Thursday, December 13, 2007

Children, not just for christmas.

I often wonder aloud (and here) why people bother having children at all if they are not going to raise them properly, and by properly I mean provide shelter, food, stability, love, rules, mental well being and total commitment to their upbringing. I mean, when you look back over that list it's not exactly rocket science. Nothing above and beyond the call of duty all parents take on board.
But then every now and then a story comes along that leaves me astounded at the callous attitude some people take towards their children, the lack of empathy and love is staggering. Last night I watched a disturbing documentary about China where traffickers bought and sold children as though they were nothing more than livestock. There was no compassion and no other underlining process to their decision making only what they could get for a child of a certain age. One of the traffickers had even sold his own youngest son, reasoning that the older boy he'd had would 'find his way back'. It was a heartbreaking piece of television I can tell you. I watched that man talk about the best 'type' of child to traffic and how he was just an 'agent' and I wondered how a person such as he could even be created. To have not even a shred of humanity or heart, never even to consider the human misery he inflicts. It was unbelievable.
Then I got up this morning and-coffee in hand- scanned through the morning papers. And lo and behold there in the guardian comes another story of parental ball dropping.

"A Dutch couple living in Hong Kong yesterday found themselves at the centre of an international controversy after they gave up their daughter for adoption seven years after they adopted her themselves.
Raymond Poeteray, 55, who has worked as a Dutch diplomat for more than 20 years, and his wife, Meta, adopted Jade, an ethnic Korean girl, when she was four months old.

Poeteray told the South China Morning Post that the adoption had gone wrong. He said that his family was "trying hard to deal with it".
He added that his wife was receiving counselling following the decision to give up Jade. "It's just a very terrible trauma that everyone's experiencing," he told the newspaper. "I don't have anything to say to the public. It is something we have to live with. My foreign ministry knows about my situation. I have also been in touch with the Hong Kong government and they have been very helpful to me and so has my own employer." The couple have been heavily criticised in the Dutch press and by the South Korean community in Hong Kong who are trying to find a new permanent home for Jade.
A spokesman for the South Korean consulate in Hong Kong said the couple had found it difficult to raise the little girl because of "culture shock".

"[The Poeterays] now have their own children," the spokesman said. "They decided it was difficult to raise [Jade] because of cultural shock. They said she's not willing to eat their food. That's one of the reasons. It's a strange reason. She was raised from a very early age. It's a very uncommon case. It's a difficult situation for us to understand."

The Korean community in Hong Kong has been asked to find a family to adopt Jade, who has been in foster care in Hong Kong since leaving the Poeterays. The case is complicated as her residency status is uncertain; she is neither a naturalised Dutch citizen nor a resident of Hong Kong. She goes to school in Hong Kong and speaks Cantonese and English but not Korean.

Since adopting her the Poeterays have had two children of their own."

Honestly, having raised a child for seven years as your own, how on Earth could you turn her over to strangers? How could you walk away from her, knowing her future is so uncertain, to deprive her of her family, her home, her siblings, her sense of self? Just what makes a person place so little value on a child like that?
The Poeterays are not peasant farmers trying to eke out a living in a backwards rural place, they are educated, wealthy Europeans. And yet instill a far greater nose wrinkling disapproval in me that the scummy trafficker who tells it as it is and doesn't try to disguise his avarice.
These people don't deserve to have children, certainly the poor children don't deserve to have them as parents.



Blogger yusufyusuf said...

Nice blog...

10:48 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...


10:58 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

So basically the Poeterays got an 'upgraded model' in their own biological children, and then discarded their adopted child who was (I assume) relatively secure in the knowledge that she had loving parents?

I honestly dont know what to say...

11:08 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

This is it Sheepie, two biological children is obviously a flush.

11:11 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Its almost like consumerism gone mad...

If they have just proved that they can't raise 1 child, why do the social services not step-in and take away their biological children?

Its not a position I would support because its against the children's interests, but it is a logical progression.

11:18 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

The 'she didn't eat what we ate' line was fucking staggering. What 3/4/5/6 year old EVER eats what their parents want? MY friend's little girl won't eat sauce on stuff, but oh mah gawd, my friend isn't considering handing her over the EHB.

11:21 a.m.  
Blogger Caro said...

I hope their biological kids turn into wild teenagers from hell and make their lives a misery.

11:25 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I also hope they only eat orange food.

11:33 a.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

We all judge others by our own values, and however much we knock the ould Irish catholic upbringing, we were given a very strong value system. And children were valued by everybody, not just their own parents - they were everybody's responsibility. When I was growing up, what I always saw as interfering neighbours who would tell my parents if I was doing something I shouldn't, was actually a sort of "care" network. I don't think trafficking children is possible within a strong "neighbourhood net" system like this, everybody knows what others are doing and would interfere pretty quickly. The Dutch couple sound like they think a child is like a pet something to pass back when you have finished playing with it. They should be made to pay enough compensation to rear and school the child to adulthood. Perhaps hitting them in the pocket might make them pause for though. Fuckwits.

11:40 a.m.  
Blogger PI said...

Let's hope Jade ends up inside a loving family and well away from those shameless heartless creatures

11:47 a.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Life must be hell for Jade while living with those heartless pieces of shit. Let me second the hope that she gets a family who values her personhood with love and care.

2:09 p.m.  
Anonymous l'enferc'estlesautres said...

Let's not forget the case of Tristan Dowse. Hope Jade's "parents" are made to accept some kind of responsibility.

2:57 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

How can these people live with themselves?

I once worked with a guy whose "natural" parents put him up for adoption at something like 10 or 12 years old. I didn't know the whole story, and I wasn't close enough with him to ask about it, but I can't imagine what a kid could do that would make his parents give him up like that. Perhaps they didn't really give him up, so much as have him taken away...but the language I definitely heard was "put him up for adoption," so I assume it was their choice.

Either way, the guy was definitely damaged goods. What a mess.

Some people just really suck.

3:10 p.m.  
Anonymous Aine said...

What a shower of wankers - the Tristian Downes case was similar - once they had their own kids they didn't want the adopted child anymore. Honestly do these people have any idea what that will do to a child. They should definitely be made pay for his education and upbringing. Andraste - thats awful about what happened to that guy you knew!

3:37 p.m.  
Blogger Dr Maroon said...

I'd love to stay and comment but I backed my Aston Martin into a police car in the pub carpark last night.

There were a lot of English took kids from Romania only to hand them over to social services when the going got tough. Designer adoptees they were but once they start growing the are more expensive and bothersome so they've got to go. They change them with the wallpaper. Wonder how Madonna's and Ally McBeal's kids are doing.

3:44 p.m.  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

These people are shameful and wicked to do that to any child. It's hard to imagine how that poor girl could emerge from this unscathed.

4:49 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I don't suppose children who are forced from their family and homes through no fault of their own ever really recover properly. I don't see how they can form relationships or understand their own value and self worth. They've effectively been abandoned twice, poor little mites, how they hell can anyone rebuild their trust and confidence after that?

5:25 p.m.  
Anonymous laughykate said...

Jaysus dusty, I didn't think there was a 'return to sender' clause in an adoption contract. Cause doesn't adoption sort of equate to giving-birth-to-and-bringing-up- despite-what-type-of-shite-they-turn-into-because-they're-um-your children, except without the giving birth to bit?

As for the bit about how traumatic its been for the Poeterays?Well I'm sorry but you guys can fuck right off for a start.

6:36 p.m.  
Blogger Kim Ayres said...

My son refuses to eat baked beans and won't go near mashed potato. I've told him if he doesn't eat his mash I'll put him up for adoption, but he doesn't believe me. Wait 'til I show him this...

6:55 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

"As for the bit about how traumatic its been for the Poeterays?Well I'm sorry but you guys can fuck right off for a start.'
exactly, they're fucking adults, and they're the one making the bloody decision.
Kim, I don't think I even understand what you typed. No? Mashed potato? No? Baked beans? I'm sorry I'll try different combinations of that and see if it makes more sense. Maybe you're missing words.

7:15 p.m.  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Kim, he refuses to eat baked beans? The Ambrosia of the minor Gods? What's wrong with the boy? You're right - he's clearly insane. I'd get shot of him soon as, so your family can enjoy beany bliss without rancour once again.

7:16 p.m.  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

Sam - "beany bliss"??? I blame YOU for the coffee that came out of my nose and is currently dripping off of my computer screen.

7:40 p.m.  
Blogger aquaasho said...

They should be arrested for some kind of abandonment or something? If they walked away from their biological child at 7 there would surely be repercussions. Why not an adopted child, surely it's as much theirs? I dunno, it's just all too unbelieveable.

8:39 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

That's the worst part of it in my view, Ashling the idea that because she was adopted she was somehow less of their child than if she had been naturally theirs. If I had a baby since she was a tiny little thing and raised her for seven years no power on this earth would make me think anything of her other than she was my own.
People are bastards.

Kim, I'm afraid the lovely Sam is quite right, I've tried other combinations and I"m afraid rejecting beams AND mash is beyond my experience. He's not French is he?

8:58 p.m.  
Blogger Kim Ayres said...

I did wonder whether he'd been swapped at birth, but the wee bugger looks just like me (except without a beard). Must be some kind of genetic throwback

10:03 a.m.  
Blogger MairĂ©ad said...

I watched that programme too. FMC. Horrifying stuff. Did you notice the trafficker scum/guy also sold women!!!!! Shy, quiet, old-fashioned ones who wouldn't run away....
As for the Dutch couple. Mmmm, awful. Do you know what ran through my head though.... I can't begin to understand what it must be like to have a child you don't want in your life forever. I wouldn't like to drive anyone to desperation and maybe murder because handing them back gets them bad, bad press. It's all very awful, but at least the parents are being kind of honest handing the child back, rather than dumping them in a ditch or something........ I can't comprehend it.

8:34 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

yeah, the way he spoke about wanting less 'modern' women because the more docile girls fetched a better price made me want to kick him in the throat. But this man sold him own son, he's beyond evil.
The detective who finds the stolen children was terrific and so brave, but did you see the toll it took on him? Unreal.

11:52 a.m.  

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