. It's more of a process than an absolute."

    Ask most adopters whether they think their love for their children is any different than it would be if they had their own offspring, and you can generally expect a resounding no. Very likely, they'll be offended it even crossed your mind. But in families such as Tina Pattie's - where there are both biological and non-biological children - it's a question that is put to the test. It's a question that gets to the very heart of what it means to be a parent.

    "I don't care how close you are to your adopted son or beloved stepdaughter, the love you have for your non-biological child isn't the same as the love you have for your own flesh and blood," wrote Rebecca Walker in her recent book, Baby Love. "Yes, I would do anything for my first [non-biological] son, within reason. But I would do anything at all for my second [biological] child without reason, without a doubt," added the estranged daughter of the renowned author Alice Walker.

    Her comment has attracted much controversy, but Tina relates to it. She had always wanted three children, so when she was told it could jeopardise her health to have a third baby naturally, she persuaded her husband to adopt. Her preference was for a baby, but there were none available and they were offered a little girl five weeks off her fourth birthday. "I was totally and absolutely shocked to find that in the early years, I felt no love at all for her," recalls Tina. "It didn't even feel right to say she was my daughter. The word 'daughter' describes a relationship, a connection - things we didn't have."

    There was no one point at which Tina began to love Cheri, now 17. "It was a drip, drip, drip kind of process. Now, I love her a lot. I'm really proud of her and close to her, but it has taken time," she says.

    Tina has spent a lot of time "unpacking" the disparity in her feelings for her children. "I think there are several things going on. First, she wasn't a newborn baby, like my sons had been. There's nothing quite like a newborn baby. Second, when you get a stranger in your house, you're not going to love it straight away, you're just not. Then there was the fact that Cheri was a hugely damaged and difficult child. Even now, I wonder that if she'd been sweet and easy instead of angry and violent whether it would have been different. Instead, I turned from a calm, patient mother into a monster. I'd never felt rage like that, ever. But even in the blackest moments, when there was no connection between us at all, there was never a question that I would give up."

    Mary Cooper did adopt a newborn baby, but she too found it difficult to use the word "daughter" in the early days. "This was 37 years ago, when I was a psychiatric social worker and had my own three-year-old son. It was assumed I'd know it all, but I was not prepared for the difference between giving birth and adopting," she says. "You don't have nine months to prepare, you don't go through the birth and you don't breastfeed. I was completely a nurture not a nature person - I didn't think nature mattered - but I've changed my mind. I wasn't aware of the differences that I would feel or that Louise would feel as a result of us not sharing any genes. With my son, there was an instant bond. With Louise, there wasn't and every way you turned, it seemed she was different to us. If we had brown sugar, she wanted white. If I cooked something, she wanted a Pot Noodle. Even now, if my son comes to stay, the three of us have plenty to talk about. It's natural and easy. With Louise, we have much less in common. I don't love either of my children more than the other, but the nature of the relationship is poles apart."

    Unfortunately, Louise did not interpret it in this way as she was growing up. "I felt like my brother was the golden boy and that I was the black sheep and I felt less loved than him because of it," she says. "In fact, it wasn't until I was 27 that I told anyone I was adopted. I was ashamed of it before then. But then I started thinking about finding my real mother, which I did, and somehow that journey made me realise that my parents didn't love me less, just differently. Now I speak to my mum every day on the phone. We're so different, it's unbelievable, but we both accept those differences now and we're very close."

    With the benefit of hindsight, Louise realises she didn't make it easy for her parents to love her. "Having decided I was the black sheep, I wound up ostracising myself," she says.

    Nancy Verrier, author of The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child, believes that all children who are separated from their mother suffer a trauma that will affect their bond with their new parents, regardless of the age at which they enter that new family. "I wouldn't say that I love my adopted daughter or my biological daughter differently - I would do just about anything for either of them - but I would definitely say the bond is different and I know now that is inevitable," she says. "An adopted child has had their bond with their mother broken once, so they're not going to let it happen again."

    For many children, this manifests itself in testing-out behaviour, she says. Even if this kind of child is adopted as a baby, they tend to keep a psychological distance. Because they never quite fold into the new mother when she cuddles them, the phenomenon has become known as the stiff-arm baby. At the other end of the spectrum is what's known as the Velcro baby. These children react to the fear of their new mother leaving by being very clingy.

    If anyone had told Nancy when she brought home her three-day-old daughter that rearing an adopted child would be different from rearing a biological child, she says she would have laughed at them. "I thought, 'Of course it won't be different! What can a tiny baby know?' Now I know it's nonsense for anyone to suggest the bond can be the same. We are tuned in hormonally to what our natural children want. Psychologically, the mother and child are still at one for some time even when the umbilical cord is cut. Genes continue to play a major part in the relationship throughout life. The way you cock an eyebrow, how you stand or walk, gestures you make - all these are things that make children feel as if they belong. But because a lot of people don't expect adoption to be different, they can feel shock, hurt and resentment when their adopted child doesn't react to them in the way they'd like them to."

    Some parents try to compensate for this loss. Bill Aldridge, who has three adopted and two natural children in their 20s and 30s, says, "There was always a sense for us that our adopted children required additional love to make up for the extra challenges they'd faced. I wouldn't say we loved them more, but our feelings for them were combined with an overriding desire to make everything all right. I think we were more overt with our love for them than we were with our own kids, certainly while they were growing up."

    Bella Ibik, who grew up in a family of five birth children and four adopted children, says her parents also went out of their way to make the adopted ones feel special. "We were made to feel chosen, as opposed to the others who just came along - to the point that one of their biological children grew up with a bit of a chip on her shoulder," she says.

    Bella, now 41, says she still feels surprised by how much her mother loves her, and still has a need from time to time to examine the differences in her mother's feelings for all her children. "Yesterday we commemorated the 23rd anniversary of my brother's death. He was one of her blood children and I often wondered whether she'd have preferred it had it not been one of her birth children. We talk about everything, so I asked her and she answered as honestly and diplomatically as she could. She said that no mother would ever wish death on any of her children, but that when I saw her cradling his head and talking to him when he was in his coffin - a childhood image I will never forget - she was thinking of it having grown inside her and she was thinking of giving birth to him."

    Bella isn't convinced that whether her siblings were adopted or not is the be-all-and-end-all in the nature of their relationship with their mother, however: "Evie, her youngest, is her absolute golden child who can do no wrong. I'm sure that's because she came along just after my mother had been very ill and she sees her as her anchor in the storm. My point is that sometimes I think it's impossible to pull out adoption as being the only reason for a parent feeling differently towards her children. There are so many other variables."

    Because today's adoptions often involve older children who come from backgrounds of neglect or abuse, they require what Jonathan Pearce, the director of Adoption UK, calls therapeutic parenting. "Of course, this is different to raising a biological child, just as it is different to raising an adopted child 30 or 40 years ago. It's a parenting that I think should include ongoing training - just as you have with any other demanding job," he says. "Does that mean the feelings are any different? Yes, they are. Is the love any different? I just don't know. It will vary from one family to the next."

    Carol Burniston, a consultant clinical child psychologist, believes that the requirement for adopters to parent therapeutically gives a tiny minority of them a psychological get-out clause, which again affects the nature of their relationship with their children. "I worked with one adoptive mother who was suffering from a problematic home life who said, 'If it comes to it, I'll keep my children and let my marriage go.' You would expect a parent of a biological child to say that, but for an adopter there was something very powerful about it. With a small number of adopters, there is something going on in the back of their minds that if they can't bear it any longer, they will give these children up."

    Indeed, an estimated one in five adoptions in the UK breaks down before the adoption order is granted. Conversely, of course, that means that 80% last the distance - at least until after then - and for Lisa Bentley, who adopted a troubled 14-year-old when she already had four birth children, there was never a moment when she thought about giving up. "In fact, I'd say that the love I have for her is strong and powerful - more so in a way than for my birth children - because there's nothing taken-for-granted about it," she says. "It's come from getting through enormous battles and from an undying commitment," she says. Her bond with her natural children is fluid and easy; her relationship with her non-biological daughter is more intense and tested.

    Angela Maddox believes that the relationship between parents and non-biological children has more chance of being positive if any birth children arrive later. "We adopted three boys, now aged 22, 20 and 19, and when we later had two birth children unexpectedly - now aged 16 and 11 - the feeling of almost knowing your child before it's born took me by surprise. But I think the fact that the boys were already in our family helped them feel more secure than if it was the other way round. They had us first."

    Angela says that while her husband relates to Rebecca Walker's philosophy, she doesn't. "My love is endless for all my children. You can love any child as your own. There was the different feeling around the birth, but that's all."

    A few parents even believe that giving birth is irrelevant in the bonding process. Unusually, Molly Morris - who has given birth to five children and adopted two - says, "I've never been able to make a distinction between children born to us and those we adopted. It's the nursing and handling, not the giving birth, that has given me the bond with my children. I'm not sure I really understand people that don't share that view."

    Pam Hall disagrees. "There's something almost beyond words about the attachment you feel for your own baby. That's not to say you can't love another baby or child, but it's quite a different quality of love. I think parents who have given birth already are usually - although not always - better placed to work at a relationship with a non-biological child because they've been through that. They don't go through life longing for it," says Pam, who has two birth children and an adopted child in their late 30s.

    Pam, who has worked with adoptive families as a psychiatric social worker and an analytical psychotherapist, explains that parents who have had birth children tend to have a different motivation for adopting than those who haven't. "They generally aren't starting the process of adoption from a position of infertility, looking for a substitute for their own baby."

    That's not to say it's always an easy ride. "I've worked with adopters who have been racked with guilt that they didn't have the same feelings for their adopted child. But that's all the more reason that we should stop this pretence that adopting is the same as having your own children. I'm not suggesting anyone should outline every detail of that difference to their children. That would be dire. But they do need to own the feeling and be OK with it."

    Lucy Hoole, a 25-year-old adoptee, agrees. "There is something quite taboo about suggesting that parents feel differently to non-biological children. But I'm OK with that difference, and see it as part of my life story that's made me who I am. I wish it would be talked about more openly."

    Some names have been changed


    The Guardian
    this is a very interesting article... and i have so many thoughts about it :)

    the question of whether "adopted children are loved as much as biological children" is a little misleading. it makes it sound like in absolute, adopted children are not as much loved as biological children. And this is far from being true. The question should be worded with more specifics, such as:
    - does a MOTHER with both adopted and biological children love them the same way?
    And i highlighted parts of it, because the article does mention the biological bond between a mother and her (biological baby).. which wouldn't apply in the case of the father. Also, the answer is different if the parents have biological children or they dont. It seems to make sense to ask this question to parents who have both adopted and biological children, but this might influence the answer as it might not apply the same way for adoptive parents who do not have biological children.

    Now going back to parents who have both adoptive and biological children, the article seems to suggest several factors, though regrettably the article does not delve too deep to analyze or discuss them, such as:
    - For those who have a different relationship between their adoptive vs. biological children and sort of blaming it on the adoptive children being "difficult".. aren't those children probably difficult because of the perceived differentiation of the parents, or as the article says because the children have already gone through the separation trauma? I have a lot more respect for the other parents mentioned in the article who make the extra effort to give more love for the adoptive children. If one takes some time to think about the trauma they go through (even if they are babies), they would think and feel differently (then to just complain about the kids being difficult).
    - the age of the child... of course there will be a difference between adopting a baby vs. adopting a teenager. An older child might have more additional fears, resentments, attachment/separation issues, etc.
    - the adoptive parent's attitude/perceptions. If the parents keeps thinking that this is not their "real child", and that there might be issues etc, or even how society will perceive it, etc. All of those are factors.

    Bottom line, i hope this article will not discourage ANYONE from adopting. The few examples above do not represent everyone, and FOR SURE, does not reflect how many other adoptive parents feel about their kids... an i am saying this from experience.
     
    loubnaniTO

    loubnaniTO

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    There is no general civil adoption authority. Since adoption is overseen by religious institutions in Lebanon, they must be supervised by religious authorities and must be approved by these authorities and relevant religious courts. As a result, Lebanese governmental agencies do not get involved in registering the adoption changing the child’s name, and issuing a Lebanese passport until after the religious body has approved the adoption
    we so need a revolution. and not just against corruption.
     
    loubnaniTO

    loubnaniTO

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    Lebanon’s rules are backwards. is it better for the child to be on the streets or not have a carer taking care of him?
    A few years ago i was visiting in Lebanon, i was chatting with a teenage girl at one of the kids' playgrounds, she told me she volunteered at one of the orphanages, not sure which one... she said she was horrified when once one of the kids came to one of the "caregivers" crying and saying "i want my mom".. the very smart and caring caregiver pushed him away and said "rou7 ya ebne... la fi mama wala fi baba, ma te7lam!!", the kid kept crying and the teenager was horrified!

    I wish local and international organizations can do something about this and give those kids a better life than this! it's heartbreaking.
     
    Aoune32!

    Aoune32!

    Well-Known Member
    we so need a revolution. and not just against corruption.

    the whole country needs a revolution. we need the expats to return and those in lebanon majority of them to be expats. people in lebanon are backwards. where in the world do u see a women who actually protests against her rights and will tell u that her role is at home?
     
    Nonan

    Nonan

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    ).
    - the age of the child... of course there will be a difference between adopting a baby vs. adopting a teenager. An older child might have more additional fears, resentments, attachment/separation issues, etc.
    -
    this one caught my eye two. My mother in law has a friend who adopted two sisters (I think in the high single digit age) from an orphanage in Brazil and she suffered greatly. But I agree with you that babies, children, etc need taking care off. I think you can adopt a baby and treat them like your child, I think you can adopt an older child and the relation may end up being more like a mentee, etc. Could be as strong, but likely different
    And by the way, the relationship with biological children is different. Every child is unique and their relationship with each parent is unique. I know that’s the case with daughters and I for instance.
     
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