Multiracial Families - Межрасовые семьи
In Western culture, a typical family usually consists of a couple with their biological children. But some couples can't have their own children for different reasons and they choose to build a family through adoptions. Infertility is the main reason why men and women want to adopt children. Some couples have compassion for poor parentless children and adopt them for humanitarian reasons. Some believe that it is more responsible to take care of indigent children than to give birth to their own children. Some have to resort to adoption because of health problems.
Adoption isn't just for childless people. Many families have biological children and choose to adopt as well. There are millions of children in the world in need of loving families and permanent homes.
Nowadays the growing number of men and women adopt children from other countries including Third World countries. In recent decades international adoptions have become increasingly popular. International adoption means adopting a child from a foreign country. Many people are eager to adopt children and since there is more demand than supply within the country for adoptions, they are looking overseas to adopt. Adopting children from foreign countries couples hope that their children's natural parents will not interfere in their life. Most adopted children come from Ethiopia, China, Russia, Guatemala, South Korea and other countries. For example, Americans have adopted more than 200,000 children from overseas in the past 15 years.
There are still many people who are skeptical about adoption. Some people are concerned about the genetic quality of adopted children and they believe that adoptees are predisposed to drug and alcohol problems as well as to behavior problems. Some adopted children have histories of maltreatment, physical and sexual abuse. Other people think that the absence of biological ties complicates parent-child relationships.
The mass media is the primary source of information about adoption and it plays a role in the increased interest in international adoptions. Every time a Hollywood celebrity adopts a child, there is a great increase in enquires from people wishing to adopt. Among the celebrities who have adopted children from abroad are Josephine Baker, Mia Farrow, Dan Marino, Sharon Stone, Ewan McGregor, Meg Ryan, James Caviezel, and Julie Andrews. In the 2000s, the couples Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt and Madonna/Guy Ritchie drew public attention by adopting several children from Third World countries.
In 2002, Jolie adopted her first child, seven-month-old Maddox Chivan. The star decided to apply for adoption after she had visited Cambodia twice. Jolie adopted a six-month-old girl from Ethiopia, Zahara Marley in 2005. In 2006 the famous actress gave birth to a daughter, Shiloh Nouvel, in Swakopmund, Namibia. In 2007, Jolie adopted a three-year-old boy from Vietnam, Pax Thien. Jolie gave birth to twins, a boy, Knox Leon, and a girl, Vivienne Marcheline in Nice, France in 2008. In her interview for People Magazine Angelina Jolie has said, 'Most of the night I just thought about how quickly I want to adopt again. It's a very special thing. There's something about making a choice, waking up and travelling somewhere and finding your family. ... There are so many wonderful places. There are many parts of Asia, Africa, South America, so sooner or later I'll end up everywhere, I'm sure.'
In 2006 Madonna decided to adopt a boy named David Banda Mwale from Malawi. The procedure was complicated by the fact that Malawian law requires prospective parents to reside in Malawi for one year before adopting. There was a storm of controversy as some people were sure that Madonna's application received special status because of her celebrity. The adoption was finalized in 2008.
Many families who adopt children should understand that love is not enough to make their family united and happy. They should also respect their children's cultural heritage and teach them the history, traditions and language of their native country.
Adoption has quite an impact on modern society changing its structure and people's attitude to racial barriers. Adam Pertman, an adoption expert, has said, 'Suddenly there are Jews holding Chinese cultural festivals at synagogues, there are Irish people with their African American kids at St Patty's Day. This affects whole communities, and as a consequence our sense of who we are, what we look like, as a people, as individual peoples. These are profound lessons that adoption is teaching us.'
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