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Circumsizing and Adopted Boy

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

So I am not really pro or anti circumcision... I just don't jump on that band wagon... but would never ever consider it for a child or older baby.

Recently I found out that an acquaintance just had her 3 yo son who is adopted circumcised. At first I thought "Whoa! That is SO wrong." But then I got to thinking their might have been a reason why. Generally I give the benefit of the doubt and realize it is their child and they must be doing what is best for him. 

 

But I was wondering why that might be needed.

 

Do you know of reason why circumcision is recommended or unavoidable? I have just never heard of any reasons and am curious.

 

Surely they wouldn't just do it for the way he looks? That would be horrible. 

 
post #2 of 27
I've had a couple of friends do this .too. They both adopted out of the country and I was appalled. "Welcome to America, let's chop off your most sensitive parts"... how crappy is that? But I was diplomatic with the parents because these folks are not in my "inner circle".

Here at Mothering we have a big forum called The Case Against Circumcision because you shouldn't take healthy tissue off a non-consenting child.
post #3 of 27

Religious?

 

Or something physical, like the foreskin was adhered or not retracting or something....

 

My dad had to be circumcised when he was 10 becuase of something like that, sorry i don't know the technical term. But doing it at 3 is way less traumatic.

 

 

post #4 of 27

None of our kids are circ'ed, but I can see a time down the road when our oldest might need some surgical help (if not full circ).  His foreskin does not pull back at all, and it seems uncomfortable for him at times.  He's also disabled, and will have to get help to keep that area clean as he gets older.  I haven't really looked into it much, but I could see a situation where a child would come home and have foreskin issues (perhaps from a botched circ, or from having his foreskin pulled back at too young and age and having it adhere...who knows)...that *might* lead to needing a procedure, but I don't know.

 

In the non-MDC adoption forums I belong to, circ'ing often happens as a way to make the adopted boy more physically like his family, his dad, or his brothers.  It's just a belief people have about how they want their son to look.  I would guess that most (by a long shot) of post-adoption circs are for looks only.  For a lot of people, that's important.  Some say they want it done just so their adopted son doesn't feel bad about looking different.  Seems a little off to me (since most adopted kids look different in places WAY more visible than their privates...and no one's talking about doing plastic surgery on the more visible parts), but that's what I hear.

post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by flightgoddess View Post

Or something physical, like the foreskin was adhered or not retracting or something....

 

My dad had to be circumcised when he was 10 becuase of something like that, sorry i don't know the technical term. But doing it at 3 is way less traumatic.

 


They also used to say kids needed their tonsils cut out, too. Americans are just obsessed with mutilating children's penises and have lots of excuses on why it should happen. About 2% of men never have their foreskins retract and they get by just fine.

 

I hope it won't be long until childhood genital mutilation (both for boys and girls) is illegal. If religious folks want to do this as a rite, they can let grown men make this very personal decision. 

 

ROM, it sounds like your situation is very different from most. If pain is actually part of the equation it is VERY unusual and could be one of the few times it's rationalized.

post #6 of 27

Yeah...I wish he was more verbal so I could understand better what's going on. :(  I've mentioned it to his doctor and we're just waiting to see what happens...if as he gets older things "work" better.  Honestly, I haven't looked into surgical options at all yet.  I'm really hoping I don't ever have to!  I'm convinced it's from all the times he was hospitalized as a baby...I know a few times, even with me reminding them not to, nurses pulled back his foreskin to place catheters before procedures.  I suspect they did some sort of damage.  Grrrr.

post #7 of 27

FWIW, a friend of mine's 2-year-old son had a partial circumcision due to a congenital, urological issue I'm not fully versed in --that was, apparently, the least invasive way of correcting the problem (after trying non-invasive means for a year, and hoping he'd outgrow it). I

 

But, I also know someone who had her adopted son circumcised so he'd look like Daddy, which I do not understand at all, especially in this situation, because Daddy and son are of different ethnic backgrounds and don't look a thing alike otherwise.

post #8 of 27

A friend had her adopted son circumsized. He was almost 2 when he came to her and this was done when he was 6. This was no blithe decision and it had nothing to do with looking like his adoptive father. The doctors had tried everything to help with the recurring infections and pain. My friend researched this topic to death before she came to the difficult decision. Still, some people give her grief over this medically necessary procedure. 

post #9 of 27

Marci, someone in our mutual "circle" had her son circ'd, and I made the mistake of posting on her facebook wall all the reasons why her doctors would be wrong if they told her it had to be done -- her little guy was about 2.5 at the time, I think...maybe 3?   I wasn't thinking of how his poor penis could have gone through A LOT before they got to him, and maybe it was medically necessary, and I did apologize to her privately, BUT, others on her wall were saying all kinds of religious mumbo jumbo about how being circ'd is being closer to jesus, or some other such crap.  I'm not religious at all (if you hadn't yet noticed) but I don't understand how religious people can possibly believe that God would create a body part that needed automatic, ritual removal.  I had always thought it was just jewish people that circ'd, but this woman is catholic, and I believe her wall-members (oh right, they're called FB friends, but since wall-members is kind of a funny accidental pun, I'll leave it there) are also catholic, and trying to get closer to god by mutilating their sons.  This friend never really answered me about why she was circ'ing, and I told her up front she didn't need to answer to me and I didn't require an explanation, etc... anyway, I felt bad about giving her sh!t without knowing the circumstances, but I also am rather baffled why anyone would circ anyone else -- many kiddos begin to retract during puberty, and apparently there is some cream you can apply to help it stretch if that's an  issue...

 

ROM, have you consulted a specialist?  maybe he has an infection or something? I'd ask on the no-circ forum and see if anyone has any suggestions...

post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffani View PostI had always thought it was just jewish people that circ'd, but this woman is catholic, and I believe her wall-members (oh right, they're called FB friends, but since wall-members is kind of a funny accidental pun, I'll leave it there) are also catholic, and trying to get closer to god by mutilating their sons. 


This is absolutely ridiculous... As a Catholic, I sure wish I could have joined that conversation. (If not me, maybe the pope... He is a German, afterall... def.  not circed for "religious reasons." Ha!) The "need" to circ is something very North American and others have a very difficult time trying to understand what is going on there. These Catholics were very misguided, coming up with their own theories...

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

Tiffani, Yes. I SO appreciate you and your honestly. It is always refreshing to me. :-) 

I too don't want to rake my friend over the coals... I just know NOTHING about this. And I really doubt she would do it, if it wasn't a very needed thing... I just was curious what MIGHT be the need for it...

 

See. We have a boy, and honestly gave circ or non-circ... NO thought. We both just thought it is what you do with a boy. I am not condemning to others that DO do it because I know how I was... but by the time our 3rd came along we had decided we'd not do it again, partially because she was born at home, it isn't needed and I felt horrible when I gave him up at the hospital to have it done... I didn't even like him being gone from me that long, much less what was happening to him. :-(  But our 3rd is a girl so it wasn't even an issue.

 

It REALLY surprised me when I heard about the medical need or even that parents could choose to have it done on any one but a newborn...that is horrible, if it isn't needed. My friend has had him home for 2, almost 3 years... and I know she wouldn't be concerned about religious things or what he looks like... but I just wondered what medically could be a concern. I just didn't really know that happened.

 

And I think that there are LOTs of people of faith that DON'T do it and lots of people that have no religious preferences that DO... just because it is the standard and Drs. push it. 

 

Thanks!


Edited by Marcimama - 6/3/11 at 5:44pm
post #12 of 27

Most doctors are VERY ill-informed about circ.  like you did, they believe it's just "what you do" and not that big a deal, etc, etc, so if a child's foreskin doesn't retract by the time they are 4, or 7, or 12, or whatever age they feel a foreskin SHOULD retract by, they want to cut it off.  infections? cut it off.  ballooning when he pees? cut it off.  all of these things are normal, and not a reason to circ most of the time.  Someone upthread mentioned that some adult males don't retract, and that is new information to me, but it makes sense -- some foreskin (both of my boys) is really long, and I have assumed that my bio son would retract by the time he was through puberty, but maybe not, who knows?  since nearly everyone has been circ'd in north america for many years, the whole foreskin thing has kind of been a bit of a mystery for most people.   Most foreskin issues will resolve themselves with time, leaving the foreskin alone, or a dab of ointment, if it's really bad. ;-)   I have not seen, nor do I know about foreskins that have been subject to a lifetime of infection, forced retraction, etc, so in those cases, maybe the poor thing is so damaged that it DOES have to come off, I do not know.  But I would NEVER rely on the word of a regular doctor, and would always seek the opinion of someone who is familiar with foreskins and how to heal what ails them.

 

I was actually coming back to this thread specifically to say that I don't mean to sound judgmental about other people's religious beliefs -- I am a very 'live and let live' person in that regard, aside from when potential damage is being done, and with circ, there is ALWAYS a risk of injury, disfiguration, even death, not to mention the fact that it's just unnecessary.  so for religious people to believe that god created the penis with this little mistake on the end just baffles me.  and frustrates me, and makes me angry, some days. ;-)  I'm not a fan of blind faith, but then, I'm not of any faith either, so of course there is no way for me to understand it.

 

Marci, I suspect that your little guy will have a healthy foreskin, and you won't need to worry about it.   also, while I'm here, did someone recently tag you in a photo of the baby girl I assume you're moving forward with?  I never heard what you decided to do about that, but I got all excited for you when I saw that photo. :-)

 

and also, I don't know if my friend's FB friends were also Catholic, but she is, so I assumed.  silly me. ;-)  They felt pretty strongly, though, that the bible tells them to circ -- but I don't actually know their denomination... not that it matters, really...

 

ok, off my soapbox! 

post #13 of 27

A relative of mine had a circ at age 8 due to health/medical reasons.  He was in a lot of regular, recurrent pain and circ was finally recommended to help him.  His mother let him be a part of the decision.

post #14 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffani View Post

and also, I don't know if my friend's FB friends were also Catholic, but she is, so I assumed.  silly me. ;-)  They felt pretty strongly, though, that the bible tells them to circ -- but I don't actually know their denomination... not that it matters, really...


Okay.... While it is off topic... ;) Catholics believe that the only way to interpret the Bible is through the tradition of the Church. They are thus not usually "But the Bible tells me to" type of people. I doubt that those Facebook buddies were Catholics. However, I will say that I am really surprised ANYONE would try to use to Bible to support circing. It seems to me it it pretty clear that the new Christians did not need circ... So it is as if these people are wanting to become Jews before becoming Christians, if you know what I mean.

 

Meanwhile, there is also a Catholic teaching that adresses this issue (at least in my opinion and that of some moral theologians). Unfortunately, though, many Catholics are rather clueless... (Said with love and frustration.) Catechism of the Catholic Church says: "except when performed for strictly therapeutic reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law." Good stuff for Facebook when arguing with a Catholics.... LOL!

 

I live in a country where no one is circed unless there is a medical problem and even then I doubt it is done in the way it is regularly done in North America. (As a matter of fact, many people here don't believe it when I tell them circs are routine in the US.) While I don't hang out at the men's locker room, my dh does. In 6 years he has NEVER seen a man who has been circed, other than Muslim immigrants. He has been going swimming many times a week, thus seeing thousands of men in this time period.

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

We are moving forward with our baby girl. There were no other options available for her or her mother.

post #16 of 27

It is a myth that Christians need to circ. Jesus died for us and saved us from the law saying we needed to circ. So if anyone is saying they are circ in Jesus name they are misinformed.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffani View Post

Marci, someone in our mutual "circle" had her son circ'd, and I made the mistake of posting on her facebook wall all the reasons why her doctors would be wrong if they told her it had to be done -- her little guy was about 2.5 at the time, I think...maybe 3?   I wasn't thinking of how his poor penis could have gone through A LOT before they got to him, and maybe it was medically necessary, and I did apologize to her privately, BUT, others on her wall were saying all kinds of religious mumbo jumbo about how being circ'd is being closer to jesus, or some other such crap.  I'm not religious at all (if you hadn't yet noticed) but I don't understand how religious people can possibly believe that God would create a body part that needed automatic, ritual removal.  I had always thought it was just jewish people that circ'd, but this woman is catholic, and I believe her wall-members (oh right, they're called FB friends, but since wall-members is kind of a funny accidental pun, I'll leave it there) are also catholic, and trying to get closer to god by mutilating their sons.  This friend never really answered me about why she was circ'ing, and I told her up front she didn't need to answer to me and I didn't require an explanation, etc... anyway, I felt bad about giving her sh!t without knowing the circumstances, but I also am rather baffled why anyone would circ anyone else -- many kiddos begin to retract during puberty, and apparently there is some cream you can apply to help it stretch if that's an  issue...

 

ROM, have you consulted a specialist?  maybe he has an infection or something? I'd ask on the no-circ forum and see if anyone has any suggestions...



 

post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcimama View Post

Tiffani, Yes. I SO appreciate you and your honestly. It is always refreshing to me. :-) 

I too don't want to rake my friend over the coals... I just know NOTHING about this. And I really doubt she would do it, if it wasn't a very needed thing... I just was curious what MIGHT be the need for it...

 

See. We have a boy, and honestly gave circ or non-circ... NO thought. We both just thought it is what you do with a boy. I am not condemning to others that DO do it because I know how I was... but by the time our 3rd came along we had decided we'd not do it again, partially because she was born at home, it isn't needed and I felt horrible when I gave him up at the hospital to have it done... I didn't even like him being gone from me that long, much less what was happening to him. :-(  But our 3rd is a girl so it wasn't even an issue.

 

It REALLY surprised me when I heard about the medical need or even that parents could choose to have it done on any one but a newborn...that is horrible, if it isn't needed. My friend has had him home for 2, almost 3 years... and I know she wouldn't be concerned about religious things or what he looks like... but I just wondered what medically could be a concern. I just didn't really know that happened.

 

And I think that there are LOTs of people of faith that DON'T do it and lots of people that have no religious preferences that DO... just because it is the standard and Drs. push it. 

 

Thanks!

A newborn feels as much or even more pain than an older child! There is NO excuse to do it to a newborn!
 

 

post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post



A newborn feels as much or even more pain than an older child! There is NO excuse to do it to a newborn!
 

 



This.

 

It's painful and traumatic at any age. Older children and/or men simply have a better ability to verbalize their pain.

 

Also, older children and men have the benefit of post-operative painkillers. If it is to be done at all, I think it is actually kinder to do it when a person is older and fully retractable. At least then, the glans doesn't have to be skinned like an orange before the skin is cut away. I personally feel that newborn circumcision is the most barbaric.

post #19 of 27

Please remember that many parents on this board have adopted (or are fostering) boys who have been circumcised. No matter what my views are on the subject of circumcision in general, I refuse to worry about the status of those children's penises. My son has experienced much worse. It's a non-issue to me and my son is perfect just the way he is.

post #20 of 27

Marci, that makes me very happy. ;-)  first mama deserves that peace of mind.

 

Polliwog, I agree.  I only said anything to my friend on FB because she seemed a little worried about the procedure, and I wanted to check in and make sure she was fully informed and wasn't getting bad advice from a doc.  I don't know what the story was, because I asked her not to explain herself to me and just offered some links and information.  beyond that, it's not my business.  I can have my own opinions about circ, and I can be happy when I see the declining numbers and cities like SF where they are set to ban newborn circ, but I'm not going to vilify a friend for making what she believes is the best choice for her son.   I would have, years ago, but maturity has done wonders for my sense of self-righteousness! ;-)

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