An international news story broke recently about a woman in China who wants to give her two-month-old infant boy up for adoption -- for free -- due to her impending divorce from the boy's father.
The thirty-year-old mother, referred to simply as "Ms. Li," still has to get permission from her son's father and then go through the appropriate legal channels to put her baby up for adoption, but she has already begun putting the word out.
It appears that the Chinese public has had a great deal to say about this decision. The 10,000 plus responses ranged from utter outrage and disbelief to compassion and understanding. Comments such as the following were common:
"So irresponsible. We still call this a mother? This makes me so angry,"
In a culture that closed its international adoption doors to single women in the United States from 2007 to 2011 for fear that their orphans would not be well cared for, the level of opposition to Ms. Li's desire to adopt out her son seems quite ironic (or hypocritical, depending on your vantage point).
This is the same culture that, due to their one-child-per-couple policy, has for years given up female first-borns (95% of the children in orphanages are female).
Ms. Li clearly wants the best for her son. Since she was not ready to raise a child on her own, she is willing to give him up to someone who can handle this huge responsibility. Is that really so wrong?
I can think of dozens of instances, especially during the recent economic downturn, when single parents have struggled tremendously to provide for their children. I have also heard many parents say that, while they feel guilty for saying and feeling it, they wish they hadn't had children or that they didn't have to worry about their kids while resources were so tight.
It is a huge responsibility to raise a child -- even in a two-parent household. When economic times are hard, everyone suffers, but perhaps no one more than helpless and dependent children.
When you've made your decision to go, should your children go too?
If you are a parent who has struggled to maintain custody and care of your kids following a divorce, or if you had to give them to a relative to take care of them, please write and tell us about your experience.
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